Expanding Access to High Quality STEM and Computer Science Education Provides More Pathways to Good Jobs
A COMMITMENT TO THE AMERICAN WORKFORCE: President Donald J. Trump is dedicated to setting American workers up for success.
- One of the Administration’s top priorities is providing more Americans the opportunity to obtain relevant education and skills that lead to a good job.
We must do more to help Americans obtain the skills they need to thrive in today’s job market.
- The labor force participation rate is a low 62.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and many Americans are struggling to find fulltime work.
- At the same time, there are over 6 million vacant jobs, the highest number on record, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
- In June 2017, the President signed an Executive Order to expand apprenticeships in America, putting industry in the driver’s seat, decreasing government red tape, and giving more individuals the opportunity to earn-while-they-learn and to receive skills-training that will put them on the path to fulfilling work.
- This Presidential Memorandum (PM) builds on that commitment, and recognizes the need to provide better, more relevant education in our schools.
PROVIDING PATHWAYS TO WELL-PAYING JOBS: President Donald J. Trump recognizes the important roles that Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and Computer Science education play in developing a new generation of American workers.
Given the increasing role of STEM and Computer Science in industries across the economy, high-quality STEM and Computer Science education are more important than ever before; they provide pathways to well-paying jobs.
- Currently too many students lack access to high-quality STEM and Computer Science education.
- Less than half of high schools currently offer computer programming, according to Code.org.
- Nearly 40 percent of high schools did not offer physics in 2015, according to Education Week Research Center.
- Far more can be done to improve participation in STEM and Computer Science education among women, minorities, and students in rural communities. For example, less than a quarter of students who took the Advanced Placement Computer Science A exam in 2016 were women, according to the College Board.
Recognizing the importance of expanding access to high-quality STEM and Computer Science education, particularly among historically underserved groups, this PM directs the Secretary of Education to:
- Establish high-quality STEM education, with a particular focus on Computer Science, as one of the Department of Education’s priorities.
- Establish a goal of devoting at least $200 million per year in grant funds towards this priority.
- Explore administrative actions that will add or increase focus on Computer Science in existing K-12 and post-secondary programs.