It comes as no surprise to read that ``when it comes to math and science, U.S. school children lag behind students in at least a dozen other countries,'' according to the Educational Testing Service (J-W, Feb. 5). The study involved American 13-year-olds, and found them to be inferior to 12 other countries in science and 13 other countries in math.
To be a competitive country, the United States needs to set a high priority on math and science education. Yet, even here in Lawrence, 13-year-olds are not required to enroll in science. Science is an elective for seventh- and eighth-graders in our local junior high schools, while home economics and "World of Construction" are required courses. So, while Korean and Russian children are learning scientific principles that might lead their countries to cures and technological breakthroughs, Lawrence students are sewing an apron and building a model of a house.
Seems to me if you want 13-year-olds to excel in science, then it ought to be included in their ongoing curriculum.
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