New Hope-Solebury School District has been awarded a $35,000 grant from PAsmart to enhance computer science programs at all grade levels and increase opportunities for students to participate in robotics education at the secondary level.
Governor Wolf’s PAsmart initiative aims to prepare students with skills required for in-demand jobs, focusing on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs and teacher training. New Hope-Solebury is one of 162 school districts across Pennsylvania to be awarded the grants.
“We are excited to be a recipient of this grant because it will allow us to expand our initiatives in STEM throughout the school district,” said Dr. Charles Lentz, Superintendent of New Hope-Solebury School District. “We are planning to increase our faculty training in the area of computer science which can enhance our student learning in STEM areas,”
“We are also looking to integrate computer science across various subject areas and grade levels to expose our students to computational thinking and minimize barriers of access to computer science programming,” Lentz continued. “This grant will be instrumental in allowing us to offer more comprehensive STEM activities throughout our school district.”
“The importance of STEM education is only increasing,” said State Senator Steve Santarsiero (D-10). “It is estimated that over the next decade, more than 70 percent of new jobs in Pennsylvania will be in STEM-related fields. I’m proud of the work our school districts are doing to prepare students for the future job market.”
Governor Wolf’s initiative is certainly a positive step in the right direction. But let us look at WHOLE PICTURE of education standards in Pa. Believe it or not in order to qualify for a high school diploma in Pa. a student has to pass just three tests. A test in biology not chemistry or physics,English and algebra. Algebra? You have to be kidding. No I am not kidding. The fact is that a number of New Hope Solebury students take the algebra test and pass it in the eighth grade! I learned this fact at the district’s last curriculum committee meeting wherein I told the committee that it is important for the district to go way beyond the state watered down standards and requirements.
Now it is said that when the fish stinks it stinks from the head down. Governor Wolf is that head. He has to get in touch with the out of touch education committees in Pa. State Legislature- Senate and House- with in turn have to get in touch with Pedro Rivera the Pa. Secretary of Education DEMANDING a Significant increase across the board in state standards which simply means – stop teaching to the lowest common denominator.
Just as an aside, it is said that students in foreign countries out perform their cohorts in the U.S.
Well, that is true, for when I attended high school in a foreign country called Brooklyn, I was required to take a state test in English, two state tests in science( biology and physics) and four state tests in math NOT elementary algebra, but advanced algebra, plain geometry, solid geometry, trigonometry.