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One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis
One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis
One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis
Электронная книга135 страниц1 час

One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis

Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд



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America has been steadily sliding in global education rankings for decades. In particular, our students are increasingly unable to compete globally in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), in 2010 only 26 percent of high school seniors in the U.S. scored at or above proficient level in math. Another 36 percent were failing. Only 3 percent scored at an advanced level in math, and only 1 percent scored at an advanced level in science.

Students in K-12 across the U.S. struggle with STEM subjects, often because the subjects are poorly presented or badly taught. When students reach college, they choose to pursue non-STEM degrees, and too many struggle to find jobs upon graduation. Meanwhile, U.S. employers are having an increasingly hard time filling STEM jobs. Economic projections for the next decade show we will need approximately 1 million more professionals in STEM fields than our education system will produce. If we want to maintain our historical pre-eminence in science and technology, we must increase the number of students graduating with STEM degrees by 34 percent each year.

One Nation Under Taught offers a clear solution, providing a blueprint for helping students fall in love with STEM subjects, and giving them the tools they need to succeed and go on for further study in these fields. The book challenges our whole way of thinking about education, and encourages educators and policy-makers at all levels to work together to make our schools places that promote curiosity and inspire a love of learning. If we do not change course, we will set our students and our country on the path to a lifetime of poverty. But if we can implement the reforms Dr. Bertram suggests, we can achieve long-lasting prosperity for our children and our nation as a whole. 

ИздательBeaufort Books
Дата выпуска18 нояб. 2014 г.
One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis
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Рейтинг: 3.5 из 5 звезд

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  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    Terrific book - I read it in one day. Could not put it down.Fiona is challenged to stay the winter on Washington Island in Wisconsin, and takes the challenge. She buys a house, endears herself to some of the islanders and annoys others, acquires a goat, and finds love. I highly recommend this book!
  • Рейтинг: 1 из 5 звезд
    I was excited to receive this book because I live in Wisconsin and have been to Door County so obviously the setting intrigued me. I was sorely disappointed once I started reading though. I only made it to page 159. I wanted to stop before that, but I really wanted to give it a good effort since I needed to write a review. However, my time is worth a lot and I did not want to waste anymore of it on this book. I realize it is an early copy and sometimes those contain typos but this one had more errors just in those first 159 pages than any other advanced copy I have seen. That in itself was off putting and then there was the writing...it was not good. The premise of the story is decent and the setting is interesting, but the writing is some of the worst I have read in awhile and the conversations between characters were awful. Also the characters were not even likeable. You know it is a bad book when you don't care at all what happens to the characters. It is not often that I do not make it through a whole book and I like many different genres, but this one was not worth finishing much less recommending.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    My wife and I vacationed on Washington Island a few of years ago and the story rang true to our short experience on the island. The island is as she describes island the landmarks are surely recognizable. The characters are well developed, but by the end of the book a few issues are still unresolved. The publisher promised a series would come of this book so I guess the issues are not so much unresolved as delayed. OK, something to look forward to. One quibble from our brief stay on the island, the author says no bookstore on the island! There were two, in 2005, one was a gift shop that claimed bookstore status which we didn't stop at. The was a real if small bookstore where I found several books on Joyce's "Ulysses". Ordered for locals who left for Bloom's Day before the books came in the owner was happy to give us a great discount on the books we bought to get the Joyces out of inventory. Then again that might explain why no bookstore--too bad.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    North of the Tension Line's protagonist, Fiona Campbell, makes a wager with a friend that she can live for a year in the cold and isolated community on Washington Island. As a newcomer, she is welcomed by some in small town society, tolerated by others and despised by her nearest neighbor. The narrative moves at a leisurely pace, and there are a few truly quirky characters. Fiona's old and new friends sustain her through some trying times, not the least of which are negotiating severe weather conditions and caring for an odd pet which she has received as a gift. Most of the characters are likable, but not all are entirely believable.North of the Tension Line falls short of the "great read" category, but is an interesting premise, and not a bad way to spend a couple of afternoons.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    A nice, easy, contemporary Wisconsin story that was a breath of fresh air for me. Having lived in Wisconsin my whole life, it was a nice change of pace to read something about somewhere I'd been, and that wasn't all murder-y or filled with jerks. While it may not be a nail-biter in terms of needing to get back to the story to see what happens, it reminds me of more old-fashioned books I've read and loved, in that the whole point is to live life on a manageable scale and to have real human connections and challenges. It seemed very real to me in a way that a lot of other, more-hyped, books aren't. I look forward to going to Door County again, and I'll bring this book with me. A wonderful book by one of my new must-buy authors!
  • Рейтинг: 1 из 5 звезд
    I am familiar with Washington Island and Door County and wanted to like this book, but it was clumsily written with very poorly developed characters. I cannot recommend this book.
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    A sweet, easy read by debut author, J.F. Riordan and set in Door County Wisconsin and its offshore island, Washington Island. The protagonist, Fiona, has just purchased a home in this sparsely populated area. What ensues is Fiona attempting to adjust to small town life and its quirks.There are enough secondary characters to prevent the story from becoming boring. The sub-plot of Fiona's friend Elisabeth and her unconventional courtship by Roger the coffee shop owner, allows the author to divert the focus of the story off of Fiona. This strategy allows for further development of characters in subseqent sequels.While characters are not deeply portrayed they are enjoyable. In the novel it is sometimes implied that Fiona is a bit flighty but I never sensed that quality in her. Overall I liked her and felt her frustration in her battle against a bitter neighbor and small town gossip. With prose that was clear and light, Ephraim, Wisconsin and Washington Island came to life. Humor was provided by Robert the 'talking' goat.Nothing deep here and more questions are left unsanswered but a good read nonetheless.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    I received this book as part of LT's Early Reviewer program...and I loved it. North of the Tension Line took me a few chapters to become deeply engrossed, but this lyrical novel set in Wisconsin is a beautiful novel. Fiona takes a dare and moves to a rural island, discovering both a deep peace and facing challenges of making her way in a small, insular community. Fiona and her close friend, Elizabeth, are introspective characters, and some of that threw me off a bit...they are a bit too mature and self-knowing for women in their early 30s, yet they still kept me interested. North of the Tension Line is not a fast-paced, light hearted, beach road, but is a wonderful novel to enjoy and savor.
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    Fiona Campbell is a newcomer to tiny Ephraim, Wisconsin. Populated with artists and summer tourists, Ephraim has just enough going on to satisfy her city tastes. But she is fascinated and repelled by the furthest tip of Door County peninsula, Washington Island, utterly removed from the hubbub of modern life. Fiona's visits there leave her refreshed in spirit, but convinced that only lunatics and hermits could survive a winter in its frigid isolation. In a moment of weakness, Fiona is goaded into accepting a dare that she cannot survive the winter on the island in a decrepit, old house.Armed with some very fine single malt scotch and a copy of Meditationsby Marcus Aurelius, Fiona sets out to win the dare, and discovers that small town life is not nearly as dull as she had foreseen. Abandoning the things she has always thought important, she encounters the vicious politics of small town life, a ruthless neighbor, persistent animals, a haunted ferry captain, and the peculiar spiritual renewal of life north of the tension line."
  • Рейтинг: 5 из 5 звезд
    Awesome, awesome. I loved the setting, small island, with some really quirky characters. Brave Fiona to live on the island by herself through a harsh winter. The detail from landscape to coffee house, food and art made for an escaping read and you don't want to put the book down.
  • Рейтинг: 4 из 5 звезд
    I loved this book. Just read the other reviews and I can't really believe that a few of the readers hated it! Maybe it's the story line that I found so interesting and when I read a book I like to escape into the characters and places. I think the author did a great job of introducing us to all the characters and I found something to like in most of them. I think the descriptions of the landscapes in the story were excellent and made me (winter hater) want to visit Washington Island in winter! I'd love to read more from this author and I'd love this to become a series!
  • Рейтинг: 3 из 5 звезд
    I was given a copy of this book for purpose of review.Fiona Campbell writes for a living and has moved around a bit during her life. She is used to city life but now finds herself wanting a more relaxed and simple lifestyle. She moved to Ephraim, Wisconsin because she found that she could still have some semblance of "the city" and all it offers but not actually live in a big city. She and her best friend Elizabeth love to take the ferry to Washington Island where life is even more relaxed and seemingly still in a bygone era. When a house in the middle of town comes up for sale the conversation surrounding it, turns into her friends joking that she could never live by herself on Washington Island. Instead of taking it in stride she becomes angry and makes a rash decision to purchase the house and show them that she is made of more than they think she is. Life on Washington Island presents many new and not always pleasant experiences. Through weather, pets, neighbors and gossip Fiona's life will never be the same.The beginning of this book seemed to take a while getting started. I felt the general storyline was good but, I didn't always find interest in how the author got there. I found myself questioning why some characters acted the way they did or said certain things that they did and it left me wishing for more background information from the author. I also felt that in many places the words used by the author were contrived and out of place. The climax was a bit underwhelming, but interesting enough to keep reading and the conclusion wrapped some story-lines up but seemed to fall flat or completely disregard other key parts of the story.

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One Nation Under Taught - Dr. Vince M. Bertram

One Nation Under-Taught

Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering & Math Crisis

Dr. Vince M. Bertram

Copyright © 2014 by Dr. Vince M. Bertram


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means, including information storage and retrieval systems, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who may quote brief passages in a review.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data on file

ISBN: 9780825307447

For inquiries about volume orders, please contact:

Beaufort Books

27 West 20th Street, Suite 1102

New York, NY 10011


Published in the United States by Beaufort Books


Distributed by Midpoint Trade Books


Printed in the United States of America

Interior design by Vally Sharpe

Educate and inform the whole masses…They are the only sure reliance of the preservation of our liberty.

—Thomas Jefferson—


Foreword by Steve Forbes

Author’s Note

1 Failing Ourselves

2 The American Economy of Today and Tomorrow—Still the Last Best Hope?

3 Why We Fail & How To Fix It

4 I Am Convinced We Can Do This

World-Class Curriculum

High-Quality Teacher Training

Engaged Partners Network


5 Conclusion





by Steve Forbes

As a nation, we have known for decades that our K-12 education system is in serious trouble, that our students routinely lag their counterparts in numerous other countries in language and mathematical skills. This is especially worrisome in an era in which high tech is becoming more and more critically important for advancing economically. That millions of our children are not being taught effectively—or at all—in the crucial areas of science, technology, engineering and math, popularized by the acronym STEM, is a moral outrage. Their opportunities to get ahead, to improve their lot in life, as Abraham Lincoln put it, are being seriously harmed and our future well-being as a nation is being jeopardized.

Thankfully, America has a tradition dating back to Colonial times of not being passive when serious challenges arise. Vince Bertram is a splendid example of this can-do, let’s-roll-up-our-sleeves-and-do-something-about-it characteristic. His organization, Project Lead The Way (PLTW), has been tackling the STEM deficiencies in our primary and secondary schools for a decade and a half. PLTW has become the leading provider in the U.S. of STEM programs for kids in grades K-12. In addition to coming up with world-class curriculums Dr. Bertram and his colleagues have created superb professional development programs for teachers. More than 6,000 schools around the country have benefitted from PLTW’s crucial work.

Dr. Bertram understands that it’s not enough to come up with solutions, that you must also actively work with students, parents, teachers, administrators, parents, universities, businesses and foundations, as well as community and government leaders to affect lasting, positive change. Interacting with all parties—brainstorming, if you will—can also generate new ideas on how to move forward.

While PLTW has made powerful contributions, so much more remains to be done throughout the nation. Hence, the crying need for Vince Bertram’s new book. It couldn’t be more timely, as recognition of our STEM educational deficits is growing. Dr. Bertram brings immense knowledge and expertise to the subject and speaks from frontline experience.

Dr. Bertram lays out the irrefutable evidence of the crisis: of how, since the mid-1960s, American students have been slipping in what they actually learn in our schools, especially in the STEM fields. According to the National Assessment of Education Progress, only 26 percent of American high school seniors in 2010 scored at or above the proficiency level in math. More ominously, a staggering 36 percent had failing scores. Worse, only 3 percent scored at an advanced level in math, and a pitiful 1percent in science.

No wonder so few U.S.-educated high school students go on to pursue STEM courses in college. No wonder our high-tech centers, epitomized by Silicon Valley, must recruit literally hundreds of thousands of foreign-educated people to try to fulfill their needs for skill-based workforces. Even with that, huge gaps remain, which is why companies have to set up facilities overseas to meet their requirements.

All of which, of course, begs the question: Why don’t our schools do a better job?

It’s not as if we don’t know we have an enormous problem. Back in 1983, the state of education had gotten so bad that the then relatively new Department of Education released a report titled A Nation at Risk. The ominous opening words from that report were powerful and tough and are worth re-quoting at length:

Our Nation is at risk. Our once unchallenged preeminence in commerce, industry, science, and technological innovation is being overtaken by competitors throughout the world. This report is concerned with only one of the many causes and dimensions of the problem, but it is the one that undergirds American prosperity, security, and civility. We report to the American people that … the educational foundations of our society are being presently eroded by a rising tide of mediocrity that threatens our very future as a Nation and a people. What was unimaginable a generation ago has begun to occur—others are matching and surpassing our educational attainments.

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves. We have even squandered the gains in student achievement made in the wake of the Sputnik challenge. Moreover, we have dismantled essential support systems which helped make those gains possible. We have, in effect, been committing an act of unthinking, unilateral educational disarmament.

Our society and its educational institutions seem to have lost sight of the basic purposes of schooling, and of the high expectations and disciplined effort needed to attain them.

Alas, while we have poured immense sums into our education bureaucracies, these increased resources have had little or no effect. We experimented with reforms that were as bad in conception as they were in reality. And we continued to adjust down to mediocrity—or worse. As those numbers from the National Assessment of Education Progress attest, our students’ scores over the past generations have been, as education expert Chester Finn Jr. put it, Flat, flat, flat.

We largely failed in fighting back against this rising tide of mediocrity. Mediocrity does not sustain itself: One is either advancing or sliding backward. It’s been said that what goes on in a nation’s classrooms will eventually work its way up to a nation’s governance and economy. We see that, we live with that today.

Of course, we have pockets of excellence in some of our nation’s schools—Dr. Bertram and his team have been immensely helpful here. But they are pockets, not the norm. Too many of our students drop out of STEM fields, seeing them as boring or too difficult, and this aversion starts in the early elementary grades.

It’s here that we get to what makes Dr. Bertram’s book such a timely gem and an exciting contribution. Vince Bertram does far more than lament our predicament. He provides a blueprint for enabling students to fall in love with STEM subjects—subjects that don’t have to be dreary or intimidating. He shows how teachers can break away from the rut of traditional teaching and kindle in kids that inspiring curiosity that will lead them to becoming passionate about learning.

Dr. Bertram is no armchair reformer. He’s been in the trenches as a teacher, principal and superintendent. Through PLTW he has implemented programs that actually work. And, very importantly, his programs have equipped teachers with the intellectual and practical tools necessary to teach STEM subjects well. Students quickly come to see the true relevance of these subjects in today’s world. They become inspired.

This is why we, as a nation, must ramp up the kinds of reforms Dr. Bertram and his colleagues have so successfully put into practice. The time for talk and ineffectual actions is long, long past. Vince Bertram shows us the way.

Author’s Note

When problems arise, many people are inclined to blame someone or something. This book is not about assigning blame. It is about clearly articulating the problem and taking responsibility to solve it.

We have many highly effective educators who are doing extraordinary work with students;

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