Monday, October 18, 2010

Economic Damage & the Arizona Centennial Museum

The National Academy of Sciences recently released the following report:

Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited: Rapidly Approaching Category 5

National Academy of Sciences, Washington, DC, 2010-10-18


This is an update of a similar report published five years ago, and the conclusions are grim. Some of the highlights are:

  • The World Economic Forum ranks the USA 48th in quality of science education
  • The quality of science education is in decline; there has been noticeable deterioration since the last report was prepared five years ago.
  • Jobs are no longer leaving the USA simply because of lower wages elsewhere. Companies have having trouble finding adequately educated employees in the USA. Therefore, they are importing foreigners, or exporting the jobs.

In this bleak and worsening environment, Governor Brewer is eliminating the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum because she wants to replace it with the Arizona Centennial Museum. Preliminary planning for the centennial museum suggests it will be another history museum, of which Arizona already has many. Any educational value it may have will focus on social studies and culture. The Arizona Historical Society will design and manage it.

The Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum is the only earth science museum in Arizona, and is one of the very few facilities assisting teachers comply with the state mandated earth science education curriculum. Now more than ever, a mineral museum and associated K-12 education programs are desperately needed to inspire and educate new earth scientists.

Governor Brewer is making the crisis worse. Her action will eventually contribute to further economic decline.

Note: As reported in the Sep 17th post (Science education threatened by AHS and Arizona Centennial Museum), the National Association of Education Progress ranked Arizona last (50 state comparison). Arizona is dragging the county down, and the Governor is making it worse.

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