Brad Smith, Microsoft’s General Counsel and Executive Vice President, addressed Washington’s Congressional delegation in Washington DC today on the dismal state of STEM education in our state. The Seattle Times reports:
“By one measure, Washington has the nation’s highest concentration of STEM jobs. But the state ranks near the bottom in the proportion of students enrolled in graduate programs in engineering and science, and the gap between the growth in jobs requiring STEM skills and people qualified to fill them is estimated to be growing faster than in any state except Delaware.
“‘As a state, we are not nearly doing what we need to do,’ said Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel …
“Smith reeled off statistics about the dearth of STEM learning, particularly among women and minorities. Of Washington’s 771 high schools, for instance, 35 offer advanced-placement computer science courses.
“And the University of Washington’s well-regarded computer-science department, Smith said, lacks capacity to expand enrollment despite being within 10 miles of thousands of computer-related jobs.
“Reversing that ‘is the single best and most important opportunity we have in Washington state to grow our economy,’ said Smith.”