New York State Senator Kenneth P. LaValle introduced legislation (S. 1768) on January 9, 2013 that will create a Suffolk School of Math, Science & Engineering Regional Technology Institute to provide instruction to students in the Eastern Suffolk BOCES and the Western Suffolk BOCES in a technology-based learning process of core academic areas.
The new regional high school would provide high school instruction for grades nine through 12, dedicated to providing expanded learning opportunities to students residing in the Eastern Suffolk BOCES, the Western Suffolk BOCES, and in the school districts of such adjoining BOCES, Senator LaValle said.
“The goal,” LaValle said, “of the Suffolk School of Math, Science & Engineering Regional Technology Institute is to expand learning opportunities for students and foster the development and advancement of emerging technologies.”
“I want to encourage students to pursue careers in math and science by introducing them to these subject areas in ways they may not otherwise be exposed to,” Senator LaValle said.
“I believe science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are the foundation for future economic growth and job creation as well as national security,” Senator LaValle added.
According to recent data our country is falling behind in science, technology, engineering and mathematics:
- In 2009, just 34 percent of U.S. 8th graders were rated proficient or higher in a national math assessment, and more than one in four scored below the basic level.
- In an international exam given to 15 year olds in 2009, U.S. high school students ranked significantly behind 12 industrialized nations in science and 17 in math. Students in only 4 industrialized nations scored lower in math.
- Only 45 percent of U.S. high school graduates in 2011 were ready for college work in math and 30 percent were ready in science.