NASA and Education, Wayne Hale NASA Blog
"Education is one of the most important topics to Americans. As a nation we devote huge resources to educating our children, local school boards and state government last year spent over $800 billion on education. At the federal level, the Department of Educations budget last year was just over $57 billion. This represents substantially more money than the nation spent on national defense in all its aspects including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, national intelligence, and the department of homeland security."
"Yet, by all objective measures, American students are significantly lagging in almost every area to their foreign counterparts. Math, Science, even language testing scores lag significantly behind other modern industrialized nations."
Editor's note: Wayne Hale has responded to some of the comments.
"It is certainly far from my intention to denigrate teachers. For example, my daughter is a passionate high school English teacher who inspires her students daily. Teacher preparation and passion are key to motivating students. Certainly I was motivated by interesting, passionate, well prepared teachers during my formative years.
My thesis was not that NASA can solely transform education, but rather that space exploration does interest many students and can provide motivation for more to pursue careers in science, engineering, and mathematics.
Finally, on a different note, my NASA blog is open to the public and I am completely comfortable with excerpts or the entirety of any post appearing in other places on the internet as long as there is proper attribution.