After a pointed discussion with the superintendant, they 'managed' to find a spot for her, but I'm sure none of the students who DIDN'T complain/fight got in, as she said there's only about 4 juniors in calculus this year.
i.e. "STEM initiative!" = really nothing.)
I think you meant poignant instead of pointed.
This leads me to my first thought: Are we over compensating by focusing on STEM education over other subjects? Most universities don't make their STEM students take any rigorous retrotic, literature, philosophy, sociology, or arts classes. Why can't we encourage everyone (both boys and girls) to be truly knowledgeable by having a well rounded education? I feel like so many people are missing the point of higher education by trying to encourage everyone to look at college as a training program for your job instead of an opportunity to become educated and informed. Didn't anyone read Pirsig?
Aside from that, I pretty much agree that most of these goofy named initiatives are just gimmicks to make it look like some corporation actually gives a shit.
If someone were to ask me how to encourage everyone ( not just girls) to get into STEM and take science and math seriously in middle and high school (where it really matters for getting on the STEM track) I would say that they need to get some truly talented and knowledgeable math and science teachers in middle and high school. From what I remember about high school, everyone would rather take drama or english lit because the teachers were cool and passionate and it wasn't "boring or dry". None of the science or math teachers could convey why science and math skills and knowledge are actually valuable, that's why every sophomore feels like "I'll never use this stuff" and they zone out and don't take any science or math beyond the minimum to graduate. How do you get talented science and math teachers? Pay them what they would make in the private/government(contractor) sector. I make $70K+ a few years out of college and I have a pretty sweet job that I enjoy. Why would I choose secondary education over engineering? Being a good teacher takes a lot of work, a lot of time outside of the normal work hours is spent planning and preparing. The salary is pathetic compared to what you could make as a software engineer (just picking that because that's what I do). I understand people do it because they have a passion for teaching but they also have to pay the bills. Science and math minds are going to analyze jobs based on objective measurements like quality of life and ability to support themselves and their family. Not surprising that they pick engineering over education which has an even lower level of job security.