Claremont COURIER/Saturday, February 4, 2012 10
Professor, author explores education in America
nternational analyses consistently rank
the United States at the very bottom of
the list when it comes to the quality of
education. The fields in which Americans
lag behind most are the so-called STEM
subjects: science, technology, education
and mathematics. What have educators
done to cause American students to fall so
far behind? “Nothing at all,” answered
David E. Drew at a book-signing at Hunt-
ley Book Store on Thursday.
Mr. Drew busts the false myth that the American ed-
ucational system inexplicably fell from grace by dig-
ging up the international assessments and finding the
proper statistics, and he tackles many more myths and
problems about American education in his new book
STEM the Tide: Reforming Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math Education in America. Mr.
Drew is a professor at Claremont Graduate University,
and for 10 years served as the dean of the School of
Educational Studies. His teaching is geared toward sta-
tistical analysis and quantitative research methods, and COURIER photos/Steven Felschundneff
he puts this specialization to work in his new book. Claremont Graduate University Professor David Drew discusses his new book, STEM the Tide, on Thurs-
“There are anecdotes, case studies, and stories to il- day at Huntley bookstore in Claremont. The book is a research-based non-fiction assessment of science
lustrate trends and ideas,” Mr. Drew said at a lecture and math education in America and includes suggestions on how to reform the system.
Thursday. And he backed up his presentation with argues, is the improvement and empowerment of teach- that’s $2 billion. Compare this to what the Department
plenty of charts and statistical evidence. With all the in- ers. The argument seems basic, but Mr. Drew draws of Education’s budget is, compare this to what the De-
formation he has gathered, Mr. Drew has pinpointed upon a collection of statistics to point out how to best fense Budget is, and it’s just a drop in the Federal
numerous problems that plague the education system do so. There is a 30 to 50 percent turnover rate among budget.”
and can therefore suggest many cogent potential solu- teachers during the first 5 years that they teach, and the Mr. Drew fielded several questions after his short lec-
tions to them. most crucial and effective way to improve education ture, and tied his discussion into the Republican presi-
For example, Mr. Drew sees a critical problem in ap- would be to not only attract more and better teachers, dential race. Several candidates have stated their intent
titude assessments such as IQ tests, and believes that but to keep them around and have them stick to teach- to cut the Department of Education, and Mr. Drew was
such tests are in part responsible for certain achieve- ing. asked how he felt about that. He responded in a way that
ment gaps. He sees social paradigms to be at fault for He argues that an effective way to incentivize per- supported and elaborated upon his previous assertions:
achievement gaps, responsible for discrepancies be- sistence in teaching and improvement of teacher qual- that the Department of Education fulfilled a crucial role
tween the educational successes of men and women, ity is to offer financial bonuses to the top 40 percent of in supporting teachers and keeping them in education
and minority and majority groups. STEM teachers. by providing professional development programs that
During his brief pre-book-signing lecture, Mr. Drew “There are about 250,000 math teachers in the also increases the quality of teachers.
sketched out the salient argument of his book. The key United States,” Mr. Drew explained. “Give the top
to improving STEM education in the United States, he 100,000 every year a $20,000 bonus. If you do the math STEM THE TIDE
continues on the next page
Claremont COURIER/Saturday, February 4, 2012 11
Laura A. Holliday
Outdoorswoman, truck driver, mechanical whiz, animal lover
Longtime Claremont resident Laura Like her father, Ms. Holliday preferred bier, all of California; her grandmother,
Ann Holliday died on January 10, 2012. being outdoors. She spent her childhood Penny Perkins of Colorado; and her aunt,
She was 44. on a bike and, more recently, enjoyed the Terry Taylor, and her cousins, Sloan and
For most of her life, Ms. Holliday lived feeling of fresh air from atop her Vespa Michelle Cushman, all of Colorado. She
in Claremont where she attended Chap- scooter. She enjoyed camping, boating was predeceased by her father, Fred Hol-
arral Elementary School and El Roble In- and many other outdoor activities. She liday.
termediate School. When her family was also an animal lover and always had Ms. Holliday will be remembered at a
moved to Upland, she attended and grad- cats and dogs. private funeral service with her family.
uated from Upland High School. Ms. Holliday was a member of the For those wanting to pay their respects,
Following coursework at Mt. San An- Claremont Methodist Church and, as an she will be buried at Forest Lawn Me-
tonio College, Ms. Holliday started work- adult, toured Israel with an adult bible morial Park in Covina.
ing for the family business, driving trucks study group. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations
and working on heavy construction Ms. Holliday is survived by her may be made to the American Diabetes
equipment. After her dad challenged her mother, Penny Holliday; her brother, Association PO Box 11454, Alexandria,
to attend truck-driving school, she not John Holliday, and his family; her sister, VA 22312, or www.diabetes.org.
only accepted the challenge, she gradu- Aimee Wheater; her aunt and uncle, Peg
ated at the top of her class. She enjoyed and Mel Bubier, and her cousin, Tim Bu-
anything mechanical and excelled at fix- Toyota. After completing the course, she
ing and improving bikes, cars and trucks. began working in the service department
While taking an auto mechanics course of the local Toyota dealership. Although
at Citrus College, Ms. Holliday was se- she enjoyed this adventure, she eventu-
lected by a professor to attend an ad- ally returned to driving trucks for the
vanced auto mechanics class offered by family business.
STEM THE TIDE
continued from the previous page
He stated, however, that federal man-
dates on what should be taught are
wrong and ineffective.
“I would much rather see an excited,
energetic teacher teaching from an out-
dated curriculum from the 1950s than a
cold, boring teacher with a newer, up-
dated curriculum,” he said.
STEM the Tide: Reforming Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Math Ed-
ucation in America is published by
Johns Hopkins University Press and is
also available as an ebook for the Kin-
dle. The book can be found online and
at various locations, including the Hunt-
ley Book Store.