Letter to the Editor

Focus is on key learning areas

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To the editor:Gov. Matt Blunt recently celebrated "Back to school" throughout the state with students from preschool to college. His visit in Cape Girardeau focused on elementary students in a technology classroom at Jefferson Elementary School.

Data show that Missouri fourth-graders have made gains in math since the early 1990s but rank in the bottom third nationally. Yet about a quarter of all new business formations in Missouri are related to math-engineering-technology-science-based industries.

The importance of METS to the future well-being of Missouri was emphasized at the governor's METS summit last year (www.missourimets.com).

The METS Alliance has created a strategic plan addressing this issue with five major goals: improve the performance of all students, expand the pool of students motivated to pursue METS careers, expand the pool of METS educators, establish a technology plan to support METS curricula, increase public awareness of the value of METS knowledge and METS-related jobs.

Since taking office, the governor has secured more than half a billion dollars in new funding for Missouri students and classrooms. In addition, he signed a higher education bill that increases funding for higher education, provides tuition stabilization and increases needs-based scholarship funding from $27.5 million to $72.5 million.

Blunt's commitment to education will ensure that students will be better prepared for the future. His recent "Back to school" visits motivate students about math and science and increase public awareness for families and communities about the importance of METS learning for our future economy and quality of life.

KATHY SWAN, Member, METS Alliance, Cape Girardeau