Testimony of Isa Kaftal Zimmerman, Division Director, Technology in Education, Lesley University on behalf of BEST (Business and Education for Schools and Technology) before a joint hearing of the Senate Committees on Ways & Means, Science and Technology, and Commerce and Labor on the subject of the Houses Act Making One Time Investments in Emerging Technologies to Stimulate Job Creation and Economic Opportunity Through The Commonwealth.
We applaud the determination to invest in the seven current emerging technologies for the benefit of the economic well being of the Commonwealth.
We wish to comment on two aspects of the bill as proposed.
- Section 24. The creation of the Special Commission seems to imply a short term plan and in that respect is appropriate because it brings together a significant number of very high powered positions to make recommendation about securing a specialized science and technology workforce to support the demands of industry. From the makeup of the Commission the focus seems to be on the community college level. We contend that in the long run, however, the best time to capture the attention and imagination of youngsters , and to give them sufficient time to learn what they need about careers in science, math and technology and the necessary 21 century skills is in the middle, junior and senior high schools. That means providing professional development to their teachers. In turn, so that we do not sacrifice precious time duplicating what already exists as good models, this means adding a number of educators to the Commission.
- Section 6 or 18. The amount allocated ($5M) for the Math, Science, Technology and Engineering Pipeline Grant program, unless it is focused on a few selected institutions and projects is not a great deal of investment for a large number of potential applicants.
Business and Education for Schools and Technology
Beth Lowd 617-332-1978
Co-coordinators of BEST
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