From ACM TechNews:
Education Woes Linked to National Security
(03/20/12) Kimberly Hefling
A report furnished by a U.S. task force warned that unless the American educational system improves, national security and economic prosperity will be threatened. The task force, organized by the Council on Foreign Relations, says the State Department and the U.S. intelligence community are facing severe shortages in foreign language speakers, while disciplines such as science, defense, and aerospace are especially vulnerable because a shortfall of skilled workers is expected to get worse with the imminent retirement of baby boomers. Leading the task force are former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and former New York City School System chancellor Joel Klein, who say they are heartened by educational reform efforts such as the adoption of common core standards for reading and math in most states. Still, they say the rate at which U.S. schools must improve needs to accelerate. The task force's recommendations include adopting and expanding the common core initiative to include skill sets vital to national security such as science, technology, and foreign languages, as well as a restructuring to provide students with more options for where they can attend school, so many students are not stuck in underperforming institutions.