July 2013

Keith Swerdfeger is a former member of the Colorado House of Representatives and co-founder and owner of K.R. Swerdfeger Construction.

HallwayJust south of Denver, the STEM School and Academy in Highlands Ranch recently announced a major expansion. Just north of Denver, government officials in Westminster approved construction of the Colorado STEM Academy.

These twin developments are a great reminder that our state continues to be a national leader in education in the “STEM” subjects – science, technology, engineering, and math. Our state is replete with specialty academies focused on cultivating young people’s STEM passions and aptitudes.

We should be proud of Colorado’s serious commitment to STEM education.

However, we can’t afford to rest on our laurels.

The competition for STEM jobs has never been fiercer. And if businesses can’t find enough qualified workers in Colorado, they’ll happily turn to other states – and other countries – to find them. Colorado needs to continue to press forward and find ways of equipping even more local young people with the cognitive tools they’ll need to thrive in the modern economy.

Fortunately, our state is about to take a major step forward in that direction. Colorado school administrators have joined 44 other states in adopting the “Common Core,” a robust set of achievement standards designed to improve K-12 students’ reasoning skills by beefing up math and English competencies.

The Common Core still needs to be fully implemented. By doing so, this state would build on our STEM successes and secure an even brighter future for our young people. (more…)