Criticism of the need for STEM workers has been building for years, as many researchers indicate the economy may have twice as many STEM workers as it needs, leading to wage decline and unemployment. The STEM push had been used by tech companies to increase the ease and availability for hiring foreign workers. But again, much of the propaganda for increasing STEM numbers appears to be based on myth and misinformation. Of course, there is validity to the need for STEM workers. And the argument that a shortage of technologically skilled workers is real and growing has plenty of support. No one would dispute that the world and the economy are becoming increasingly tech-linked. So it stands to reason that workers with backgrounds in the kind of math, science, technology, and engineering used to support that economy should be in regular demand. And STEM proponents argue that critics don't fully understand the numbers.
The problem, of course, is that no one seems to have a definitive answer that is not in some way driven by an agenda. Even the "experts" don't know if the shortage is real. But from "A Teacher's View," the impact on education is serious and significant, and it's worrisome that the push for students to learn is simply based on the premise of getting a good paying engineering job. For, what of the social-emotional side to society and the economy? What of the artists and creators and poets and writers and thinkers? What of the dancers?
Certainly, STEM is a need and a reasonable focus for education. But it can't be the only one.