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Kirwan wrong to ignore STEM curriculum

Kirwan commission chairman William E. "Brit" Kirwan, flanked by Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, left, and late House Speaker Michael Busch, speaks at a press conference during the last legislative session in Annapolis.
Kirwan commission chairman William E. "Brit" Kirwan, flanked by Senate President Thomas V. "Mike" Miller, left, and late House Speaker Michael Busch, speaks at a press conference during the last legislative session in Annapolis. (Joshua McKerrow / Capital Gazette)

I asked William Kirwan at a large community meeting about his commission’s plan on STEM education. He said they are not addressing curriculum in his $3.8 billion plan for revamping Maryland's educational system (“Hogan and the legislature are on a school funding collision course. Here are five things in mind as the Kirwan debate unfolds,” June 10). This is shocking and concerning.

The statistics on STEM education for better jobs and increased cognitive skills are clear and dramatic. Private college education is over $35,000 per year. A humanities-based education has great benefits, but it is not for everyone. The highest earning jobs for both high school and college grads are in STEM. Statistics from U.S. Department of Labor show that STEM professionals’ starting salary is between $50,000 and $80,000 and liberal arts degrees are $40,000 or less.

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This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If Maryland taxpayers are paying over $35,000 per family for the Kirwan Commission request, I hope more thought will be given to curriculum and how this money will be allocated.

Blake Goldsmith, Baltimore

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