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In a year where there isnt much bipartisanship, one area where both democrats and republicans find common

ground is education reform. According to the 2006 Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) comparison, American students ranked 21st out of 30 in science literacy and 25th out of 30 in math literacy among students from developed countries. According to James M. Gentile, Ph.D., President and CEO of Research Corporation for Science Advancement, President Obama is rightly making [science, technology, engineering, mathematics] STEM education a high priority. I couldnt agree more. So when Governor Rick Scott states I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees...so that when they get out of school, they can get a job, Floridians shouldnt just view his proposal as common sense, but as something that both sides of the isle can get on board with. Even the White House has launched its own Educate to Innovate campaign, where its goal is to improve the participation and performance of Americas students in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). According to an article by Reuters, manufacturing companies such as Motorola, Caterpillar, and Siemens are having difficulty filling positions as more than half of those positions require STEM-related skills. Therefore, with all of this information on hand, you would think that we could all agree that something needs to be done. Unfortunately, however, the Florida Democratic Party is doing everything it can to push an allout smear campaign against someone who agrees with President on the importance of STEM. Governor Rick Scott has proposed many common sense reforms; including paying instructors more based on class size. As a student at the second largest university in the nation, I am sure that many professors with classes over 900 students would welcome this proposal. Instructors could also earn an annual bonus as high as $10,000 if rated high enough on student satisfaction surveys. All of this to get the conversation going," Scott told the Orlando Sentinel. All of these common sense reforms come down to paying high-performing faculty more. This concept not new as it is found in the real world, outside of the education arena. Employees in the private sector are subjected to job performance reviews and are compensated according to the results. They are often paid bonuses for high performance. Even the interim Chair for the UCF Department of Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, Essam Radwan said "We need to replenish the number of scientists in this country and compete with science in China and India and Brazil." According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Florida has gained 110,300 private sector jobs. Moreover, Governor Rick Scott just announced on October 31st that, Boeing will manufacture and test its Crew Space Transportation-100 (CST-100) spacecraft and locate its Commercial Crew program headquarters at Kennedy Space Center (KSC). Boeing expects to create 140 jobs in Florida by June 2013 and 550 by December 2015.

However, the question remains, who will fill those good-paying jobs? Will these jobs be filled by U.S. scientists, engineers, and mathematicians or will they be filled by non-U.S. professionals?