Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A note on a connection between immigration and science

There is a heated discussion about how changes in immigration policy can affect science and engineering in the U.S.
1. Trying to STOP the influx of illegal immigrants by putting in place more and more restrictions of any kind is the same as trying to stop alcohol drinking by installing The Prohibition Law.
NEVER gonna work – due to the same reasons – human nature.
It’s like a drug trafficking will only end when those people who use drugs will stop using it, or all drugs will be legalized - but instead of drug consumers we should talk about business owners who hire those illegals (BTW: do you happen to know why?)
2. Thinking that putting in place more and more restrictions of any kind will STOP the influx of illegal immigrants is just na├»ve; it is a form of self–lying. In reality it will only lead to more sophisticated forms of corruption (again – have you heard of The Prohibition?).
3. The true problem with scientists, and engineers, and doctors is not related to immigration AT ALL – thinking that is also a form of self–lying; or deflecting an attention from an actual problem – which is: the U.S. just does not produce any more enough scientists, and engineers, and doctors.
For example, quote: “Nearly a half of PhD aerospace engineers, over 65% of PhD computer scientists, and nearly 80% of PhD industrial and manufacturing engineers were born abroad.”
We all know that America is a country of immigrants.
And America must stay an open to people who want to live and work in the Country.
We just need to remember that any large disbalance (like a trade deficit, or an intellectual deficit) is a potential danger to the country - might lead to such big changes like electing Donald Trump.

Wanna makew a difference? Be different!

Do you want to make a difference?
If you do, the first step is to be different!
But what does it mean - to be different?
Would be painting your hair in pink enough?
That depends.
To be seen as a different person - that would have been sufficient.
To make a mark in somebody's life - probably not.
Wanna make a difference?
Be different with your yesterday's self!
Help others be different!
Start teaching!
Learn something new!
Help to make a change!
Watch! Listen! Read! Think! Conclude! Write! Act!
A tale say that a Greek philosopher Diogenes (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diogenes) used to walk "carrying a lamp in the daytime, claiming to be looking for an honest man."

"He believed that virtue was better revealed in action than in theory." 
First, this is a tale. Second, the word" honest" might have had many different meanings. If we try to rephrase Diogenes today, we would say something like: "Smart, direct, tough, fair."
Everyone who considers himself or herself to be such a person should seek other smart, direct, tough, and fair people to join forces in resisting any negative social tendencies.
And there are many.
For example, David Brooks wrote recently in The New-York Times (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/21/opinion/this-century-is-broken.html?_r=0): "Fifty-seven percent of white males who have dropped out (of searching for a job V.V.) get by on some form of government disability check. About half of the men who have dropped out take pain medication on a daily basis. A survey in Ohio found that over one three-month period, 11 percent of Ohioans were prescribed opiates. One in eight American men now has a felony conviction on his record."
No wander there are so many people who feel depressed and helpless.
Trump and his team brilliantly uses it against ALL the people (https://teachologyforall.blogspot.com/2017/02/4s.html).

If we want to make a difference, we need to unite.
And we need to be smart!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Please, Post Your Comments!

For everyone who would like to post a comment there are several options:
the first and the easiest one is just scroll down to a comment box and leave a comment.
But you are also welcome to use my Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn account:
Thank you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An Open Letter to Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Chuck Schumer, and Senator Al Franken

An Open Letter to 
Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, 
Senator Chuck Schumer, and Senator Al Franken
Before reading the letter, I would recommend to watch a 4-minute video “What Could Liberals Learn From Physics?” https://youtu.be/OwzKlFpIt_E (the transcript is at www.GoMars.xyz/FS.html)
According to The Atlantic (and other media) on 02/19/2017 in Melbourne, Florida, Donald Trump started his 2020 reelection campaign (https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2017/02/trump-kicks-off-his-2020-reelection-campaign-on-saturday/516909/).
Reaching out directly to constituents is nothing new, of course. Every politician does it. 
The point the media miss is that with the constant use of Twitter, regularly issuing provocative statements which ignite extensive media coverage, and with regular rallies, Donald Trump and his advisers have brought this political tool to a completely new level (at least in the U.S.). Trump does not have much of a support from his own party, and by reaching out directly to people, he manages to put a pressure on local and state officials of all sorts (and Trump must keep his supporters in the state of excitement, or he will lose them).
Among extreme examples of such reaching out directly to people, we can mention the Cultural Revolution which happened in China (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cultural_Revolution). When the then-leader Mao Zedong was on a brink of being pushed out of the power, he appealed directly to the Chinese young people, asked them to form militia, and paralyzed the country for ten years.
Probably, America should not worry about running into such an extreme social disaster as the Cultural Revolution, but there are core American values which are at risk of being watered down, or even dissolved (such us the freedom of speech, checks and balances within governing institutions, trustful media).
For everyone who has even the slightest concern about the future of the Country, David Frum’s article “How To Build an Autocracy” in The Atlantic should be a must-read one (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/03/how-to-build-an-autocracy/513872/).
In part, Frum cites words “written more than 200 years ago to explain the most important safeguard of the American constitutional system: “Ambition must be made to counteract ambition”.”
That is exactly what Democrats and all progressivists have not been able to produce to counteract Trump’s team.
Dear Senators Sanders, Warren, Schumer, and Franken.
Unfortunately, each of you alone is not strong enough to successfully spar with Trump, but four of you together may present a formidable counter-force to his current media domination. You are respected politicians; your names are nationally recognized. The hope is that when you start leading the “resistance” (quoting Bill Maher), eventually Democrats will be able to present to the American people a smart, and charismatic (and, hopefully, young) person, who will be able to consolidate all the progressives. 
But that is just a hope; the time for thinking about the next Presidential elections has not come yet. 
The immediate goal is to mobilize the forces, to direct the actions by giving activists clear goals, and to win back the Congress. There is no time for waiting.  This fight had to begin on November 9, 2016, but still is dormant. Inside party maneuvering, reshuffling the same people between the same chairs is the recipe for a failure.
The first thing you have to do is to accept the fact that the top Democrats f@$ed up the elections. You have to tell people that the top-level Democrats made big mistakes, that Hillary Clinton and her team made mistakes, that you made mistakes. But you will use those mistakes to learn from them, and to regenerate the party, and to re-energize the people.
You cannot follow the same path Hillary Clinton and her team followed in 2016.
Right after Trump became the nominee, it was clear (for those who could see) that the social landscape was drastically different from what Clinton’s advisers thought. But their arrogance made them blind; they kept using the same old “playbook”, and they lost.
Winning the popular vote and losing the White House does not make the situation better; it actually makes it worse. 
There is only one silver lining in this loss. If Clinton had won, the Democratic party might had been stagnating for at least four more years. Now, after a slap in the face (well, a hit in the face), the party has only to choices; become obsolete, or reform itself on the march.
I hope, you see that the old methods and approaches to build the movement, to lead the party have not worked, and will not work, because they have been developed for a situation which is in the past, and will not come back any soon (more on this later).
Basically, you have to invent new methods and new approaches to build the movement, to lead the party, to help rise to the top new people. 
In the meantime, four of you have to build a progressive media firewall.
For each Trump’s rally, you have to organize at least four of yours. For each Trump’s media outburst, you have to fire up at least four media eruptions. 
Do not wait for an approval of your actions from anybody else; this is up to four of you (at least for now).
The good start for developing a new strategy would be just thinking of what would you do in the past, and do just the opposite (this, of course, is a hyperbole). For a while, you have to stop listening to the party officials, advisers, think tank intellectuals, etc. who you have been listening in the past. You need to find and gather people who have been giving away warnings about Trump since the beginning of his campaign. Then and only then you can call back some of the people who used to work for Hillary Clinton (because you do not want to repeat her mistake by listening only to people who tell you only what you want to hear).
You have to accept the fact that the approach “We are good – Trump is bad! We tell the truth – he is a liar! We care about you – he only cares about himself! We are for all people – he is racist!” etc. has not worked, and will not work.
You cannot honestly think that all people who voted for Trump are racist, or white supremacists, or poorly educated, or just hate Hillary Clinton. Hence, you need to know the hidden reasons underlying peoples’ choices, otherwise you and then all progressives will follow the Hillary Clinton’s fate. 
Here I begin the most important part of this letter.
We have to start from addressing a question: “How do people make decisions?”
For example, when you (or your child, or your friend, or your enemy) stand in Baskin Robbins (or Dunkin Donuts, or Burger King) staring at the menu trying to figure out what to order this time – do you make a decision?
The answer actually depends on what do you call a “decision”. 
Without deeping into a long discussion, let’s just say that in general, we – humans – make two types of decisions: rational decisions (a.k.a. logical, via a step-by-step reasoning), and “irrational” (a.k.a. intuitive, a.k.a. a guess, or a hunch). The ability to make rational decisions differs humans from other animals; take this ability away – and we will be no smarter than dolphins, or dogs, or monkeys, or cats. 
During a usual day, we do not make too many of rational decisions, because usually we do not have to. Usually, we just have to make choices which would not greatly affect our well-being, or our future.
When we are angry, or when we are happy, or when we are sad, or when we are stressed, we may not make the same choice which we would have made if we were calm and rational. 
The reaction which we call a choice, or a decision, is the result of the brain functions happening in our subconscious mind without our interference. Maybe, on average, we use about ten percent of our brain power for a logical reasoning. But that does not mean that other ninety percent do nothing. Our brain is constantly analyzing a huge amount of information to answer one single question: “What to do to survive?” (the strongest instinct of every healthy animal is self-preservation). Then our brain makes a choice for us, and places it into the logical part of it, so we would be able to articulate it (first of all – to ourselves). And then we start defending this “decision we had made” like we were actual authors of it.
Of course, the picture I just painted is very simplistic, but presents a good initial model of a human decision making process. 
And one more note: the stronger our emotions are, or the longer we experience those emotions, the more chance that we would not listen to any rationalization of our actions. We would tend just to react. There is a study which demonstrates that when people experience stress over a long period of time the brain chemistry changes (that is why doctors prescribe pills to help with depression). Disorientation is not just a psychological state, it is a state of a physical disjunction in a brain.
It does not mean, of course, that people become insane, but people become less influenced by logical arguments and more inclined to a simple emotional reaction to various stimuli.
If it involves massive numbers of people, it may lead to mass migrations (for example, Syrian refugees, but also the same reaction we can see regularly in animal world), or to following “a messiah”. 
For millions of Americans the past two decades are associated with a continuous state of stress. The fall of the Twin Towers, two wars, natural disasters, economic depression, job loss, social stagnation; these are only some of the major sources of a pressure on the society in general, and on the middle class in particular (one of the latest publications: http://nypost.com/2016/05/12/americas-middle-class-is-headed-toward-extinction/). The social and especially the economic environment has become very stressful for millions of Americans.
Ecologists know that a stressful change in the environment (like, a change in the average temperature, or average humidity) may lead to significant changes in the ecosystem (some species can even extinct like dinosaurs, or begin mass migration, or mutate). When due to any reasons species start experience the shortage of food, they start searching for the ways to adapt to the new situation. 
When in 2012, due to a harsh winter, the population of blue hares in Yakutia (Russia) suddenly dropped, “a "super pack" of 400 wolves laid siege to the remote town of Verkhoyansk, forcing locals to mount patrols on snow mobiles until the government could send in extra help” (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2016/03/15/wolf-attacks-lead-to-state-of-emergency-in-russias-siberia-regio/).
Whether we like it or not, our brain is wired in almost the same way as a wolf’s brain.
Of course, we experience much deeper emotions than just a hunger. But living in a constant fear of not being able to provide for a family, feeling day-after-day how the usual prosperity is slipping away like a sand through fingers, leads to a gradual transformation of the way people view the world and their position in it. We could say, that a longitudinal social stress leads to a psychological “mutation” of a large part of the population.
Millions of Americans expressed their frustration with the current state of social events and economic status. They have been forced to accept lower paid or less stable jobs. They feared that they would not be able to leave to their children better living conditions. They have been losing their savings. They felt like they lost a “game” called “life”. 
Trump and his team brilliantly used this massively spread psychological state.
Everyone wants and needs to be a part of a winning team. This need is growing with every day of feeling sad and lost. 
For millions of people, who have been feeling a stress so strong and for so long time, that they started disconnecting from a reality, Trump created a fictional reality. 
In that “reality” he was “a head of a winning team”, promising to everyone who joins “so much winning, you will get tired of winning”.
In fact, Trump and his advisers have not invented anything new. 
Trump, Bannon, and Inc. used the tactic which has been very well known for at least a century.
1. Make as many people as possible to feel as miserable as possible (“our Country is a disaster”).
2. INVENT enemies and blame on them everything bad, do not care about how illogical it might sound (liberals, immigrants, Muslims).
3. Present strong emotional passages, even if they do not make any sense (“You will get tired of winning”).
4. Promise anything, even if it is impossible (“We will build the wall and make Mexica to pay for it!”).
5. Embrace and bring to your team people who have no moral limits and who want only ONE thing – a three-headed dragon (money/fame/power).
6. Suppress any opposite views, or at least drown them in the ocean of misinformation (a.k.a. fake news)
This tactic is very old and well known for everyone who read Karl Marx or Vladimir Lenin; and had been successfully used to bring many former and current dictators into a power. Evidently, Clinton’s advisers have not read this literature (which makes them “a vanilla” of consulting). 
The tactic does not appeal to a logic, it does not offer rational approaches. Its main goal is basically to generate the atmosphere of excitement similar to the one sport fans feel on a stadium when their team has been losing until the last minutes but won in the end (a.k.a. Super Bowl LI). Everyone who experienced this feeling once, got “addicted” to it, and wants to feel it again; this feeling is like a drug (why else do sport conglomerates make billions?).
Donald Trump’s priority has been and always will be his own personal rating. 
That is why Trump has never cared and will never truly care about the meaning of the words he says or writes, because for millions of people the meaning of his words does not matter. They will support him no matter what he says, as long as he will make them feel as winners. 
And to feed the need to feel as winners Trump, Bannon and Inc. constantly create for them an “alternative realty” (some people would call it “disinformation”). 
Liberal media can point at Trump’s mistakes, leis, fictions as much as they can; liberal media can make fun of Trump as much as they can – that will not make any difference for people who support Trump.
Trump’s team brilliantly exploited everything they could to paint Hilary Clinton as a loser. Of course, the content of the “damn emails” never mattered. However, making Clinton explaining herself made her look defensive; and “winners do not look defensive” (unless they do, but who remembers that). And, of course, for rational people Benghazi or emails did not make any difference. But Trump was not appealing to rational people. He (or most probably Bannon) was counting on that the number of people in distress had risen and reached the critical mass. Clinton’s team did not see it. Trump won.
Dear Senators Sanders, Warren, Schumer, and Franken.
Your immediate goal should be creating and promoting a clear view of the “real reality”. It must be truthful, which makes your job harder than Trump’s. It also must be positive, energetic, winning! 
It will never be enough just to scream: “He lied!”, or “Look what he did!”, or to make fun of Trump’s Tweets or appearance. Firstly, this is also just a fog to deflect the attention from the actors hiding behind the fog (Bannon, and Inc.). Secondly, liberal media have to get out of the bubble and finally start reaching out to non-liberal audience. Thirdly, your media actions need to be such that even Fox news channel could not avoid talking about them on a regular basis.
You have no much time to get prepared. You have to start acting now. Many people who voted for Hilary Clinton, have been feeling like now the Atlanta Falcons fans are feeling, and may soon become so dissatisfied with the Democratic party that will be lost (will become politically inactive).
As a “dictator-in-the-making”, everything “bad for the Country” Trump will blame on the opposition, and everything “good for the Country” Trump will attribute to himself. Your task will be to counteract Trump’s team and to offer people the actual facts (David Frum has more on this).
And one last note: please, tell your supporters, and then remind them once in a while, that if they just act on emotions without giving some rational thinking to their actions, they are no different from people who support Donald Trump. Trump’s team outsmarted Clinton’s team. Do not let his team to outsmart you.
Good luck.
Dr. Valentin Voroshilov
P.S. A special word to Senator Bernie Sanders
Dear Senator. You have been speaking about the need for a political revolution all along. Well, now you have a second chance to lead it. Turns out, before revolutionizing the Country you need to revolutionize the Democratic party
P.P.S. Dear Senators, please, keep in mind that if the Democrats will not take the Congress back, it will be your fault.
P.P.P.S. Please, feel free to leave your comments! I have a blog where you can find a comment box 

Below is an actual comment left at

“Keeping the West weak is to their advantage.” Trump is not to blame for the economic or military obligations this country faces today. All of these were created and put into place by previous administrations, career politicians and Washington insiders who profit from the actions of the military industrial complex and its perpetual largely ineffective “nation building” schemes that began at the end of the second world war and continue to this day under the supervision of both political parties.
Trump is not and should be expected to perpetuate those expensive failed policies. He should concentrate and building up the strength of our military, while at the same time avoiding engaging us in any avoidable new conflicts. In short, he should walk softly and carry a big stick.
Many people do not like Trump because he looks like a wolf. FYI, a sheepdog looks like a wolf to a sheep. But ironically it is the genetic similarly between the wolf and sheepdog and the teeth of the sheepdog in particular that allow him to fight off the wolf when necessary.
Trump is a sheepdog whose bark and bite may ultimately prove very uncomfortable for Putin should he take any offensive actions against the USA and so I strongly suspect that Putin has more respect for Trump than that the paranoid sheep recognize.
Time will tell, but I strongly suspect that Trump will do a wonderful job of keeping his flock safe.

This comment perfectly represents the sentiments of a common Trump supporter. No logic. Outburst of emotions. Arguing with this type of a person would be the same as arguing with a patient of an Alzheimer clinic.
The main theme is shown in the end – “I want to feel safe” (meaning, this person has not been feeling safe for a long time). “Trump makes me feel safe”. The rest is just self-justification.  
Many liberal pundits have not noticed this stressful emotional state of many Trump supporters, they just bluntly called those people "basket of deplorables". We all know the result.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Why do Science Teachers Leave a School?

“Why do science teachers leave a school?”

Numbers Say: The High School Physics Teachers Shortage Will Be Fixed In 130 Years.

According to this report

in 2013 about 40 % of high school students took a physics course.

According to this source

in 2013 there were close to 16,000,000 high school students in the U.S. That would give about 4,000,000 graduates. Forty percent of this number is equal to 1,600,000 students.

The more accurate number is 1,400,000; in 2013 this many high school students were enrolled in a physics course (thank you David Meltzer for finding out this information: see Appendix I).

Let’s use a very conservative estimation.

Let’s assume that each class had 30 students, and one teacher was teaching four classes. That gives us about 11,666 physics teachers.

According to PhysTec coalition

only 1/3 of all high school physics teachers have a degree in physics or physics education.

Which means, high schools need to hire about 7,777 properly prepared high school physics teachers.

 According again to PhysTec coalition, the members of the coalition gradate about 60 teachers per a year.

Keeping this pace, we need to wait for about 130 years until every high school in the U.S. will have a highly qualified physics teachers.

Please, note: we only talk here about a high school level, only about physics, and only about 40 % of students!
Adding middle school science teachers and including all students would quadruple the number.

Clearly, whatever PhysTec coalition is doing, will not help us to solve the problems of a science teachers shortage.

The problem even deepens if we take into an account the fact that many teachers do not stay in schools for a long time.

The Guardian says,

that too many of teachers leave the profession, and too few qualified professionals go into the profession.

If we assume that our calculations are correct, and The Guardian is right, the focus has to be shifted from teacher preparation to teacher retention and professional development of in-service teachers.

The next natural question to ask is why do teachers leave a school?

In the context of this publishing we should rephrase the question to: “Why do science teachers leave a school?”

What do we do these days when we need to find an answer to a question?

Of course!

We Google it!

But what does it mean if even Google does not have an answer?

It simply means there is no data on this matter; no one publishes on this matter; no one study this matter.

I could have been speculating and offering my own opinions, but why would anyone take my speculations seriously?

That is why I just stop here.

But if anyone would like to share their thoughts, please just post your comment!

“Why do science teachers leave a school?”

Appendix I
From David Meltzer 
On the number of high school students taking physics
Susan White and Casey Langer Tesfaye, High School Physics Courses & Enrollments: Results from the 2012­13 Nationwide Survey of High School Physics Teachers (AIP, College Park,
MD, 2014). Available at: https://www.aip.org/statistics/reports/high­school­physics­courses­ enrollments­0
High School Physics Courses & Enrollments | American ... www.aip.org
This report examines enrollments in high school physics during the 2012­13 school year.
Appendix II
From Jane Jackson
Why do teachers leave? Teacher morale has plummeted in recent years, with educators saying that school reform has made them the scapegoat for problems in public education.
According to a Sept. 2016 report by the Learning Policy Institute at Stanford University, most teachers who leave do so because of dissatisfaction ­­ ranging from physical conditions such as class sizes, facilities, and classroom resources ‹ to unhappiness with administrative practices, such as lack of support, classroom autonomy, or input to decisions ‹ to policy issues, such as the effects of testing and accountability. Assessments & accountability measures are the biggest dissatisfactions.
Reducing attrition by half could virtually eliminate shortages.
Fewer people are entering teacher preparation programs. Enrollments are down 35 percent and graduates dropped by 23 percent between 2009 and 2014.
Download the full report (Sept. 2016) at

From me:
Jane Jackson makes a good point. Still, would be useful to see the ranking (!) of the factors of the teacher dissatisfaction. Also, the reports (one of which is this https://learningpolicyinstitute.org/product/solving-teacher-shortage) do not go beyond recommendation which have been offered in many previous reports and document. If those recommendations had not worked in the past, why would they suddenly start working this time? 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

What Would Businesses Do if No Foreign Students Could Come In the Country Anymore?

What Would Businesses Do if No Foreign Students Could Come In the Country Anymore?
In the 02/10/2017 issue, the Boston Globe printed a piece about prospective foreign students and the change in the mood they started to have (see the picture).
As soon as the ban was issued, many industry leaders expressed a strong opposition to it (e.g. http://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinanderton/2017/02/07/the-businesses-against-president-trumps-travel-ban-infographic/#1513a0353867).
On February 5, 2017 several large tech companies filed an Amicus Brief (https://app.box.com/s/09dvucfviag1zlwzekupts084xzc8j5g), which says, in part, that the ban: “makes it more difficult and expensive for U.S. companies to recruit, hire, and retain some of the world’s best employees”.
It is not difficult to understand the worry the businesses and companies have, because a large part of the employment force they have comes from graduates who have foreign origins.
However, when the industry leaders say, that all they want is to be able to have the top talent from all over the world, they do not say the whole truth.
The truth is that currently a large part of the U.S. industry is not just looking for the top talent, but is “addicted” to professionals with a foreign origin, in a similar way it – the industry – was not long time ago addicted to the foreign oil. The truth is that without professionals with a foreign origin many industries would be on a brink of collapsing, or at least of a severe downsizing.
It is not a news that businesses are in a great need for a highly professional workforce. “According to a 2016 survey of 400 employers from across Massachusetts, 75% said that it was difficult to find people with the right skills to hire in Massachusetts.” “Respondents find deficiencies in the readiness of new hires, not just in “applied skills” like teamwork, critical thinking and communications, but also in simple reading, writing, and math.” These were quotes from a 2016 MassINC Polling Group report, done for Massachusetts Business Roundtable (http://www.mbae.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/FINAL-Report-2016-MBAE-Employer-Poll-for-web.pdf).
Businesses have to turn to graduates with a foreign origin simply because U.S. colleges do not produce enough graduates with degrees in STEM-related fields.
“The number of U.S. citizens and permanent residents earning graduate degrees in science and engineering fell 5 percent in 2014 from its peak in 2008. At the same time, the number of students on temporary visas earning the same degrees soared by 35 percent” (from http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-05-17/more-stem-degrees-going-to-foreign-students).
“Nearly a half of PhD aerospace engineers, over 65% of PhD computer scientists, and nearly 80% of PhD industrial and manufacturing engineers were born abroad.”
Out recent search for a laboratory manager position attracted a large number of prospective candidates.
The positions requires  masters degree, but many applicants have a PhD which they got in the U.S., but after getting the masters in their own country. 
This explains why many industry and business leaders are looking for the ways to lowering barriers for graduates with a student visa preventing them from staying in the U.S.
However, there is no similar attention to the root of the problem, i.e. the low number “of U.S. citizens and permanent residents earning graduate degrees in science and engineering”.
Imagine just for the moment that the Trump administration did find a way to close the borders in such a way that many prospective foreign students got scared and decided not to go in the U.S. Imagine the worst-case scenario; we all know that despite the best efforts there is a chance for a terrorist to conduct a terror attack on the U.S. soil. If that would happen, the general mood in the country could quickly swing toward the toughening all restrictions for crossing the borders.
Without an access to a pool of graduates with a foreign origin, industry and business leaders would have turn to U.S. citizens and permanent residents for filling up many empty professional positions. And then they would find out that U.S. colleges and universities just do not produce the sufficient number of graduates!
And its’ not like no one knew the problem.
Since 1957 (i.e. since the launch of the Sputnik 1) the U.S. system of education has been in a state of a permanent reformation.
The question which industry and business leaders should ask: “Why the Hell after 60 years of reforming education we still cannot rely on our own graduates?” (clearly, in this sentence, to stress my point I used an exaggeration).
It is one thing, if you have 100 vacancies, and you have 100 applicants of a foreign origin, and 100 “domestic” applicants. In this case – yes – you are searching for the best talent. But when you have 100 vacancies, 100 applicants of a foreign origin, and 0 qualified “domestic” applicants – it is a clear sign that the system is broken.
Obviously, we have to make a conclusion that so far the methods used at all levels of the government and philanthropy to reform education have not worked. If those methods have not worked for such a long period of time, there is not much of a hope they will miraculously start working tomorrow.
Maybe, industry and business leaders should not wait until the hypothetical border tightening becomes real, and start rethinking their strategies and approaches related to education, because otherwise the shortage in the highly professional workforce can bring a heavy damage to the U.S. economy.
We must make U.S. intellectually independent from importing foreign professionals. We need to treat intellectual health of a country with the same level of urgency we treat physical health of the country. We need to set a goal: to break the U.S. dependence on the foreign intellectuals (in the way the U.S. has become practically independent from the foreign oil). Only then we can say that the U.S. companies truly search for the best talent.