by Gary Beach

Ask Not What Your Country Can Do For You……

Nov 16, 20073 mins

….but what can you do for your country?

Here’s an idea: join the National Science/Math Advisor Corps (NSMAC).


A little background first.

Five years ago 3 percent of CIOs said IT labor was hard to find. Today the number approaches 40 percent. There’s a huge debate raging in our country on how many undergraduates our education system of 2,600 colleges and universities produce each year. I have been in – and out – of that debate because I often find it a battle of numbers and stats…with each side (those who say our system produces too many degrees and those who say we fall far short) stocked to the gills with stats, data defending their side.

NSMAC is a tack in a different direction….the direction of action rather than debate.

Across America there are 13,500 school districts. An alarming statistic in those districts is this: on average 40 percent, and sometimes more, of teachers of science and math from middle school level through high school do not have undergraduate degrees in those subject areas….and in my opinion as a father of two children who went through public education here in Massacushetts those math and science teachers are doing a damm good job.

But they could use a bit of help….and that’s where NSMAC comes in.

NSMAC is an “idea” whose goal is to annually recruit thousands of recent college graduates with science/math/engineering degrees and currently employed tech workers(also with undergraduate degrees in science/math) to serve as science/math advisors to each of those 13,500 school districts.

The term of service for college grads would be two years. For private employers willing to lend/lease a talented employed worker, the term would be one year. Private employer members of NSMAC would continue to receive salary/benefits from their firm and they can decide after one year of service to re-up for an additional year.

As advisors, NSMAC corps members would work for the superindendent of the district. Their key goals would be to review district level curriculum, recommend supplemental programs, organize science/math teacher workshops in the district etc. One hoped for outcome would be a sizable number of NSMAC advisors each year would “opt in” for careers in science/math education to help jumpstart our nation’s math/science learning.

The key provision of this post is you……what’s your initial reaction to the idea? If there were such a program like NSMAC, and your company supported it, would you be willing to serve? If yes, share your reasons. If not, why not?

Post your top of mind comments to this blog. Spread the word of NSMAC to as many of your friends and other sites as you can. If interested, email me ( or call me direct (508 935 4202). I would much enjoy carrying this conversation and idea forward.

Collectively I believe there is alot our industry can “do for our country”.

Post your comment, spread the word….call/write me with your ideas.