Growing national competition and a changing job market has increased the focus of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education in Washington state.

According to Washington Stem, Washington state ranks first in the country when it comes to the concentration of STEM jobs, but 46th when it comes to students enrolled in science and education graduate programs. Between 2012 and 2017, 30,000 jobs in Washington are estimated to remain unfilled because of lack of skills in STEM.

In order to inspire more interest in STEM, the League of Education Voters (LEV) supports expanding the number of Washington students taking Algebra by 8th grade. Completing Algebra in 8th grade puts students on the right track to take higher levels of math, which directly correlates with success in college, college graduation, and future employment.

LEV also supports the implementation of Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS). A product of 26 states, including the University of Washington’s Institute for Science + Math Education, NGSS works to provide high quality science education for American K–12 students.