School subjects are highly valued because they offer important skills and knowledge, which allows students to be awarded status. Mathematics and science are two subjects that are often observed as difficult. They are subjects that require a tremendous amount of effort because the more you practice mathematical and scientific skills; the more successful you are in these subjects. The language arts and social studies also require a tremendous amount of effort. Today, high status careers in the health and engineering fields require mathematics and science knowledge and skills.
When you look at teacher shortage areas, it is often in mathematics and science. These subjects are not interesting to many people because they are hard and they take away too much of their free time, but when the economy enters a recession, people are willing to do anything to stay employed to provide for themselves and their families. Many of the careers that are available require these classes at the college level. This is why there is a push for mathematics and science achievement.
The Oakland Press: Letter to the Editor - August 26, 2013