Two decades after the bold concept of these specialized high schools was hatched, they are demonstrating their worth
By now, the gruesome statistics have made it clear that primary and secondary science and math education in the United States is in bad shape, with youngsters manifesting what many officials consider an ominous combination of ineptitude and disinterest:

* The nation ranks 14th among developed countries in terms of students' ability to perform advanced algebra.

* Korean schoolchildren solve complex math problems four times faster than do U.S. pupils.

* A survey of college-bound U.S. high school students revealed that a mere 1 percent were planning to major in math or the physical sciences.

* Meanwhile, the National Science Foundation, in a controversial report, has predicted that within two decades the U.S. will be suffering a shortage of more than 600,000 scientists.

Such statistics have convinced Massachusetts state senator Arthur E....

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