AP just put this report out, and they had all kinds of reasons why we are lagging behind in the sciences.
It is interesting, because I just attended a conference about the arts and music / brain development, and there has been some evidence that if we immerse children in music and the arts they do better on tests.
Is it just a coincidence that with the last eight years of budget cuts of the arts we are now doing worse in the sciences? Forget all the various tightly controlled studies, le'ts take a macro perspective and look at the trends.
One thing we fail to study or look at in terms of correlation, is the effect the arts have on our children's self-esteem. Are we increasing the likelihood of depression as we take out these art classes from schools? We know that arts and music are a fabulous form of creative express, and when done properly can have a great therapuetic benefit and build confidence.
I wonder why people making decisions on curriculum / where to cut budgets don't see this research and consider the overall affect and training creative arts (music, drawing, etc.) has on the brain, not just from an educational sense but from an emotional too.