Categories Op/Ed

Letter to the Editor: America Needs to Take Education More Seriously

For more than a decade, China has been on a U.S. government watch list because of abuses of intellectual property. News reports tell of the theft of research by the Chinese or of the requirement that foreign companies doing business in China reveal trade secrets. This may be changing.

President Barack Obama addressed a problem in preparing American students and stated that they must “move from the middle to the top of the pack in science and math.” There are signs that we are slowly getting there, but China is racing ahead.

American graduate programs in the sciences are increasingly being populated by foreign students, including those from China, India and South Korea. So it is possible that in the future we may need to steal intellectual property from the Chinese.

In 1957, Russia launched the first sputnik and we feared the intellectual power of Russia. Not only did the United States meet the Russian challenge, but we exceeded it. We took education more seriously 60 years ago.

Today, education in China is serious business; today, education in the U.S. must compete with sports and entertainment. Mirroring society, whole sections and sometimes the front page of newspapers feature sports and entertainment while a few times a month students who excel academically are featured with an article. Often, top students excel in spite of, not because of, what we consider important.

If losing a trade war to China is bad, think how much worse it will be to lose a brain war.

CAROL WOLFORD

West Donegal Township

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