Jul 30, 2003
The Indian edge in education
Ram Narayanan is a US citizen of Indian origin whose mission is to improve relations between India and the US. He sends his newsletter to a small chosen group.
One of the links he sent us recently, had to do with the emerging, spreading trend of Asians doing better than Americans in core sciences. He cited an article by Fred Reed. Insofar as it is possible to tell from a photograph and a blurb, one can’t be more hard core American than Fred Reed. And Fred says, “Asians make up a small percent of the population, yet there are company directories in Silicon Valley that read like a New Delhi phone book”. Why? “They’re smart, they go into the sciences”.
Fred thinks American education is crawling with teachers who can’t spell or do math. He says forty years ago when a student arrived at a US college, it was assumed he was proficient in algebra . Then sometime thereafter the entry bar was lowered. There are now ‘remedial classes’ at universities not only for math but also for reading. Fred calls this, “enstupidation of education”. And moans that it is not therefore a surprise that “the United States contracts out its technical thinking to Asia.”