Readers Write: Where are the American prodigies?

Letters to the Editor for the April 7, 2014 weekly magazine:

If it weren't for immigrants America would be in sad shape. Too many 'natives' are more interested in texting, celebrities, sports heroes, fighting over abortion and contraceptive rights, and denying global warming and evolution than promoting and improving education.

Many US colleges are funded by American taxpayers, and their first responsibility is to educate, inspire, and create opportunity for American youth. Should we be focusing on finding foreign talent, rather than recruiting and developing the talent of our own youth?

By , Monitor reader , Monitor reader

Where are the American prodigies?

Regarding the Feb. 24 cover story, "Finding tomorrow's prodigies": Look around and you will see that the professional community in the United States is increasingly made up of recent immigrants: doctors, scientists, engineers, and more. They come here from China, India, Pakistan, and other countries to be trained in our universities because we have the best in the world. Many stay to take advantage of the good living conditions.

If it weren't for these immigrants we would be in sad shape. Too many American adults and students are more interested in texting, computer games, celebrities, sports heroes, fighting over abortion and contraceptive rights, and denying global warming and evolution than promoting and improving education.

We are stagnating, going backward, instead of fostering an educational environment in which we could produce our own American prodigies.

Recommended: Clara Schumann: Five ingredients for a child prodigy (+video)

I love sports, too, and enjoy TV, but we as a nation need to start paying more attention to the acquisition of knowledge and improving the world standing for our secondary students who are the future of America.

Carlyle W. Westlund

Middleburg, Pa.

It's a wonderful thing that US colleges are making online courses available to young people all over the world. But many US colleges are funded by American taxpayers, and their first responsibility is to educate, inspire, and create opportunity for American youth. Should we be focusing on finding foreign talent, rather than recruiting and developing the talent of our own youth?

I'd be far more impressed to read stories of how US colleges had discovered and recruited talented youth from our black, Hispanic, native American, and poor white communities. I realize this is a greater challenge, but these young people are our responsibility. I'm less impressed with the discovery of foreign "prodigies."

When it comes to prodigies, America needs to learn to make its own.

Jonette Christian

Holden, Maine

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