Monday, February 26, 2007

In case you missed it...
Bill Gates writes about innovation, education, and how to keep America competitive.
from The Washington Post

Mr. Gates writes that "Innovation is the source of U.S. economic leadership and the foundation for our competitiveness in the global economy. ....
But our status as the world's center for new ideas cannot be taken for granted. Other governments are waking up to the vital role innovation plays in competitiveness....if we are to remain competitive, we need a workforce that consists of the world's brightest minds."

He goes on to say that,"Two steps are critical. First, we must demand strong schools so that young Americans enter the workforce with the math, science and problem-solving skills they need to succeed in the knowledge economy. We must also make it easier for foreign-born scientists and engineers to work for U.S. companies."

Yes to all of the above Mr. Gates, but literacy comes first, before numeracy, before critical thinking. And innovation demands both critical and creative thinking skills, skills fostered by studying, understanding, and analyzing literature, music,and the arts. To be able to think critically and creatively, to become an innovator, one must have time to absorb, reflect, and play--that kind of time is now rare in young people's lives both in home and at school.
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