Andres Oppenheimer: U.S. ignores math tournament that captivated viewers in Asia
In recent days, following President Barack Obama's announcement that he plans to create an elite teachers corps that will pay professors of math and science an extra $20,000 a year, many Latin American educators stressed that without economic incentives and greater academic requirements, it will be hard to attract good teachers for Latin American schools.
My opinion: In the growing East vs. West battle for the best academic standards, we in the media share a large of responsibility for not putting education at the top of the public agenda.
There is nothing wrong with massive press coverage of the London Olympics. But when we focus our entire attention on sports competitions and virtually ignore math tournaments, we create only one kind of role models, and fail to glorify those who are the most likely to make the scientific discoveries that can improve our living standards or conquer diseases. It's time to glorify Olympic math champions, just as we glorify Olympic swimmers.
Andres Oppenheimer is a Latin America correspondent for the Miami Herald. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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