Column: Olympic effort needed for education

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 1 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

Our take: While students in America struggle in their academics, not only Olympians but athletes in general find greater success through healthy competition to be better.

This spring, the Council on Foreign Relations warned in a new report that the United States has failed to adequately prepare kids to compete globally, a problem that the authors said was a threat to our national security. Now imagine what would happen if the U.S. Olympic Committee came out and said American athletes were so poorly prepared they wouldn't even compete in key Olympic events, let alone win medals. We'd be furious and insist on a national effort to turn the problem around.

Perhaps even more disturbing than our current standing is the direction in which we appear to be headed. Kids from other countries have overtaken our students. Germany, Luxembourg and Hungary, for example, were all ranked below the U.S. in math in 2000 but outperformed our kids in 2009.

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