Thursday, September 02, 2004

A bright future ... in Europe

President Bush, in his Republican National Convention speech tonight, promised to improve science and math education if he's elected to another term:

    In this time of change, most new jobs are filled by people with at least two years of college, yet only about one in four students gets there. In our high schools, we will fund early intervention programs to help students at risk. We will place a new focus on math and science. As we make progress, we will require a rigorous exam before graduation.
Many U.S. educators and science policymakers have warned that the sorry state of science education in this country will eventually come back to bite us in an inability to compete with Europe and Asia.

Corporate leaders in the United States understand this, too, and that's why you're seeing more labs open up overseas. Nani Beccalli, president of Europe, Middle East and Africa for General Electric Co., said it succinctly this past June when GE opened its new technology center in Germany:

    "This facility will allow us to take advantage of the great intellectual capital and high education standards in Europe, particularly in the fields of science and technology, and it is a tangible sign of our long-term commitment to grow in this market."
GE may be as American as Thomas Edison, but it also knows where the future might appear brighter.

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