There is one common thread that runs through the three main problems with our public education system. The three main problems are: the administrators, the teachers, and the students. The common thread is the desire to win. If we could just change this one thing, we could actually reform our public education system and establish some momentum on the path back to worldwide competitiveness.
The enemy of the desire to win is entitlement. Our students feel entitled to a good life without having to work for it, our teachers feel entitled to their jobs without performance measures, and our administrators...well they are so deep in their own goo that they have not thought about actually fixing education for over a decade.
We can do this the easy way or the hard way. The easy way is to open the immigration floodgates and import the desire to win. Sure the contra argument is that freeloaders would come in with the tide -- just to get our awesome healthcare. But they will be a tiny minority. The rest will be energetic, motivated, people with the desire to improve themselves and their position. This is not an original thought and it worked for our country for its entire history -- save the last 50 years or so.
Thomas Friedman's column today absolutely nails this point. In it he cleverly lists the names of the finalists for the Intel Science Talent Search - which even the most ardent anti race profiler cannot help but admit hail from points east from here.
These amazing people all share two traits -- they came to America to change their stars, and they have an insatiable desire to win. If we could only get more of them.