I opened my Times the other morning (May 24) and read two seemingly unrelated items that in fact pose an issue in bold relief.
One was the controversy in the letters column about ethnic and sex balance on Los Angeles high school scholar teams. The other was on the business page and was entitled, "Japan Seen 'Overtaking' U.S. in '85."
America has long had a tradition of putting down scholars as "nerds" or whatever the pejorative term was at the time. The perpetrators of the ethnic and sex balance edict are only perpetuating that tradition.
Enter the concern about Japan overtaking us economically. Do you think the Japanese have any ambivalence about academic excellence? No way! And that is why they're overtaking us.