Who Cares Whether Johnny Knows Science?

Economic growth depends on having top-flight researchers, not on meeting the general technical standard of the school population

3 min read

We expect too much of education, and that is why we blame it for nearly everything that goes wrong. To every initiative touting education as a silver bullet, there comes failure and the inevitable school-bashing reaction. Economic growth often figures in the debate, for virtually every national development plan emphasizes education as an economic investment, and virtually every school-reform movement stirs up fears of ”a nation at risk” to gain support for its program.

This rhetoric has escalated. It is no longer enough to educate more people. Our schools now must also meet world-class standards—above all, in the teaching of mathematics and science education. The reason, we are told, is that the better a country’s children do in these subjects, the faster its economy will grow. This assertion is the cornerstone of much educational policy throughout the world.

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Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

His pivot from defense helped a tiny tuning-fork prevent SUV rollovers and plane crashes

11 min read
Asad Madni and the Life-Saving Sensor

In 1992, Asad M. Madni sat at the helm of BEI Sensors and Controls, overseeing a product line that included a variety of sensor and inertial-navigation devices, but its customers were less varied—mainly, the aerospace and defense electronics industries.

And he had a problem.

The Cold War had ended, crashing the U.S. defense industry. And business wasn’t going to come back anytime soon. BEI needed to identify and capture new customers—and quickly.

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