Overheard – CUNY President Matthew Goldstein

It seems as though CUNY President Matthew Goldstein has a few major concerns about education in India and China. You might think Mr. Goldstein would be concerned that poor nations like India and China might require assistance from wealthy nations like the US to improve teaching and learning. You might even think that Mr. Goldstein’s principal concern was outsourcing of jobs in valuable economic sectors. Not quite. It seems Mr. Goldstein believes Indian and Chinese graduates in the sciences constitute a national security threat to the United States of America. So much for education leaders advocating academic excellence for all.

Less than 30 years ago, America’s Black population constituted a threat to national security. Today, this “threat” is the single most incarcerated national population anywhere in the world.

It’s no wonder that math and science labs are underfunded or non-existent in America’s majority Black schools. The fate of a nation hangs in the balance. It seems that America’s problem is compounded by Asian students outperforming whites in math and science. To many analysts, the die has been cast. Asians have established a performance level that will not soon be eclipsed by whites. What does the future hold?

On the one hand, Matthew Goldstein’s warning of India and China on the horizon, portend a change in the “dominant face of science.” Does America have a solution? Can white students be expected to perform any better than they are right now? Can Asian Americans be trusted? Should Black Americans be educated in math and science? Can Blacks be trusted? These are all of the corollary questions implicit in Matthew Goldstein’s lament.

We can rest assured that no great national effort will be expended to turn street corner chemists into national merit scholars. So, it will be interesting to see how America fares in the future with her many millions of second rate students, wanna-be actors and entertainers, and drop-outs who would rather hit the half-pipe or hang ten.