**Why kindergarten children are studying engineering "before they can spell it"**
Sent to the NY Times, June 14
**Kindergarten children are "Studying Engineering Before They Can Spell It," (June 14) because the US Dept of Education thinks we are behind in science and engineering. Not true. **
American students from well-funded schools and higher-income families outscore nearly every country in the world in science and math. Only our children in high-poverty schools score below the international average. Our average scores are low because we have the highest percentage of poverty of all industrialized countries: 25%, compared to Denmark's 3%. The real problem is poverty.
According to the World Economic Federation, the US is doing well in engineering and science, ranking fifth out of 133 countries in "availability of scientists & engineers," second in "quality of scientific research institutions," and third in the number of patents for new inventions per capita.
Contrary to popular opinion, there is no shortage of technology-trained professionals in the US. There is a surplus.