Earlier this year the president of the United States and the governors of the 50 states adopted a set of six national education goals. These goals call for ensuring that all children enter school ready to learn, improving student learning in all academic disciplines, making students first in the world in science and math achievement, increasing the high school graduation rate, making adult literacy universal, and freeing schools from drugs and violence - all by the year 2000.

It's no accident that science and math are the only two academic areas to which an entire goal is devoted. Our nation's political leaders are fully aware that science and technology are critical to American industry, the American economy, and, ultimately, America's security. They're equally aware that our nation - for decades the undisputed world leader in science and technology - is no longer number one.

Consider just a few of the...

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