An editorial by Bill Gates appears in today’s Washington Post. He argues that if the U.S. continues to fail to produce the skilled talent it needs to succeed in an innovation economy, the country should import knowledge and innovation workers:
To remain competitive in the global economy, we must build on the success of such schools [as High Tech High] and commit to an ambitious national agenda for education. Government and businesses can both play a role. Companies must advocate for strong education policies and work with schools to foster interest in science and mathematics and to provide an education that is relevant to the needs of business. Government must work with educators to reform schools and improve educational excellence.
American competitiveness also requires immigration reforms that reflect the importance of highly skilled foreign-born employees. Demand for specialized technical skills has long exceeded the supply of native-born workers with advanced degrees, and scientists and engineers from other countries fill this gap.