Saturday, May 31, 2008

Academic and artistic achievement in America

What do you notice about this list of 8 of the nation's top 12 finalists in the annual National Scripps Spelling Bee?

Sameer Mishr, 1st place
Sidharth Chand, 2nd place
Samia Nawaz
Kavya Shivashanar
Jahnavi Iyer
Kyle Mou
Justin Song
Austin Pineda

8 of 12 are foreign born or have parents that are, many are Indian, Pakistani, or of Asian descent. Almost all of them are bilingual and most of them play a musical instrument. What is it about other cultures, particularly Asian and Indian ethnicities that tend to excel disproportionately and out perform Caucasian Americans academically in so many areas ... from engineering to medicine to music? From personal experience, I can tell you that the major college music conservatories like Julliard, and San Francisco Conservatory are dominated by Asian students. I wonder if this is a commentary more on the education in America or the level of discipline in other cultures?

Speaking of music, check this out. How old do you think she is?

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