This reminds me of a powerful comment by a director of a collection of metro-wide After School Gifted Programs in the Chicago area. She was invited to speak at an education conference in China. She met many prominent dignitaries and educators in China, and told them how the U.S is trying desperately to get our students’ test scores to rise to compete with students in Asia. She said they were flabbergasted, and told her our system is the envy of the world because we produce more creative thinkers and leaders than any other country. They begged her to teach them how to instill creativity in their students and nurture it through their lifetime. They said creative problem solvers trump STEM geniuses in every way, and their society is sorely lacking in such imaginative thinkers. We already know what to do here; we just need to be sure that the ingenuity and independence that defines the American spirit is not crushed by the fear of poverty in a post-Great Recession world.