Students listen and take notes during class on May 1,...

Students listen and take notes during class on May 1, 2013. Credit: Heather Walsh

The letter defending science, technology, engineering and math education in the United States misses the mark on many counts ["Educational reform and potential success," Sept. 8].

The debate centers on STEM education in public elementary and high schools, but the writer lauds our great research institutions. The world's best and brightest are not clamoring to attend our elementary and high schools.

Also, his list of exemplary executives doesn't support his argument. Bill Gates attended private school. Steve Jobs learned about electronics from his father, his neighbor and friend Steve Wozniak in various garage workshops. Carly Fiorina hasn't demonstrated any command of technology. Fiorina destroyed the division she supervised at Lucent and nearly destroyed Hewlett-Packard before she was fired; presumably the letter writer didn't own HP stock during her tenure.

Examples of influential foreigners include British World Wide Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, German moonshot scientist (and Nazi) Wernher von Braun, Hungarian mathematician John von Neuman, German physicist Albert Einstein and Italian nuclear scientist Enrico Fermi.

Stanley Kalemaris, Melville

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