To the Editors:

I recently completed an excellent new book, The Smartest Kids in the World, by Amanda Ripley. Needless to say, she is not talking about the United States. One of her key conclusions is that countries that have the best educational systems have a culture that truly values and supports quality education. We in Wilton can no longer be satisfied by saying we are one of the best in the U.S., when U.S. students taking the PISA test in 2009 (Program for International Student Assessment) ranked 26th in math, 17th in science and 12th in reading.

In Wilton, the Board of Education is currently searching for a new superintendent to replace Dr. Richards, who is retiring. A session was held where Wilton residents could provide their input on what they believe are key characteristics we should look for in the candidates. Fewer than 15 people attended the session.

Conversely, last week’s Bulletin had a lead article and many letters saying how important it was to have lights on the Middlebrook sports field. When parents value sports, and lights, more than educational excellence, is it any wonder the U.S. has fallen behind in educating our students to ensure they will be able to compete in the new global economy?

Alex Ruskewich

Calvin Road, Nov.  11