The study suggests that while many girls have exceptional talent in math — the talent to become top math researchers, scientists and engineers — they are rarely identified in the United States. A major reason, according to the study, is that American culture does not highly value talent in math, and so discourages girls — and boys, for that matter — from excelling in the field.
NY Times Story
Although this study focuses on Math skill and gender differences I think it reflects on a slice of the bigger picture. I have long felt that the largest problem with education isn't in our schools at all, but our culture.
The PBS "Education Matters" podcast has been asking prominent educators what they would want to say to the next president. "Two Million Minutes" filmmaker Robert Compton says:
The president needs to use symbols, rhetoric recognition and rewards as a way to start changing that culture and elevating academic achievement.