Current shortcomings in U.S. education could leave the next generation of Americans ill-equipped to combat terrorism, according to testimony given before the National Infrastructure Advisory Council (NIAC). "The country's long-term security is tied to the quality of the workforce," Alfred Berkeley, a trustee of the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute said. Berkeley's testimony before NIAC cited mathematics and science as key areas that need to be addressed at all educational levels. He stressed the importance of young adults being qualified to enter fields such as cyber security. However, Berkeley, who also serves as an NIAC member, said that current elementary education provides a poor foundation for the subsequent pursuit of these fields of study. "The public has not embraced education as a priority. We must find a way to engage the public with a sense of urgency," Berkeley said. Besides the problem of education quality, the United States is facing a shortage of students willing to study areas such as engineering. According to a National Science Board (NSB) report released in 2004, "bachelor's degrees in engineering have declined by 8 percent and degrees in mathematics have dropped by about 20 percent" since 1990.Check out the rest of it. As a final aside -- where could the next great influx of American technical talent possibly come from, with birth rates in America falling and people so wealthy that a future in a technical job appears harsh by comparison with their other options? Here in Colorado, we have a lot of Mexican and other immigrant Hispanic families. I understand that what we're seeing here isn't just local, but part of a larger trend in the U.S.. I'm thinking that their children, born in the U.S., would probably really appreciate the opportunity to make a good salary in a technical field. If the schools don't let them down. Those families don't have a lot of money to burn on tutors and Kumon.