My friend Hong, a successful business executive and academic, believes success in a world going global depends on language.
Ask him how you understand China, do more business and create more jobs connected to the world's fastest growing economy and Hong will tell you, "Learn Mandarin."
Making American kids learn Spanish, French, German, Latin, or Mandarin is a basic requirement. Want to create more business and new jobs tied to those markets? Let's up the ante and teach our kids to be fluent in two, even three of those languages.
But wait! There's more.
Today's global world is digital. The Lingua Franca of the age is XML, Ruby, Go and dozens of other programming languages.
Take a look at this story about how to start businesses and create new jobs in a world going digital.
Parents, students and public leaders worrying about how to compete, create and find jobs nowadays ought to do as Hong suggests.