But in the U.S., Crawford laments, 'we focus on steering all extra money and attention toward kids who are struggling academically, or even just to the average student' and 'risk shortchanging the country in a different way.'
No, you utter imbecile. The problem of the western culture is not fund distribution. It's attitude.
Our "stars" are musicians, actors and professional athletes. Certainly people who work hard and having natural talent definitely helps - but it's not the smart, gifted people we adore in our culture. There's no science-based equivalent of the Super Bowl. The closest we get is that we sometimes thing astronauts are pretty cool.
You want more smart people in your country? I don't have a magic pill for that, but I can give you an indicator of how close you are: When the sexy girls fuck the geeks instead of the football studs, you're getting somewhere. When this map has more scientists on it than coaches, you're pretty close. When we pay two-digit millions in salary not to people who pretend to be a robot from the future on camera, or throwing an air-filled dead pig gut around, but to people who work on curing cancer or inventing new methods for energy production, then you won't have to worry about not having enough brains in the country.
The funding thing is just a small part of that culture.