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Why do many Indian-Americans spell so well?

The pride of Olathe, 13-year-old Kavya Shivashankar (in photo), recently became the seventh Indian-American to win the Scripps National Spelling Bee in the past 11 contests, noted James Maguire in the Wall Street Journal. The secret of the success of any bee winner isn't ethnicity, he wrote. It's a "fierce and unswerving dedication" to studying for the bee, and to exceptional educational achievement generally — which parents of Indian-American spellers consistently have told him is of "non-negotiable importance" in their families.Maguire concluded: "The shelf full of trophies won by the children of immigrants throws a challenge back at America itself. Can the country as a whole keep pace with their educational attainment? Can we bootstrap ourselves as we have in the past, this time leading a global marketplace? Can we view education not as an expense but as a critical investment?"

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