Tech Executives: Schools, Immigration Key to Innovation

The U.S. needs to fix its primary education system, encourage talented immigrants and cut business taxes if it wants to maintain it lead in innovation, several top tech executives said Friday.

Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Xerox Corp. Chief Executive Ursula Burns gave the K-12 school system a “D-minus” and said fixing it is a priority. “We can’t pretend to be better than we are,” she said. She added that when it comes to preparing students out of high school to be productive workers, the U.S. is failing.

The executives, however, said that the college system remains the best in the world. But they also agreed that valuable foreign talent who come over to the U.S. to attend colleges end up going back home because the country no longer welcomes them. Business have already gotten behind immigration, and the government needs to recognize this, said Cisco Systems Inc.’s CEO John Chambers.

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