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Carol Bainbridge

Are Smart Kids Ignored?

By November 30, 2009

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According to an article in USA Today, some smart kids are definitely ignored.& The article, Smart kids ignored?  Disparities in gifted education reported, discusses the findings in the recent National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) report on the state of the states in gifted education.& And it's not pretty. Here's a quote:
    "There is a markedly insufficient national commitment to gifted and talented children, which, if left unchecked, will ultimately leave our nation ill-prepared to field the next generation of innovators and to compete in the global economy."
There is a national commitment to children who are behind the norm, but not for children above the norm. Del Siegle, the author of the report, refers to the "age of Sputnik" when money was spent on math and science in schools. I can remember those Kennedy years, and I remember how my high school added classes in math and science and even Russian. We weren't a wealthy school district and we didn't really have room for those classes, but the school made do. Some classes were held in various empty spots, not classrooms, with portable chalkboards. Those weren't the math or science classes, of course, but Russian classes were held in the foyer to the auditorium as were other classes to make room for the extra math classes that needed the chalk boards in the classrooms. 

Were those ideal conditions? No, but we make do in order to place the emphasis on what we think is important. Schools don't need large budgets to accommodate the needs of gifted children. They simply need the willingness to provide these children with something more than what is offered. It doesn't cost anything, for example, for an elementary school to use cluster grouping. It takes some commitment and a willingness to understand gifted children and what they need.

What do you think?
December 1, 2009 at 2:03 pm
(1) Amanda Daybyday says:

I’m Canadian, so it’s likely a little different. But I will say that I think my son’s intellectual needs would be ignored more if he behaved like a typical child. As it is, his behavior is quite often an issue for him and his teacher in his class. She strives to challenge him, in the hopes that he will behave. The squeaky wheel and all that.
I was told last month that my son is the only gifted child (that has been confirmed by testing) in our 300 child school. They suspect there are more, but their behavior doesn’t warrant testing.
To be fair, our school separates the kids by reading level within their grades and works hard to meet each kid where they are at.

December 4, 2009 at 10:57 am
(2) Anonymous says:

If there was the will, it would be done (such as after Sputnik). Educators today don’t want to do anything for the gifted (who have “too much” and programs for them are “elitist”) and economic hard times are helpful justification for that. Ignored, you bet.

April 1, 2013 at 1:42 am
(3) GS test demo says:

Are Smart Kids Ignored?

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