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?