Monday, August 27, 2007

Are We Failing Our Geniuses?

This Time magazine cover story raises valid points that not only is our educational system failing students at the bottom -- it's also failing those at the top!  That being said, I know a lot of people with 145+ Iqs, and most of them got great, challenging educations because their parents could afford to send them to elite private schools.  But for the
80%+ of US households that can't afford such schools and have no choice but to send their kids to public schools, this article makes a good case that the public schools aren't doing the job.  Gee, what a surprise that unaccountable bureaucracies that aren't meeting the needs of struggling kids also aren't meeting the needs of genius-level kids...

Since well before the Bush Administration  began using the impossibly sunny term "no child left behind," those who write education policy in the U.S. have worried most about kids at the bottom,  stragglers of impoverished means or IQs. But surprisingly, gifted students drop out at the same rates as nongifted kids -- about 5% of both populations leave school early. Later in life, according to the scholarly Handbook of  Gifted Education, up to one-fifth of dropouts test in the gifted range.  Earlier this year, Patrick Gonzales of the U.S. Department of Education  presented a paper showing that the highest-achieving students in six other countries, including Japan, Hungary and Singapore, scored significantly higher in math than their bright U.S. counterparts, who scored about the same as the Estonians. Which all suggests we may be squandering a national resource: our best young minds.


Aug. 16, 2007  
Are We Failing Our Geniuses?
By John Cloud, Time Magazine cover story,8816,1653653,00.html

Any sensible culture would know what to do with Annalisee Brasil. The 14-year-old not only has the looks of a South American model but is also one of the brightest kids of her generation. When Annalisee was 3, her mother Angi Brasil noticed that she was stringing together word cards composed not simply into short phrases but into complete, grammatically correct sentences. After the girl turned 6, her mother took her for an IQ test. Annalisee found the exercises so easy that she played jokes on the testers -- in one case she not only put blocks in the correct order but did it backward too. Angi doesn't want her daughter's IQ published, but it is comfortably above 145, placing the girl in the top 0.1% of the population. Annalisee is also a gifted singer: last year, although just 13, she won a regional high school competition conducted by the National Association of Teachers of Singing.

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