Monday, June 16, 2008

Is "No Child Left Behind" still the right choice?

Schools, Facing Tight Budgets, Leave Gifted Programs Behind - New York Times
Bridget Williams, the principal of Mountain Grove Middle School, maintains that very bright children do not deserve specially tailored classes, especially when the district is focusing on bringing all children up to a minimum standard of competence.
Ms. Williams said it was not so much the education, but merely status, that gifted children lost when their program was cut in September. ''They lost the title,'' she said.

She is not, obviously, gifted nor talented. That statement above can only be made out of ignorance. I'm not about to say that I am gifted either, but I managed to skate through 12 years of public school without having to do any real "work". I received A's & B's my entire school career; that is, until college. I had supposedly been taking "college prep" in high school, but when I arrived in college, it was a rude awakening. All-of-a-sudden, I didn't know how to study. I actually had to work to achieve a decent grade. It only took me a semester of college to realize I was "short-changed" by my public school. There are numerous cases where highly intelligent children have severe side-effects when not challenged.

Others contend that cutting programs for such students threatens the nation's future by stunting the intellectual growth of the next generation of innovators. Not only do gifted children learn faster, but often they learn in a different way, experts say.

This is exactly my thought. So, couple the continued reduction in programs geared toward the intelligent with stricter home-school laws, making it increasingly more difficult to teach your (own) children, and what do you get? You get a country that is bleeding all its intelligence away. I fear the innovative-less future of our nation.

Here's another incident. I've always thought it was pretty stupid to deprive a child of learning as a punishment; especially for something like this where intent is clear.

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