New hope for the gifted

For too long, gifted students in this country have been shorthanged. But a little-known program at California State University in Los Angeles is changing that for children as young as 11 (“Cal State L.A. is a haven for the young and gifted,” Los Angeles Times, Apr. 28).

Since establishing its Early Entrance Program in 1982, Cal State has allowed academically gifted students to bypass years of boring classwork to achieve their full potential.  It does so despite the paltry funding of such programs by the federal government, which amounted to just $12 million in 2017.  That compares with $13 billion for special education.

Despite the urgent need to identify and nurture these students, critics persist in calling them elitist. Only in this country is that label the kiss of death.  Our competitors abroad understand the importance of supporting elitism.  But we are too guilt-ridden to keep up.

Given the brouhaha over diversity in elite schools, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if a lawsuit is soon filed against Cal State for not enrolling the “correct” racial balance of students.  That is already happening in New York City, whose elite high schools are under fire for not admitting enough black and Hispanic students.

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2 Replies to “New hope for the gifted”

  1. This piece is interestingly provocative. Also, the first sentence has a word missing at the end. I sleep better in Texas. It’s as if Central Time is home. We’ve been watching Billions on HBO. About Wall Street. Over the top but entertaining. The main character got his start at Lehman.


  2. dkhatt: Thanks for pointing out the omission. The sentence should have been “For too long gifted students in this country have been shortchanged.” By the way, my father Morris Gardner worked for Lehman Brothers for 50 years, retiring as comptroller. He would have been appalled at what happened under Richard Fuld.


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