We’ve become so obsessed with underperforming students in this country that we’ve forgotten about the needs of the gifted (“This Top Gifted and Talented School Is Integrated. Is It the Future?” The New York Times, Oct. 10). Efforts at giving them proper attention is seen as elitist.
Our competitors abroad have no problem with separating students out during their education and nurturing them. For example, Singapore, which is known for the quality of its schools, does so with its Primary School Leaving exam. We can argue all day along that primary school is far too early, and I happen to be one who thinks that is the case. But we need to identify gifted students at some point and support them.
All students are good at something. But just because not all can handle rigorous academic work does not mean they have a bleak future. On the contrary, there are many well-paying jobs for those who have ability in vocational areas. The debate should be about the age at which to make a determination and the basis for doing so. Is a standardized test the best way? Whatever the decision, it’s high time we accept reality when it comes to educating the young.
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