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Are 'gifted' students being hurt by a race to the middle?

by AirTalk

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Because higher achieving students are capable of keeping themselves on track, should they be the focus of teachers' limited time and attention? John Moore/Getty Images

It's no secret that the United States could do a better job of educating our children.

The U.S. routinely comes in well below other world leaders when it comes to ranking kids' abilities in reading, science and math. Now a decades-long study that started in 1971 tracks some of our country's best and brightest students.

It's found that these 'gifted' kids, who went on to become successful professionals in a wide range of fields, succeeded despite their education. The researchers argue that these students received less time and attention than kids who were in remedial classes, and therefore were more or less 'ignored' by their teachers.

The controversial No Child Left Behind law did help low-achieving students do better in the classroom, but a 2008 report found that it actually caused teachers to pay even less attention to high achieving students. 

Weigh In: 

What is your experience with 'gifted' programs? Are 'gifted' students being hurt by a race to the middle? Because higher achieving students are capable of keeping themselves on track, should they be the focus of teachers' limited time and attention? Should grouping students by ability rather than age help keep kids mentally stimulated?

Guests:

Christopher Weller, staff reporter for Medical Daily and freelance contributor to Newsweek. His latest piece for Newsweek is titled, "America Hates Its Gifted Kids

David Lubinski, professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University. He oversees the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY) project, a longitudinal study on gifted students, at the university

 

 

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