With its best students far behind their foreign peers, America needs new ideas to nurture their talent and produce new innovators.
Can we agree that focusing on the various State Standards has not only failed the children who struggle to learn--it is failing high achievers as well? If we agree on this then who does the current craze to meet state testing standards serve? We continue to fail 35 40 % of our children at 4th and 8th grades and this editorial contends that we are running in place at the top of the achievement ladder--so just where is the 'finish line' for the Race to the Top?
I concur with the concluding paragraph of this editorial--we need reliable, replicable data about what works best at scale for our gifted and talented students. Effective education is propably more expensive than we like to acknowledge and requires more professional development of teachers than we usually fund. I look now to the private and Charter sector to do the work that may provide guidance for the development of effective programs for the high achievers on whom our nation's economy surely depends. --Lou
There is little reliable evidence on the best ways to educate gifted students; much of what exists was produced by programs promoting their own success. Federal agencies should finance careful, unbiased studies of many of the programs in use: specialized schools for science, engineering and math students; courses for gifted students within a regular high school; enrichment programs in the community; after-school mentoring by local scientists; summer programs for high school students at leading universities; and in-depth research projects under the guidance of outstanding high school or professional mentors. There is no shortage of good ideas, but proof that they work — along with the money and will to back them up — remains lacking, a disservice to the students on whom the future depends.