Educating the Gifted and Talented

“People should be free to find or make for themselves the kinds of educational experience they want their children to have.” -John Holt-

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Gifted dropouts deserving of federal aid

From Eduction Week Talk Back:

In a recent Education Week Commentary, economist Anthony P. Carnevale writes that high-achieving students from working families are often overlooked in American education. Students from affluent families benefit from active and involved parents, while children in poor families receive some help through programs such as No Child Left Behind.

One solution he proposes is to develop individualized standards for each child that will complement state, or even national, standards.

What do you think? Are students from working families often left out of education reform? What can be done at the federal level to help these students?


Conny Jensen, GT Advocate - 10/03/2007 1:57PM

After interviewing and supporting gifted students at one of our local high schools I found that it is most often the ones who "fail in school" who are most at risk of never going on to college.

Although I had no access to personal information I intuited that most who had failing grades were from working class families. Gifted kids from wealthier families often ended up in the International Baccalaureate program; an indication perhaps that their parents indeed contribute to pushing them toward success in higher education.

So, failing gifted students leave school without a diploma, but not because they do not understand what they were supposed to learn - often they understand a whole lot more which makes them cynical about "education".

These kids, leaving school with their self-esteem crushed, seen as failures by school and often by their parents as well, are not likely to pursue the GED needed to get federal student aid if they want to go to college.

I would suggest that the federal government allow these bright dropouts to receive federal student aid so they can immediately start college. The money could be given as a loan they will not have to pay back if they are successful!


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