January 17th, 2014

Are Academically Advanced Kids Human Capital?

In this recent article in Newsweek titled “America Hates Its Gifted Kids”, author Chris Weller argues that extremely advanced learners are human capital that is being squandered by the US education system.  Here’s an excerpt:

Tomlinson’s frustrations, much like those experienced by many of the nation’s public school teachers, are compounded by the larger forces acting on the environment in which she works. Figures released early last year showed 80 percent of entrants into City University of New York schools needed remediation in reading, writing and math in order to enroll. But Tomlinson has been able to work within the constraints by balancing her time to ensure uplift on both ends. “I’m extremely grateful to be working at a school that consistently reminds me to continue to push my gifted and talented students,” she said. “They do not necessarily have the motivation, skills or access to outlets for growth to succeed on their own. They need me, too.” After all, a gifted 12-year-old is still a 12-year-old.

But for every Tomlinson, there will be a teacher (or five) who can’t manage the delicate balance, or is uncomfortable teaching outside the norm. For the U.S. to reach the upper echelons of educational attainment in an increasingly competitive global environment, it probably needs change that comes from both the bottom, through teachers like Tomlinson, and the top, from serious education reform focused on cultivating intellectual achievement. Before innovative ideas like Lubinski’s can take hold, there needs to be a consensus among all the stakeholders that winning is important, and it isn’t enough to simply enter the race.

The complete article is here.

 

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>