The thought that schools are now giving a lot of attention to struggling students is admirable, but in the process of helping them get up to speed, gifted students are now being left without a challenging education, says Alexandria Suarez in article she wrote for Education News.
Gifted students may fail to fulfill their potential
Suarez quotes Andy Smarick, author of the guidebook, “Closing America’s High Achievement Gap”, as saying that with what’s happening in schools today, high achieving students who are capable of even more high achievements are likely not to fulfill their potential to the fullest, to the detriment of the country as far as international competitiveness is concerned.
What’s unfortunate is that a study conducted by the Fordham Institute in 2011 reveals between 30 and 50 percent of advanced students descend and no longer achieve at the most advanced levels because they’re not being challenged enough.
Give high achieving students better educational challenges
Since there are no federal programs for gifted students just yet, Suarez suggests establishing dual enrolment programs between high schools and local community colleges, which will give high achieving students the option to take college courses that are more advanced. That way, they still get to be challenged, while freeing teachers to focus more of their time on struggling students.
The article raises a really important point. By not providing sufficient stimulation for gifted students, we run a high risk of having them get bored, alienated and disillusioned about education, which are probably what happened to the gifted subjects in that Fordham Institute survey. I wholeheartedly agree with Suarez’s college course suggestion, or with any program that will help foster their talents, develop their love of learning and keep it alive.
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