Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Nanny State and hippies agree: don't reward gifted


Officials plan to abandon a decades-old policy that sorts second-grade students, like Dr. Seuss's Sneetches, into those who are gifted (the Star-Belly sort) and those who are not. Several other school systems in the region identify children in the same manner. But Montgomery education leaders have decided that the practice is arbitrary and unfair.

Two-fifths of Montgomery students are considered gifted on the basis of aptitude tests, schoolwork, expert opinion and parents' wishes. Officials say the approach slights the rest of the students who are not so labeled. White and Asian American students are twice as likely as blacks and Hispanics to be identified as gifted.

{ snip }

In Fairfax, about 15 percent of children are offered admission to centers for the highly gifted based on a second-grade screening, but the children are not labeled gifted. Montgomery also screens children at the second grade, and 40 percent are identified as gifted, but the label guarantees no specific service. Montgomery operates its own gifted centers, but admission to those is based on a separate screening process.

WP


Doing anything to AVOID offending people is not only a misguided errand, but one that will certainly fail, leaving damage in its wake. There's INFINITE capability for offense, but only a few right ways to approach any situation.

By second grade, it's clear which students have their wits about them and need more intense instruction, and there's no problem calling them gifted because there's no way to euphemize that away.

But the Crowd doesn't like that, because we're not all gifted, and the Crowd specializes in doing one thing: lowering standards so more can join the lowest common denominator party.

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Subvert the dominant paradigm, don't be a solipsist.

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