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December 09, 2010


Peter Lydon

Remember the US govt. provided grants for GIs returning from the war to attend college?....The US seems to have forgotten that message...presumably a memory lapse caused by the desire for tax cuts. At some point, hopefully, Anmerica will realise that better education means higher taxes to fund it or personal spend on private education.


I wholeheartedly agree Bob. Here's some additional data points, many of which come from the National Association for Gifted children (http://www.nagc.org) :
• NAGC (national association for gifted children) estimates that there are approximately 3 million academically gifted children in grades K-12 in the U.S - approximately 6% of the student population.
• The federal government does not provide funding directly to local school districts for programs and services for gifted and talented students.
• Congress allocated $7.5 million in 2008 for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act, (focuses on underserved/underrepresented gifted/talented children)
• NCLB was funded by Congress in 2008 to the tune of $11.1 billion
• The House Stimulus bill allocates a) $12 billion in the next two years for Title I schools, those schools that have the greatest concentration of low-income children, and b)$1 billion for schools that consistently fall behind in meeting their testing goals under NCLB

Even if you say the NAGC is off by 50% (i.e. there are only 1.5 million gifted children, not 3 million), and if you count the $7.5 million that congress allocates as funding, AND you take the lowest NCLB federal number ($1 billion) that still means gifted children – the top potential talent of the country – receives less than 1% of just one aspect funding that is allocated for NCLB.

Even the Early Reading First program gets $100 million in federal funding!


Peter Smyth

Not only are the gifted, but also the above average being dumbed down and disengaged in many (but not all) schools, as much as a result of the reform movements and standardized testing. It is ironic that the the film Race to Nowhere shines a light of the pressure on some of these kids in some schools. But the reality is that the above average to gifted kids in so many schools are no longer engaged in, much less passionate about school. Their experience has not demanded higher level thinking in their course work, which has often become meaningless.And we in education have done this to ourselves.

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