February 12, 2008

A Fair Sacrifice


After the Sputnik scare, the United States realized that they were falling way behind in math and science, and decided to cultivate the bright young minds of the future. So, what did they do? Increase the federal funding of education for every student?

No. They plucked only the very smartest kids out of all the classes, and put them in smaller advanced classes where their unique gifts could be capitalized upon.

When I heard that, I thought, What? That's not fair! They should make those opportunities available to every kid!

The country eventually agreed. And today, we are again significantly behind in math and science.

So, what are our options for the future Einsteins who are in 2nd grade right now if they can't afford private school.

Should we reconsider our first idea? After all, it got us to the moon first.

8 comments:

Steve said...

I think part of it has to do with the fact that budgets are getting sqeezed and No Child Left Behind, if I'm not mistaken, doesn't care how many kids exceed expectations, just how many meet. And at least in Illinois, state funding percentages are dropping, so what's going to be the first to go? You got it (along with any subject not tested).

While my grade school was too small to have real advanced classes for most grades (the teachers did what they could), I loved having the advanced classes at high school.

Sabai said...

does this go back to our supply side question from the day before as well? what's better? to invest in the few so that their breakthroughs can create new industries? or invest lesser amounts in the whole to give everyone a better chance from what they'd have naturally on their own?

this is where my whole idea of creating alternative universes comes in, in order to test these theories.

Cheesehead Runner said...

At my elementary school they labeled those kids TAG (talented and gifted) and those of us who were not labeled TAG knew that these kids were going off because people thought they were smarter than us.....would you really want your child thinking that they are not talented and gifted.......

Sabai said...

exactly. and because we feel bad, einstein has to sit and learn cursive with the rest of the kids when he should be learning calculus.

should we waste our talents so others do not feel inferior? should I not win so that others do not lose?

Cheesehead Runner said...

I read recently though that a like 8 yr old girl got her masters or something along these lines. Sure she's smart, but how many life experiences has she missed out on ie: school sports, prom, college in general with your peers....it's great that we've capitalized on her genius but does it not also have long term effects on her?

Sabai said...

and that's a choice that the parents will have to consider. but, i'd like them to at least have the option.

Steve said...

I don't know if this is the correct space for this, but seeing the story about the Master's girl got me thinking about something that a local school district is doing. The are creating one school that's math and science intensive and another that's more liberal arts intensive. Except these aren't high schools, or even middle schools. They are elementary schools. I'm all in favor of gifted and talented classes, and I think this type of school specialization can be effective in middle or high school in larger urban districts, but this just strikes me as too young.

Chris said...

I totally go for investing in every student. Chances are the student tagged for TAG in elementary school has no more talent than the kid who wasn't, but they'd been prepped better by their families pre-school. If we keep looking for "gifted" we'll miss almost all of them.