Not every gifted child sails through school

I had to laugh when I read this letter to the editor in Tuesday’s Des Moines Register:

The Register ran an editorial on June 23 with this headline: “Don’t Leave Behind the High Achievers.”


The notion that gifted children “suffer” and are “invisible” vis a vis their lower-achieving classmates flies in the face of my impressions as a parent and the spouse of a teacher in the Des Moines school district.

Weep neither for gifted kids nor their parents. The kids, after all, are gifted. Just ask their parents. They get lots of mail printed on the district’s gifted and talented stationery and plenty of bumper stickers trumpeting their prodigies’ ascension to the middle school honor rolls. At least here in Des Moines, the gifted, not to mention the talented, have thrown off the cloak of invisibility.

I do need some help getting my mind around the concept of “languid” performances by “top students.” Guess I’m just another low-brow clamoring for some one-on-one.

– Mike Wellman, Des Moines

Really, Mr. Wellman? You can’t get your mind around the concept that some bright children don’t do well in school?

I recommend that you read the John Templeton Foundation’s report called A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students.

It takes more than a letter from the school district and a bumper sticker for a parent’s car to challenge and engage gifted students day after day. Too many of these kids get bored and tune out.

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