I just read through Prufrock Press’s monthly e-newsletter. One headline addressed the affects of NCLB on the gifted student. “The law is causing many concerned parents [of gifted children] to abandon public schools … These parents are fleeing public schools not only because, as documented by a recent University of Chicago study, the act pushes teachers to ignore high-ability students through its exclusive focus on bringing students to minimum proficiency. Worse than this benign neglect, No Child forces a fundamental educational approach so inappropriate for high-ability students that it destroys their interest in learning, as school becomes an endless chain of basic lessons aimed at low-performing students.”
As I scanned through the abstract, it reminded me of a discussion I had with Dr. Palka who taught all but one of my gifted courses required for my option in Gifted Education. Our discussion took place probably 6-7 years ago. She talked about how NCLB was going to deeply affect the gifted children in the nation. She explained how the money that was set aside for educating the gifted child would be re allocated to the low and middle learners. She had been a gifted teacher for a number of years, then a director at the state level in Ohio for their gifted program before coming to SLU. I figured she knew what she was talking about.
Well, she was right. It took a few years for the effects to ‘sink’ in. The effects are printed in this study and many other articles include the recent one in Newsweek that I have already written a blog about. The effects are felt in the discussions I have with parents, educators and supporters (online and in real life).
Time marches on, parents still look for the best place to educate their child (gifted or not). Decisions related to NCLB made 6-7 years ago will still ripple through our society for years. Remember when President Kennedy wanted the US to lead the way in Science? Those students who benefited from his objectives are now today’s parents. They are acting. They are searching for the best possible place/way to educate their child. Duh!
Interesting, isn’t it?