TIME Preview: U.S. Is Failing "Gifted" Students

By: E&P Staff In this week?s cover story in TIME magazine, due out on Friday, John Cloud declares that the American education system is failing "gifted" children. The cover line reads: The Genius Problem.

?In a no-child-left-behind conception of public education, lifting everyone up to a minimum level is more important than allowing students to excel to their limit," he writes. "It has become more important for schools to identify deficiencies than to cultivate gifts ? What?s needed is a new model for gifted education, an urgent sense that prodigious intellectual talents are a threatened resource.?

Cloud adds, ?we take for granted that those with IQs at least three standard deviations below the mean (those who score 55 or lower on IQ tests) require ?special? education. But students with IQs that are at least three standard deviations above the mean (145 of higher) often have just as much trouble interacting with average kids and learning at an average pace.?

No Child Left Behind has ?forced schools to deeply subsidize the education of the mediocre, and gifted programs have suffered,? Cloud writes, with states and the federal government cutting funding. He concludes,
?The best way to treat [gifted children]?is to let them grow up in their own communities?by letting them skip ahead at their own pace. We shouldn?t be so wary of those who can move a lot faster than the rest of us.?

Elsewhere, in an interview, departed White House aide Karl Rove states, "I think the country is very much up for grabs."

TIME?s Aryn Baker reports that much of the Afghan National Army is ?young, illiterate and prone to desertion. Few units are judged capable of fighting the resurgent Taliban on their own. If the U.S. hopes to salvage some success for its increasingly parlous enterprise in Afghanistan, that will have to change.?

Staff Sergeant George Beck Jr., a U.S. soldier training new Afghan army recruits, adds, ?It?s all about crawl, walk, run. Right now the Afghan army is at a crawl. In a few more years it will walk, and in 10 it will run. Then we can all go home.?


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