In the August 27th edition of Time magazine an article, "Failing our Geniuses," by John Cloud addresses the issue of how schools are failing our brightest kids. In example after example, Cloud illustrates how the highest achievers are often in "no-man's land" as far as school systems are concerned. We don't seem to have the right systems in place to engage these students or in an alarming statistic keep them in school at all. According to a study cited in the article, 40 percent of the top five percent of high school students drop out--equivalent to the the overall dropout rate.
As we think about ways to engage our most at-risk students we better be thinking about this group of students as well. According to the Time article, "of the 62 million school-age kids in the U.S., 62,000 have IQs of 145 or higher." As we think about the challenges to our educational system and our competitiveness in the world, we much find better ways to encourage and nurture all of our students to do their best and realize their dreams. Find out about the programs in your community that are geared to gifted children in all areas--arts, academics, technical skills.
Now my question: Can the schools really do all we are asking them to do? Realistically no they can't. Communities have got the think about how to get our children--all our children--educated using all the resources that can be brought to bear. As my friend Larry Cremin, president of Teacher's College-Columbia University, used to say, "we need everybody in a community teaching our kids." We can't afford to lose the talents of one.