NCLB Leaves Gifted Behind
This Delaware Online article is another article pointing out the harm to gifted kids that comes as a side-effect of the NCLB legislation. And lest you think it’s just a Delaware problem, consider this national statistic presented in the article: “Statistically, 20 percent of U.S. school dropouts test in the gifted range” Keep in mind that the “gifted range” is defined as the top 3%. So 20% of dropouts come from this particular 3% of the population.
Here’s a Washington Post article discussing the same issue. It states that “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.” The Math educators reading this might be interested to read that in the author’s opinion, “No Child is particularly destructive to bright young math students.”
Also read this University of Chicago study entitled “Left Behind By Design: Proficiency Counts and Test-Based Accountability” whose cover features the following quote from an anonymous middle school teacher: “We were told to cross off the kids who would never pass. We were told to cross off the kids who, if we handed them the test tomorrow, they would pass. And then the kids who were left over, those were the kids we were supposed to focus on.” This study shows that NCLB is not only leaving the gifted behind, it is also leaving behind the bottom 20% of students, presumably those very students it was intended to help!
Surely I am not the only one who finds this horrifying?