New rules on school gifted and talented programs approved today by the state board of education have drawn fire from a coalition of groups that say such programs harm poor and minority students. The critics, which include Casa de Maryland and the Montgomery County NAACP, argue that the very act of labeling some students and not others as gifted creates winners and losers, and that the principal victims of such inequality are African-Americans, Hispanics and students from low-income families.
But surely the solution isn't to abolish gifted and talented programs entirely, as the critics propose. Rather, it should be to make sure as many minority and low-income children as possible participate in academically enriched programs. The state ought to be working closely with advocacy groups to identify and recruit such students and to monitor their progress. That's not "elitism," as critics charge, but an altogether worthwhile effort to draw out the best from the state's most exceptional students...continues at link.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
Baltimore Sun: Our view: State board wisely rejected arguments that gifted and talented programs are elitist