Genius kids are featured in Time this week. The argument is that we invest 10 times more money in educating students who perform way below the average than we spend on students who are way above average (145 IQ and up). Some get bored and drop out.
Earlier this year, Patrick Gonzales of the U.S. Department of Education presented a paper showing that the highest-achieving students in six other countries, including Japan, Hungary and Singapore, scored significantly higher in math than their bright U.S. counterparts, who scored about the same as the Estonians. Which all suggests we may be squandering a national resource: our best young minds.
The story argues that skipping grades is a cheap and easy way to accommodate very bright students. But is it enough? These kids tend to be a lot more than one or two grade levels ahead academically. But they’re not little adults.
We need to be willing to create genius classes or genius schools to serve these students — or encourage parents to teach them at home. Even then, these kids differ from each other so much that no one, two or three approaches will work for all of them.
Some ultra-geniuses never will fit in socially and don’t really care if they do. They have other things on their minds.