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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

Let all kids get a ‘gifted’ education

The U.S. expects less of students than many countries in Asia and Europe, writes Alina Adams on New York School Talk. Why not accelerate learning for all students whose parents think they can handle it? she asks.

In most schools, at least 10 percent of students are performing above grade level, estimates a Johns Hopkins report. In some classrooms, as many as 50 percent of students are above grade level. Yet gifted programs are reserved for only a few, writes Adams, a New York City parent.

New York City has five public schools that teach the standard curriculum a year in advance, Adams writes. “Kids need to score above the 97th percentile on a standardized test in order to enter the admissions lottery and, every year, about two-thirds of those who qualify are shut out.” There’s no space.

She proposes opening another 100 accelerated schools — whatever it takes to meet the demand. Parents could choose a fast-paced school or a traditional school.

Fewer bored students would be diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), she argues. (The U.S. ADHD rate is 20 times higher than in France.)

My sister skipped a grade in school, but remained way ahead of her classmates. I just read books in class — lots and lots of books.

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