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Are Gifted Programs a Luxury?

August 24, 2009

In the recent blog post on “Gifted Programs: Luxuries or Necessities?” author Candace Lindemann reports on the worrisome trend as some states slash funding for gifted and talented education. Such shortsightedness is indeed troubling – particularly with objective data that proves not serving the needs of high ability learners is a road to disaster both for high ability students and the states which hope to someday capitalize on their “genius” in the form of new technology, advances in medicine, and test scores (without having provided education foundation they need to be successful). And, as Kim Moldofsky states: ““gifted mandates vary from state to state. So, even though there is an educational need, the gifted students may not have the rights to a free and appropriate education that other special-needs students do.” Also troubling are education experts who continue to confuse high achieving students with gifted ones – or who utter the unforgivable curse “all children are gifted and isn’t that nice” clearly lacking a basic definition of cognitive ability and the different learning styles of all students.

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