On Wed, Sep 19, 2012 at 6:59 AM, Haim <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote: > Gosh, I wonder why. (Hint: it's The Prime Directive.) > >>Mostly, the system ignores them, with policies and >>budget priorities that concentrate on raising the floor >>under low-achieving students. A good and necessary thing >>to do, yes, but we?ve failed to raise the ceiling for >>those already well above the floor. > > http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinion/gifted-students-deserve-more-opportunities.html?hp > > September 18, 2012 > Young, Gifted and Neglected > By CHESTER E. FINN Jr. >
Finn is a conservative and, true to conservative form, has left out part of the whole truth about the education of gifted students in the US - which is that the US public school system in some measurable ways is doing as well or better than just about any other country in the world not only for its whole population but for its advanced students:
Fact: When we correct for demographics, we see that US white students score as well or better on international tests like TIMSS and PISA than the white students of just about every other country on the planet, US black students score as well or better on international tests like TIMSS and PISA than the black students of just about every other country on the planet, and so on. The reason the overall scores are not as high on these tests as they could be in comparison to some other countries is because in all countries, the scores by each segment of non-East-Asian non-white students are significantly lower and because the percentage of the US student population of this much lower scoring overall population segment is much higher than it is in those countries that have overall higher scores than the US.
Fact: Because of the success of advanced math education in the US public school system, the US now has roughly 5% of its entire high school senior aged population (and this includes all those not in school or in vocational schools or whatever) take *and* pass a national calculus exam covering an entire year of high school calculus. Very few countries on the entire planet - regardless of the ethnic demographic of the country's student population - could say that they have an advanced math education system that yields this high a percentage of the its entire high school senior aged population that could take *and* pass a national calculus exam covering an entire year of high school calculus. And when we look at only those US high school students that actually completed calculus classes that actually were certified by the AP Calculus testing body to follow the AP Calculus guidelines, we see these students scoring very much higher on advanced international tests than those advanced students of all other countries taking the tests.
Note: In roughly 30 years, this percentage of the entire high school senior aged population of the US that has taken *and* passed a national calculus exam has increased from roughly half a percent to the present roughly five percent, an entire order of magnitude increase.
Here is a post I gave recently outlining some of all these facts above - - this post contains many citations and links to these citations:
We need to look beneath the surface to be fair, to see what is really happening in the US, to see that, again, the US pubic school system in some measurable ways is doing as well or better than just about any other country in the world not only for its whole population but for its advanced students. (This does not mean of course that the system could not do even better, even a lot better.)