Well, not every child. But it was just reported to me that about 70% of 22nd [typo: 2nd] graders in Montgomery County, Maryland are labeled "gifted," though only about 30% can read at grade level. Since gifted labeling is largely a function of parental initiative, this phenomenon begs the question of why so many of today's parents are clamoring for it. True, Montgomery County's parents may be especially ambitious, but my sense from the many, many parents of gifted children that I've come across is that they are part of a larger trend.
Saturday, August 14, 2010
Might this trend have something to do with current grading practices, where top grades aren't the special distinction they once were? If grades no longer distinguish my child from others, there's always giftedness.
Or might it have something to do with how watered down the curriculum is compared to what it once was--especially in math, literature, history, and analytical writing? Gifted labeling may seem like the only way to secure for our children those things that more kids used to have access to whether or not they were "gifted."
Either way, the proliferation of giftedness may be less a happy realization of the Lake Wobegon Effect, and more an indication that something is rotten in the state of education.