A new report out today from the Fordham Institute apparently describes how the bottom 10 percent of students have made more progress this century than the top 10 percent of students.
Given that the low-performing students in the U.S. lag behind low-performers in other countries while high-performing students hold their own against other high-performers (previous post), it's hard for me to see this as anything but a good thing.
Groundbreaking Study Confirms
Nation is Shortchanging Our Brightest Students
WASHINGTON (June 18, 2008) – A national study released today by the Fordham Institute confirms our nation continues to neglect the learning needs of gifted students. Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Past President of the National Association for Gifted Children and member of the study’s peer-review panel issued the following statement:
“As our nation makes significant gains boosting the performances of low-achieving students, we continue to shortchange our gifted students. Settling for stagnation or modest learning gains penalizes gifted learners, especially underserved students whose needs continue to go unmet, and jeopardizes our nation’s future as we struggle to compete in the global economy.
“Especially alarming are findings that our nation’s teachers do not consider themselves prepared to meet the unique learning needs of gifted students, nor do they feel encouraged by the system to focus on cultivating the talents of our gifted learners. While no one will dispute the critical need of increasing proficiency for students at the lowest levels, doing so at the expense of high-performing students – especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds – only perpetuates the cycle of inequality and results in continued underperformance in the classroom.
“I hope this study serves as a wake-up call if we as a nation are truly committed to leaving no child behind and investing in students from all ability levels to maximize their potential. Nothing less than our future is at stake.”
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