The Ruark Kids

Who are the “Gifted and Talented”


NPR ran a story yesterday on gifted students in today’s school systems at

Siena wasn’t identifying Heller’s barracuda at age 5, but she is, we are told, very talented at her coursework relative to her class. Yet she’s in that group of fourth graders who get “a little bit of differentiation or an hour of resource-room time in the course of a week.” It’s frustrating to see what few resources get applied to kids at or above grade level.

This is one of those cases where personal wealth can alleviate the problem, as with more money one could provide personal, challenging activities like private school or more extracurricular activities. Greater community wealth also helps, and we are at least fortunate to be in a town with an excellent, relatively speaking, public school system.

We always want to set our kids up for the best possible outcomes and the most opportunities. It’s good to see, according to this article, that attitudes about measurement (improvement of all kids, not just kids not at grade level) might be changing. I worry it will be too late for Siena and Thalia and their friends.

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