Does NCLB Hurt Gifted Kids? (page 2)

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Updated on Jul 14, 2008

For officials at NCLB, however, these arguments pale beside the overwhelming benefits of the program. Casey Ruberg, spokesperson for NCLB, points out, for instance, that “”since the passage of No Child Left Behind, the top 10% of students have continued to perform well in reading and have shown significant increases in math achievement on the Nation’s Report Card….[2007] Math scores for 4th and 8th graders were higher than they’ve ever been in the history of the Nation’s Report Card.” And for those kids looking for even more challenge? States still control 91% of school budgets, and, says Ruberg, they can still exercise creative approaches. But federal officials are doing their part too. “We have proposed expanding access to advanced placement programs," she says. "More teachers will be trained to lead Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes.”

So what does this mean for your child? With NCLB now firmly established, it’s more important than ever to stay in touch with your teachers, your child, and your school. In practice, schools are working hard to balance kids’ individual needs and learning styles with the civic responsibility to help all of them meet standards. Many state teaching licenses now offer special credentials in gifted and talented education, and institutes like Renzulli’s National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented have published supplemental curriculum available on the Web. In fact, as Renzulli himself says, “There is no quick and easy answer….In life, we can’t always have everything the way we want it, and sometimes kids must do some things they hate because they know there’s other material they just love and that will keep them engaged in school.” Working together, parents and teachers can, with luck and skill, find that balance.

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