My view: Ten myths about gifted students and programs for gifted
November 14th, 2012
04:00 AM ET

My view: Ten myths about gifted students and programs for gifted

Courtesy Pieces of LearningBy Carolyn Coil, Special to CNN

Editor’s note: Carolyn Coil is a speaker, educator and author. She works with teachers, administrators, parents and students, offering strategies for raising achievement, developing creative and critical thinking skills, motivating underachievers, differentiating curriculum and assessing student performance. She has taught graduate-level gifted endorsement courses for more than 20 years. You can follow her on Twitter, @CarolynCoil.

(CNN) – American educators have struggled for more than 40 years to define giftedness. Yet even now, there is no universally agreed upon definition of what it means to be gifted. U.S. federal law defines gifted students as those who perform or who show promise of performing at high levels in any one of five categories: general intellectual ability, specific academic aptitude, creative or productive thinking, leadership ability or visual/performing arts.

Beyond that definition, there are no specific national criteria for identifying gifted and talented students nor does federal law provide funding or mandates for identification of these students or programming for them. This definition is left to the states.

The result has been a wide variety of state definitions and methods for the identification of gifted children. Some states have specific definitions for giftedness, while others have none. Some states require programs for gifted students, while others do not.

In other words, the availability of programs and services for gifted students depends for the most part on where a student lives and what state, school district or school he or she is in.

There is debate over how to identify and measure giftedness, whether giftedness is innate (nature) or developed (nurture) and whether giftedness is driven by intelligence test results or through other indicators.

My view: The joys and challenges of raising a gifted child

These varying perspectives have led to much misinformation about gifted students and what programs for gifted students should look like. Here are 10 of the most common myths about gifted students and programs for the gifted:

Myth No. 1: Intelligence is inherited and does not change. Gifted students, therefore, do not need any special services.

All of us do inherit certain traits, intelligences and talents. But these need to be developed and nurtured throughout life for them to grow and reach their full potential. A beautiful flower inherits certain traits. But if it is not watered and fed and if it does not get the right amount of sunlight, it does not develop as it could. The same is true for gifted children.

Myth No. 2: Giftedness can easily be measured by intelligence tests and tests of achievement.

Giftedness is difficult to measure. This is why schools and school districts try so many different ways to identify gifted students. Tests are often culturally biased and may reflect ethnicity, socioeconomic status, exposure and experiences rather than true giftedness. Other children may be gifted but are not good at taking tests. They may not score well on standardized tests but may be gifted, especially in creative and productive thinking.

Myth No. 3: There is no need to identify gifted students in the early grades.

Many school districts do not begin identifying gifted and talented students until third grade. There is a belief among some educators that giftedness cannot be properly identified in the early grades. However, the National Association for Gifted Children programming standards start with pre-kindergarten. The group’s early childhood network position paper says that “providing engaging, responsive learning environments … benefit all children, including young gifted children.”

Photos: Inside a 'genius school' in 1948

Myth No. 4: Gifted students read all the time, wear glasses and/or are physically and socially inept.

From Jason, the cartoon character in the “Foxtrot” comic strip, to Sheldon on the TV show “The Big Bang Theory,” we can see this stereotype in action. But like all other kids, gifted children come in many varieties. Some are successful in sports or music, and some are physically attractive. Some have many friends, while others have only a few. Some are extreme extroverts, while others are introverts. There is no one type of person or personality we can pinpoint as gifted.

Myth No. 5: Gifted kids are all model students – they’re well-behaved and make good grades.

This statement reflects another stereotype about gifted students. Some gifted children are model students. They are compliant, follow directions, never misbehave and make straight A’s. But many others challenge teachers, do their own thing instead of the assigned work, procrastinate until the last minute when doing long-range assignments, get low grades, are disorganized and have poor study skills.

Myth No. 6: All gifted students work up to their potential.

Most schools have their share of gifted underachievers. These students have the potential for excellence but - for a variety of reasons - do not fulfill that potential. Gifted underachievers may decide they will only do the minimum requirements and choose the easy work instead of more challenging tasks. They often lack study and organizational skills because in the early grades they don’t need to develop them. Some get discouraged when the work doesn’t come easily, and others don’t want to look gifted because it isn’t “cool.”

Myth No. 7: Teaching gifted students is easy.

Some believe that a good teacher can easily teach any student. If this were the case, good teaching with no special training would be all that is needed to teach gifted students. However, in my many years of teaching graduate-level courses in gifted education, I have found that good teachers add to their skills and learn new strategies and techniques targeted particularly to meeting the needs of the gifted. Most teachers of the gifted tell me this is the hardest, most challenging, most exhausting and most rewarding teaching they have ever done.

Myth No. 8: Gifted students will get by on their own without any special help from the school.

I hear this myth often, especially in times of budget cutting. Some people claim that gifted students come from wealthy families who can meet their children’s needs. Others assert that the expense of providing gifted programs cannot be justified. In general, the assumption is that gifted students will succeed regardless of the quality of the education they receive. This is simply not true. Gifted students require special services and programs to ensure the growth rather than the loss of their outstanding abilities.

Myth No. 9: It never hurts gifted students to teach others what they already know.

If gifted students already know the grade-level standards, it may seem logical to have them teach others. This is faulty logic. It assumes that teaching struggling students is something gifted kids innately know how to do. Most gifted students do not know how to tutor others. They often are frustrated that struggling students don’t understand what they perceive as easy. Peer tutoring using gifted students also takes away time they should be using for more advanced work, more rigor and more higher-level thinking.

Myth No. 10: All children are gifted.

If all kids are gifted, then there is no need to identify gifted students and no need for any special programs for gifted. I strongly believe that all children have distinctive and unique qualities that make each one valuable. This does not mean, however, that all children are gifted. Being identified as gifted simply means that certain children have needs that are different from most others at their age and grade level. All gifted students need programs and services to ensure their growth rather than the loss of their outstanding abilities.

For information about gifted students and programs, I recommend the following websites and publishers:

Carolyn Coil
National Association for Gifted Children
Hoagie’s Gifted Education Page
Pieces of Learning
Prufrock Press
Royal Fireworks Press

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Carolyn Coil.

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Filed under: Curriculum • Gifted education • Policy • Practice • Voices
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  1. Gisela

    Both of my children were identified as gifted at an early age, and we were lucky enough to live in a school district that has a strong gifted program. Kids who are gifted are not just talented in one area. Their brains actually work differently. They need to work with other gifted kids, or they slide into mediocrity. Besides being excellent students, both are good athletes, and have active social lives. In a regular program, they might have been marginalized. I don't know why there is any question of gifted ed. How can we compete with the best and brightest in the world if we do not teach our best and brightest properly?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
  2. Bart Hawkins

    As a so-called "gifted," student from the 1960's, I can tell you a few facts regarding programs then....

    a. I was identified as such rather accidently, by a second grade teacher named Mr. Christopher; my IQ tests were my vision was poor (incidentally, a retest after getting decent eyeware proved, at least in my case, that meausred IQ does correlate with "giftedness," in some way)

    b. No programs existed to be used – virtually everything in the 60's was about "mainstreaming," special needs children – which did not include bright kids but those with various difficulties (not merely academic, but physical, as well)

    c. A program was created in which I was allowed to attend community college and grade school at the same time – NO counseling whatsoever was provided me regarding dealing with "adults," in that environment, though nevertheless, the community college folks were themselves very supportive

    d. MORE and MUCH MORE resourcing needs to be done against all manners of giftedness, and for that matter, all manners of ordinary-ness to maximize EVERYONE's potential. Being smart (by which I mean the ability to rapidly absorb and utlize information in both deductive and inductive reasoning to arrive at "new" conclusions) is NOT necessary (or even modal) for success in the "real world," that most of us inhabit

    d. Rationale for c – rather simple, really – we can spend $20 billion providing programs to raise the lowest to the middle, or provide that same sum to raise the upper middle and the highest to much higher still. I would promote both if I wrote the checks and, therefore, simply admit this: all children are different, but all children also exhibit population level charactersitics that are rather easily identified

    e. The greatest and indeed simplest ONE SINGLE ACTION we can take to enhance everyone's prospects in this great nation....FOOD. Sound silly? It isn't. Proper nutrition has lead to brighter people in general

    f. Societal enrichment and acceptance should go without saying, but they do not. As a science nerd...yes, I admit it, who earned two PhD's in that field, the AUTOMATIC assumption by all who know this remains one of great stigma. It is assumed I have no leadership skills; ability to play an instrument; ability to interact with my fellow man; desire to enjoy beauty in all its forms; or even deserving of the same life of relative ease and happiness most Americans enjoy. I am constantly reminded just HOW bright I am and how MUCH I owe. True to some degree, perhaps, but daunting in its execution.

    Lastly: frankly I would much rather have been born relatively normal (or at least, educated relatively normally) than I was. The sense of dislocation was and is profound. The requirements I meet daily – be greatly successful (and at my level, "success," means a Nobel) and be "humble," at the same time – are offputting in the extreme.

    To quote Nixon: "I've earned everything I've got."

    November 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Devin

      I was told I was gifted as well as I child, supposedly I scored one of the highest IQs in the town's history, and that was their basis for determining who was gifted. I am responding to you to say that although society has expectations of grandeur from us, the reality is, it is only our expectations that we have for ourselves that matter. Intelligence is only one characteristic of importance. Learning to accept ourselves is something altogether unassisted by that intellect. I have found it quite liberating to reject those notions that are placed upon us that we have to USE or intelligence for some lofty goal, and be successful according to someone else's idea of success. To me the greatest success is to enjoy life, every moment of it, and sometimes I have found that comes from areas that have nothing at all to do with my intellect or intelligence. In fact, often they seem to be in direct opposition to enjoying life. Basically, it is in your power to let the intelligence simply be, and not be the focus of your life.

      November 15, 2012 at 3:08 pm |
  3. Tinky

    I fully agree. I do a lot of art, and often get told how gifted I am, others seemingly forgetting the many years,weeks, and hours I put into developing this skill. There might have been a "gift", or maybe it was just a devoted interest, but just the same you need the time, help and patience to nourish it and truly "blossom". I can make money off this skill, but there is still infinite room for development.

    Sure, there probably are many children who are told they are SUPER GIFTED and grow up believing this, and I don't get the obsession with it. All children must be nourished, but play fair, play true. It's not that common but i still want to direct this following question to parents who do this: what is more important... that your child will grow up to be a contented, happy, loving and secure adult, or for them to be gifted and fantastic at stuff?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Linda

      You have named such an important thing – that even gifted children grow up in a nourishing environment that allows them to be different without making them feel they are better or worse than other children. I thank my parents for developing that supportive home life for me, and showing me how to help my children. If you work at it, the right family life can supercede the impediments of a not-so-helpful school.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  4. krehator

    Every parent thinks their kid is gifted.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • kpbsrs

      Wrong, only stupid person thinks that. I didn't think my daughter was gifted, when she tested and identified in 2nd Grade. She was described by her 3rd teacher had a Learning Disability kid. She has a couple closed classmates who I think are truly gifted. One went to Harvard and another went Digipen college. My 17 years old "gifted" who work hard is now studying biology in UC Berkeley.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
  5. theTruthIsOutThere

    Parents think their kids are gifted when (most likely) they are NOT...

    The REAL MYTH is that gifted kids achieve in the real world. The facts are they achieve no more than a smart (but non-gifted person) in the real world.

    BTW "gifted" is so overused that it's no longer an advantage because EVERYONE is labelled it.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tinky

      In relation this I do recall reading something on people taking intelligence tests... including mensa tests. A high score does not by any means make you "successful", nor does it mean that you have a better job than people who score relatively low. you have a very good and valid point.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • philip's dad

      it's interesting to see all of the resentment toward the gifted here. people of average intelligence trying so hard to prove they are just as good or just as successful as a gifted kid they may have once known. hopefully you people are successful and happy and feel good about yourselves, but why so much resentment toward the gifted? why don't they deserve a challenging education too? why do they have to be short changed so the rest of you can still feel good about yourselves? these kids are the kids that will be able to cure your cancers or heart deseases, or create the latest greatest technology that everybody wants, or the song that everyone is humming someday if we only value them enough to let them aim as high as their talents will take them. these kids only want to enjoy their lives and play with your kids without any fuss made, but let's allow everyone to learn at their own pace and not create barriers for some simply because everyone else is not capable of what some kids are capable of doing with their talents.

      November 16, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  6. ZeroTalent

    With "Gifted" in the headline I couldn't tell if they wrote about the mentally handicapped or the super intelligent. The article was about super intelligent kids, but the comment section seems to be full of the mentally retarded.

    We need to clarify terms here, as most of the people claiming to be gifted are mentally "retarded," not mentally "gifted." Otherwise they could spell, use correct sentence structure, and form coherent arguments. Could we please get the opinions of people on the mentally gifted side?

    November 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  7. CindyA

    I did notice that most gifted students are hyper active. They are basically good in one subject and lack social skills. My daughter is hyper active, lacked focus and she was selected as gifted and talented kid. I am very happy that she is seleced in GT. Now she is getting back to track being normal kid

    November 15, 2012 at 11:59 am |
  8. Jay

    If you're a parent, watch your kids' grades carefully. If they are bringing home As everyday and they never seem to have homework or never study, you need to consider that they are not being challenged (possibly gifted / talented). Trust me that eventually they will hit a roadblock as far as their abilities go, and they will be lost as to how to study and / or function when it gets to that point. Take my advice as a student who has experienced this, and adjust the level of what your kid is learning. Keep challenging them so that they can become better. Don't just assume bringing home an A is their best.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |
  9. E's madre

    Numbers 4 and 5 apply to my gifted son. He excels in sports, and he's very opinionated. He'll probably grow up to be a lawyer, as quick as his comebacks are. Being gifted can be a blessing and a curse. ADHD puts another stick in the gears, too. Could someone dab this sweat from my brow? Thanks.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  10. Stefan Stackhouse

    The truth really is that one size doesn't fit all – it fits none, actually. It isn't so much that some children are "gifted", but rather that all children are different. The industrial era mass-production classroom model might have been the only practical alternative in earlier days when "good enough" for the midling majority was all we could do, but there is no excuse for perpetuating it in this modern era.

    It just amazes me that so many people either don't know what computers can actually do in class, or think that their mere presence can just automatically change things. What we actually need to do is to have each student working at a computer workstation for most of each school day on self-paced instruction. Teachers need to become roving monitors, tutors, and mentors. We now have the technical means to deliver individualized instruction to each student, and maybe pretty inexpensively, too.

    Students still need some time together in groups each day, but one really doesn't get much more effective "socialization" by doing this for six hours each day than for just one or two. Besides, what sort of crackpot idea of 'socialization" is it to throw children together in age-segregated groups when in their adult life they'll never be in such groups again? In practice, it often works out to be the same sort of "socialization" that was on display in "Lord of the Flies". We need to ditch the idea of overall grade levels, and instead have the flexibility of pulling students of different age levels but similar achievement levels for each subject together for break-out learning groups.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Bart Hawkins

      Agreed, Stefan. My learning rate, so to speak, did not peak until well after I became an autodidact.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Oakley

      *standing ovation*

      November 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  11. Linda

    All 5 of my children actually were classified as gifted – but you should have seen the looks and comments when we entered a new school district and tried to explain this to the teachers! Isn't it amazing that a child who is 1 stanine below average would never be thought to integrate into the classroom withiout help, but a child who is 2 stanines above, is assumed to be able to figure it out without any special intervention.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  12. mommamia

    My five year old is beyond bright but I wouldn't say he is thriving in Kindergarten. His teacher told me he was average. From the time he was 6 months old I've had strangers walk up and tell me how "alert" he is and that he "looks smart". Hi has food and environmental allergies and is in a physician's office weekly. Every single specialist has told me that he operates on a higher level than most children his age. I agree with them but I can't seem to get him to focus, follow directions are become engaged in school. He is an only child and seems more interested helping other students and socializing. He has little interaction with the teacher and I think he is nervous. At any rate....can anyone relate to that? What have you done? There is a college prep school that the local university opened...are alternative education like that very good? I don't want him to struggle in life because life is hard enough when it's easy.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • shesaidit

      I’ll give you my personal opinion which stands for nothing because I am just an average parent with a very smart kid so take it for what it is worth. My experience has been some “teachers” who tell you your child is “average” just don’t want to go the extra mile to spent a little more time challenging your child. I went through something similar with my daughter’s teacher. She refused to recognize my child excelling well beyond any of the other students in her class even though her other teachers and psychologist friends of mine told me otherwise. I was tired of hearing my young daughter complain that school was too easy and tired of begging the teacher to give her additional work to no avail. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. If you really recognize something special in your child, go over the teacher’s head. Contact your state’s gifted association. Look into other school… keep challenging him! I’m not surprised he doesn’t have a good relationship with his teacher when she is calling him “average.” We are not all made alike but I believe every child has something special about them… and you find me one 5yr old that doesn’t have trouble focusing – especially one who might be bored with the curriculum. Good luck. Grease that wheel.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • shesaidit


        November 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  13. Michelle

    I am a mother of three with one "gifted" child. My daughter was tested and put into a gift program in the first grade. The "program" consisted of an IEP meeting once a year that is usually a waste of time. My daughter is now a Junior in High School and excels in her studies. I don't attirubute this to her "gifted" label but her personality. She chooses to work hard, but doesn't let the pressure of being a "gifted" student interfere with her studies. I have always told all my children that if you are living up to the best of you ability then good things will come. YOU make the most our of your education. My daughter is very social and often tutors friends in classes she has taken previously. In fact most of her friends have no idea that she is "gifted" only that she takes advanced classes.. I believe she works just as hard as other "non gifted" students. Each child is unique and learns in their own way. Schools and educators need to realize this. I was very upset last year when I went to class orientation for her AP Stats course and the teacher told all the parent's " I love teaching the smart kids, they are so much easier to deal with" I left there extremely upset and realized this is the problem with our education system. All kids need to get the same degree of education and not just the " smart kids". Personally I would not have allowed my daughter to skip a grade. Her maturity level and social skills would not have been on the same level as her peers.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • CJ

      I know what you mean; what some schools think is a program for the gifted is horrific. I myself was labeled as such and, because my school district claimed not to have a gifted program at all for elementary school, they allowed me to attend a school in the next district over. That district had four designated schools for gifted kids, with one full-time classroom per grade at each school. And other special services (I was in a pullout program for speech therapy, also). Come sixth grade, my district would no longer approve the transfer because they claimed the middle school had a gifted program. It consisted of a one-hour pullout "enrichment" class twice a week, all three grades together, in the library. After a year of that, my mom decided I'd be better served at a Catholic school.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  14. Howdydoody

    Myth#10 is why our education system fails so many. Teachers want to think that all students are special and have their own unique abilities. No Some kids are just dumb and hold back the rest of the class.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:28 am |
    • Duh!

      Are you sure? Were you one of the dumb kids holding back the class? I am sorry you were left behind.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:44 am |
  15. Oakspar77777

    Some real "myths" about gifted students.

    (1) Your child is a gifted student. Giftedness is rare and is not an inheiritible trait. If you are smart, your spouse is smart, you enrich the life of your child then your child WILL out score the students whose parents are high, drunk, missing, ignorant, or neglectful. That does not make your child gifted, just ahead of the (rather low) curve.

    (2) Your child's giftedness is a good thing. Most children want to be normal, giftedness is not normal. It DOES come with social awkwardness, bordom, increased workloads from teachers trying to "inspire" the child, and introspection that makes them secondguess themselves away from the animalism that aid the struggle to be "cool." While there are some students who score the genetic lottery twice – they are rare among the rare – so, see myth 1.

    (3) School can help your gifted child. There are not enough gifted students in most schools to warrent real attention. Sure, in a class of 200 students there will be 2-4 gifted children, but they will, at best, be in a class with students who are simply motivated overachievers or smart mid-level achievers – still a recipe for bordom, apathy, and procrastination from the gifted few. You can help your child, the system can mitigate its damage, but like "Good Will Hunting" it is the gifted child who must save himself.

    (4) Gifted children make good students. This is false. Gifted students a good learners, but seldom good students. Who develops good note taking or studying skills if they can pass any test from a half-listened to lecture. They know they are better than their peers who have to work to do what they do so easily. Thus, they tend to be disrespectful (since they are often more intellegent than many of their teachers, particularly as they age), unruly (bored), procrastinators (it is hard to value busy work, which all school work is if you have already mastered the skill), and off task (seeking things to fill their intellectual hunger). They also tend to narcassism, meglomania, anti-social personality disorder, BPD, psychosis, isolationalism, and marginilization of those who are gifted in areas they are not (gifted athletes, artist, and the socially adept) as being "inferior" in value. Most gifted kids won't end up disturbed – but a quick look at disturbed individuals throughout history will show a signifigantly high margin of gifted people.

    (5) Gifted students wear glasses and read a lot. This is completely false – some gifted children have perfectly good eyesight. They do, however, read a lot. The ability to aquire, retain, recall, and connect knowledge are directly linked to access of material to process. A gifted student in the dirth of materials to read will not develop their giftedness – however, most gifted children will find a way to access knowledge (the young Fredrick Douglas for example). Learning is often a compulsive need with gifted students (often misdiagnosed as ADHD, when really all the student needs is access to more content and less structure).

    (6) Gifted students need great teachers. Gifted students need great access to learning materials and other smart people. A library card and someone to challenge their ideas and concepts are all that a gifted child needs to develop. If you have to compel a gifted child to learn, either the child is not gifted or the work require has no learning value.

    (7) Gifted children will be successful. Some will, some will not. The emotional burdens and issues, bad habits picked up in a system that cannot challenge a child and does not trust the child to learn on his own, and the simple chances of life itself mean that many gifted people are "underachievers." The gifted hate that term, since it implies that they MUST go and do more than others, simply because they can – rather than persueing their own happiness, and enjoying the ease of a life with greater intellect. Many gifted persons will live a rather humble but happy life.

    (8) You are gifted. Gifted people don't need tests to know they are gifted any more than a tall person needs a ruler to know that he can see over the heads of everyone else. If you think you are or might be, you are not. Those who are gifted know it and most are rather humble about it, since it tends to cause more pain and trouble than benefit. Also, they tend to like when others notice their intellegence without being prompted, as that is far more sincere than the boasters. Thus, most high IQ gifted persons laugh at orginizations like Mensa – as those exist to boost the egos of those high achievers who almost made it to being gifted.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Phil

      Reading your comments, it is quite clear that you were not and are not considered "Gifted".

      November 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
      • Oakspar77777

        Your rhetoric has completely devestated my points, so I must retract them in defference to your superior arguements.

        Thank your Phil for enlightening me and setting me on the path of truth.

        Clearly you are gifted and your gifted spawn will lead mankind into a perfect utopia that will last for a thousand years, preparing us for our place in the galaxy and protecting us for the robotic and alien overlords of the comming decades.

        If you are going to ad hom someone, at least be creative with it. Reread rule #8.

        November 19, 2012 at 10:04 am |
  16. Scout14

    Another Myth: Just because your child is Talented and Gifted does not mean s/he is in all areas.

    My son was tested, and granted, for the TAG program in the 2nd grade. In the 6th grade he was tested for a Learning Disability. Go figure.

    Many of the teachers, etc. involved indicated that most gifted students have one area where the are not as gifted as the others. While not initially happy with the LD designation (his writing was below grade level)' it did give the opportunity to have extra time to write papers, use tools...and provide him with a class (all the way through high school) that taught him strategies to succeed.

    When I was in elementary school (late 60's) we also had class sizes of 30 or more. And for the general studies all learning levels were in class, but for Reading, Language Arts, Math...we all broke up and went to a class where we were with peers on the same learning level. That way we could all learn at the correct pace.

    Now it's all about not making someone feel bad, but all we are doing is compromising our future to the lowest common demoninator.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:27 am |
  17. This Point Made Me Laugh

    "Other children may be gifted but are not good at taking tests."

    Ohhhh, so they're really smart, but when it comes to the part where they have to display their knowledge, they aren't good. This idea that people aren't good at taking tests is ridiculous.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • steven

      A true story: I knew a boy, whose parents were medical doctors, who was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. As typical Asperger Syndrome patient, he was intellectually gifted. He failed math tests in grade school since he insisted to write his answer in Roman numerals because he afraid other students might try to copy his work.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Jay

      On tests, you have to read. Maybe the child IS actually gifted (obviously not with language), but s/he has a hard time decoding the phonics of the English language. By the way, this actually happens. A child that has a hard time READING a test and passing may by the same token pass with flying colours if the test is read to them.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Stacie

      I'm gifted, but I have never tested well. It isn't a myth that some gifted kids don't test well. And it also has nothing to do with studying or the level of a gifted student's intelligence. There is such a thing as being twice exceptional. I am gifted and talented with a learning disability. I have ADD. I have a very hard time sitting through 20 questions, let alone SATs or GREs. Maybe you should talk to a gifted person who has a hard time with it to understand.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  18. Serious Person

    As a former teacher, I've always said there's two kinds of kids with behavior problems, the genuine behavior problems and the bored kids. I'm the odd duck in this forum. I have a boy that could do 50 piece free form puzzle by the age of two. He's now in 5th grade and working on algebra. Our school does not have a gifted program, but I'm fortunate the fifth grade teachers pulled all of the kids like my son and get math work from the junior high for them. It works. I have no desire to push him to the next grade or advance him, I just want him challenged and I work with his teachers and at home to do it. What a lot of people don't realize is you can be gifted in one area like math, and absolutely hate to read and write. My son is straight A's and does well there, but I can see he is not "gifted" in those areas. I watch him do math and it's obvious it's not normal for a 10 year old. You can tell, it's not just "smart". I personally believe school has other purposes beside strictly academic purposes. My goal is to have a well rounded child, not an "advanced" one.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • Jay

      Be careful that his is actually being challenged. You're open about the fact that he brings home straight As, when fact is he may not be challenged if it's that easy to get an A. I was the same way...they couldn't give me tough enough work in school. Finally, though, there was a point where the work came to information overload, but by that point I didn't know how to study or research because everything in my past had been so easy. Challenge your kid. If he's not bringing homework to the house or if he's not's too easy.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  19. foodle

    What a load of BS. How about we start by defining exactly what you mean by "gifted" besides a way for parents (and teachers) to pat themselves on the back. What a ridiculous boondoggle.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Jub

      Why in the world are you on this forum? You are just showing off your ignorance about this subject.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:42 pm |
  20. gasmaskdan

    I saw a lot of people bashing on the gifted programs in the comments and I think you have to look at them for what they were. They were a good start to school realizing that not all kids learn the same and have the same strengths and weaknesses in education. I grew up in the peak of the gifted programs and there are some serious problems with that approach, but they put in the groundwork for what my kids have now in school. Many schools now acknowledge that people can be gifted in one area and not others. Kids can take advanced math while being placed in a reading class for kids that struggle with reading and writing. We have schools specifically geared to foster artistic talent. We have some schools that are still behind the times, sure. I encourage all parents to be involved in pushing schools to move along to more sophisticated programs tailored to getting the best out of their kids.

    As a society, it benefits us to encourage every person to reach their full potential. That means helping people with their weak points and challenging their strengths. We do it in business and we should be doing it in education. I think that more and more schools are effectively accomplishing this. "Gifted" is a legacy term that most educators would probably consider outdated, but it was an important first step.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:17 am |
  21. Jackson

    I was tested in third grade, as the story talks about, and was deemed "gifted". I was put in an accelerated class. It was the single worse thing that ever happened to me. From that point on, if I was not receiving straight A's, or getting 100% on each and every test, it became a war zone in my house. I was obviously not studying, or not taking it seriously, or not doing enough, or not paying attention. Suddenly, it was all about my doing something wrong. I would get a lecture if I got a 98% on a test, and was grilled as to why I would miss one question, and why hadn't I studied harder.

    What a f-ing joke. I don't wish that on any kid anywhere.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Unegen

      I'd say the problem lay with your parents, not the accelerated program.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • East

      Thanks for sharing this experience. I have a gifted son that my wife is homeschooling. I can see myself going the down the same path with him because my goal is to get him into Princeton. You allowed me to understand the pain I can cause him by pushing him too hard. I'm guilty of this, on weekends, I make sure all the games we play are "learning games". I am constantly telling him he will a doctor. I've even consultant my Asian friends on their methods of preparing their children academically. I am the sports dad that was never good in sports, living vicariously to through my smart kid. I wasn't gifted at and struggled to push all my way through graduate school, having start at community college, before transfering to University. I always admired the smart students that breezed through math vs me taking college alegrabra 3 times before passing with a B. I

      November 15, 2012 at 11:46 am |
      • Jay

        East, let your kid be a kid. Prepare him for college, let him know the benefits of earning a degree, but don't groom him for what you think he should do or be. He'll hate you later for feeling forced, and he'll hate himself if he doesn't follow your wishes. Trust me. Just let him do his thing, show him the right way, and he'll make you proud.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
      • Kathy

        This makes me sad. Your post was all about you and not your child. You make it seem that your child's job is to fulfill all of your dreams and goals, not to find his own. Your child has a job, and your child can fail at that job by not getting the grades YOU want, by not getting into Princeton, by not becoming a doctor. Or he can do all these things and wake up late in life realizing that he wanted none of those things. If your child is destined to be a doctor, you won't be able to stop him. If he isn't, you may be able to force him but he won't be a happy adult. I have a child who is highly gifted and active in many things and quite musically talented. She clearly was Ivy League material, yet chose a state school for the experience of going to a large university with weekend sports, great money for research, and diversity in school offerings as well as fellow students. I worked very hard in her elementary and secondary schools to get her challenged, to get her to learn how to fail, to get her to not get all A's unless she earned them by learning and doing. It wasn't easy and I wasn't always successful. I had her do sports so she could experience working hard and being average, so she could learn to respect all kinds of gifts in other people. When she was born I looked at her and wondered who she was and who she would be – I didn't prescribe a life for her, but worked hard to get her a variety f experiences and challenges so she doesn't fear failure and so she has the ability to figure out who she is. I wish those things for your son.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Jay

      Sorry, buddy. That was your parents' problem. Not yours. They really had unrealistic expectations for you.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  22. Chris

    As a child, my fondest memory of first grade was spending many days in the principals office with no idea why I was there. My parents would be called in after school for countless parent-teacher conferences with my first grade teacher asserting that I wasn't developing like I should and that she suspected that I was autistic. The next year, I was tested for my school's gifted program and I was placed in extra classes and activities covering ancient cultures, arts and advanced topics in various subjects. I was never in the principals office again throughout the rest of my school career. If my first grade teacher had her way, I would have remained bored out of my mind in school, likely held back, and remained a delinquent. Fortunately, there are people with the sense to identify students with special needs for advanced curricula and I'm proof that the system works. While I may deny my public primary education for having much role in my success today, the gifted program did indeed play a huge role in shaping who I am today and I would proudly advocate for its role in our public education system.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  23. Brenden

    I was always bored in school and did the bare minimum. Self instruction does me better than school instruction and I am in a good paying job and have done well without finishing college :) School is NOT for everyone.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
  24. Will S

    Blame the "No Child Allowed Ahead" mentality of schools.

    November 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • HoneyRyder

      Accurately stated; only in public education can they find money to pay for retaining drop outs, and graduate incompetent students year after year so they so can start at remedial courses in college, but not allow four years old to start kindergarten who can read and write and are enthusiastic about attending school; they rather invest in the ones who don't want to be there and neglect the ones who do until they want to ask them for a donation when they are succeeded;

      November 15, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • HoneyRyder

      Accurately stated; only in public education can they find money to pay for retaining drop outs, and graduate incompetent students year after year so they so can start at remedial courses in college, but not allow four years old to start kindergarten who can read and write and are enthusiastic about attending school; they rather invest in the ones who don't want to be there and neglect the ones who do until they want to ask them for a donation when they are successful;

      November 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  25. Mmmm

    Can we just take a moment to recognize how freaking cute that kid is???

    November 15, 2012 at 10:54 am |
  26. apstar

    The public school system is grossly inept to teach _any_ student in this era. Mediocre instruction, how poorly gifted as well as IEP and 504 plans are conducted, attest to the U.S.' falling way behind many nations in math and science rankings. Teachers are paid poorly in some cases, expected to babysit unruly classes with 40 or more students, strive for the mediocre, and emphasize standard test scores. None of this bodes well for any individual who expects and deserves a decent education. Our school system is based on an outdated model that took into account the need for youth to work on farms during the summer, and now, kids spend the first 2 months in the fall recalling what they've forgotten from the previous school year. Drastic changes are needed. This article glosses over the shortfalls of the U.S. school system, as a whole.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  27. JustAverage

    Wow so many people who are "Gifted" have genus IQs, have children who are "Gifted" all in one place. too funny.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • JC in Western US

      If you had a gifted child or taught gifted children, you would want to read articles like this one. And of course you'd have a story to share. If you are annoyed by people commenting about something they have experience with, then why read this article and comment about it?

      I'm a 30 year veteran educator. We teachers do hear "My kid is gifted" a lot. And we hear it a lot from parents whose kid is very intelligent and maybe highly motivated to do well in school, but not necessarily gifted.

      It's the parents we don't hear it from that I wish were reading this article. I have taught thousands of kids. So many of them who really were gifted did NOT do well in school. Traditional school is not good for every kid. Trust your instinct, mom and dad. If you know that your kid is highly intelligent and yet they are not performing in school, or are in a lot of trouble in school, please ask THEM why they are not succeeding. And then listen. You are not required to force your square peg kid into a round hole.

      If school isn't working... Then for the sake of your child and your relationship with them – take them out of school and teach them yourself if it is at all possible. Schools change slowly and your child only gets one chance at the grade they are in. Frustration doesn't create success. Failure doesn't motivate people. Do what you need to do and don't rely on the school system if the school system isn't doing what it needs to do. You are your child's first and best teacher, and you can acquire the skills and resources you need to teach them. Just do it. Don't waste time.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
      • Jub

        Excellent advice!

        November 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
  28. Mythbuster

    I think the truly gifted kids are the ones who surpass their teachers' and parents' own understanding of something with relative ease. Studying hard and getting A's is great, and those kids should be rewarded, but that doesn't mean they are GT.

    Truly GT children need mentors, adult mentors, in the area(s) they excel in. Unfortunately teachers cannot usually be mentors, and in most cases the teachers are not exceptional in the same area anyways.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  29. JustAverage


    My child has a genius IQ and was gifted tested in Kindergarten. Most schools don't have gifted programs until grade 2 and many schools in the country don't even have that and might have a gifted pullout once a week. So many Einstein’s splitting the atom.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:47 am |
  30. mkz

    I was identified at an early age as "gifted." I never understood the term or considered myself smarter or more intelligent than others, I just knew that I liked school, I liked learning, and I liked reading. When you are outed as "gifted," everyone expects amazing intellectual feats. Everyone expects you will be the kid who finishes the crossword puzzle first, or completes the pop quiz in record time with a perfect score, or that your SAT scores will break records. When you don't live up to these expectations, brows become furrowed and every adult looks at you like you did something wrong. My school did not offer any sort of gifted programs, with the exception of "advanced" studies (which essentially means you get to read "1984" a full year before your peers). Any student could be accepted into the advanced program, especially if one's parents were vocal enough, or if the student had a sibling who previously took advanced courses. They also had testing methods, including written and oral exams. Even after all of that, I did have some amazing teachers, but I cannot say I was placed in an enviroment that helped me develop this "gift."
    Our school also implemented a program where the top students were partnered in classes with the bottom performers, in an experiment in which we could teach our peers. I think these classes were a hug disservice, since we tended to work at a slower pace, skipped material entirely in an effort to catch up, and spent valuable time sitting in silence or being reprimanded because someone in the class exhibited poor behavior. I even remember working with someone in a technology class building a bridge model; the person I was working with was offended that the "nerdy girl" was doing all the work in technology, a "boy class," and destroyed our bridge the day before our project was due...and then left me to attempt to reassemble the pieces. The only thing that program taught me over 3 years was that I hated group projects!

    Eventually, I started to understand my high IQ and the failures of public education and began to hate school. Good thing no one cares about how advanced you were in middle school when you are an adult.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:40 am |
  31. Mark

    I graduated HS with a 1.1 GPA but took the SAT and scored an 800 on the math portion. I was unable to learn auditory or things I wasnt interested. I skipped school and went to the public library. I dont think school is for everyone and it was a complete wast of my time. I have a successful career now but worked my way up from the bottom with no college degree.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:39 am |
    • Liz Phantom

      wow . . . yeah . . . something to be COMPLETELY PROUD of. Way to go genius!

      November 15, 2012 at 10:47 am |
      • Mark

        I make plenty of money so I am proud. I think school is a waste of time for some people. Not everyone learns the same way. Im glad you stuck around and got that 4 year degree in English, I will hire you as one of my Admins.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:50 am |
  32. JustAverage

    I think the label gifted is silly. These are people with above average intelligence. "Gifted" indicates some higher power imparted something to them. Just a roll of the gene pool. Something else that makes me laugh are those folks on here who claim they are "gifted" but spend their post insulting other people. Not the mark of an intellectual. But then your spending time posting to a meaningless article wasting all those brain cells defending a position to a bunch of faceless strangers. By the way, I'm not "gifted" can you tell? "Gifted"people will understand me I suppose but they won't be reading this.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:38 am |
    • Not so fast

      I agree the term gifted is silly. Every person is different and will therefor have a different experience to the same situation (school). My older brother was identified as gifted, yet teachers and my parents could but figure out how to motivate him. He was inherently smart, good reasoning skills and a quick study of every thing he read. in reality he has a higher than average recall of information rate. In other words a near photographic memory. Even today he I can as him what the 5th word of the 9th line of the 3rd paragraph of the 6th chapter of a rondom book he read 25 years ago... and he can qoute the word and the entire chapter if you want.

      This is his "gift" that the teachers never quite got. The more he was exposed to the more he knew because his memory was near peerfect recall. his understanding of conceptual models was average. Of course that inproved at an average rate as he got older. He does have 2 BA's and a masters degree now, but only pursued them after it was a) clearer what he wanted to do as a career. and b) became aware that no matter how much you know, you can never be hired, promoted, nor paid well with out the sheep skin (that is a degree, yes i'm a little older than you if you didn't get that).

      I have a BA in engineering, and am working on my masters. When I was in school I scored in the 99 percentile for math in the 2nd grade. The teachers asked my parents if they could give me a few more test. Later I was told that I score in the 99 percentile at the 8th grade level in 2nd grade. I also found out later there is no 100 percential. I never thought of my self is gifted, I just knew that in math, it was interesting to my, and made sense. I never excelled in most classes such as spelling, reading, grammar, english, social studies, history, but in math and science.... pretty much straight A's. the so called experts ( teachers and administrators) were on the fence about calling me gifted because I did not do extraordinary in other subjects, in fact I often did poorly in english and history. In all it didn't matter because there was no real program truely nuture any meaningful growth. My older brother had (1) different class in 6th grade to promote critical thinking... in reality "per my brother" there was nothing critical about the thinking, the teacher wanted you to adopt her views on poetry, literature, and art. Per my brother, most of the kids figured that out in about 2 to 3 weeks, and they all just "phoned in the test, and quizes", that is they wrote what the teacher wanted to hear, requardless of what they really thought, because the when anyone expressed a different view, they were told they didn't understand because they didn't know what real art was, or real music, or literature, ect...

      The funny thing is my younger brother was not identifed either, and was not considered boarder line like me. but he ( like us) is a college grad, double major, and working on his masters, he works hard, as a very intelligent man, and is just as sucessful. He has a "gift" (pun intended) for language. i call it that because I am the opposite of that. I have tried and failed miserably to learn a second language. My younger brother has picked 5, one in high school in class, another in highschool by listening to people talk at lunch... after about 3 months ( 15 minutes a day) he understood it, and about 1 month later he could speak it, he has learned 2 more in college by listing to other speak. and one more becuase it would be helpful with foriegn clients at his job. He picked it up in 3 weeks, and was considered fluent in 5 weeks.

      The point is none of us are gifted, but we all have things we excell at more so than in other areas. I do believe there are gifted people in the world, but I also believe they are more like 1 in 100 million to 1 in 250 million. Not the 1 in every 100 students that school identify because they happen to be good at something measurable.

      i understood college algebra, and geometry in the 6th grade and basic Calculus in 8th grade, but there were no advanced classes I could take, that was me reading math books from the library, because I was interested. Would I have been better served if I could have done more advanced math in 3rd, 4th, all the way though high school? yes, but what is more interesting is how much time was spent on literature, geoghaphy, and history for someone who to this day has no desire to know them. For me spending more time in math and science would be a much better education. where as for my younger brother, literature and language would suit him best. and my older brother's passion was actually in art, music, and creative writing.

      So what is my point, we don't have to be gifted to have talent, and maybe the current school model can help us develope that talent with a more flexible curiculum, because one size does not always fit all. On a small scall this can be more difficult to do ( schools with 1 class per grade) but when where are 3 or four classes per grade, you can specialize based on strengths. Of course the math and science interest group I would be in still would be taught history. But i would be taught it during math and science. I still know madam Curries experiments with radiation that gave us the x-ray, I still know about the scientific theory's that led from the plumb pudding model to the panetary model of the atom in the late 1910's through 1920's. Why not teach about that with reference to who the president was. I'm sure stock market crash in the late 1920's had a huge effect on scientic research funding... that is an example of tieing science to history.

      I'm no expert, but I bet we could identify 4 or 5 education models that help focus the strengths of the students to promote greated interest, inclusion and overall learning.

      But that's just my 2 cents...

      November 15, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
      • Jub

        You said it! Offering different education models that teach to the strengths of students is exactly what needs to be done.

        November 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
  33. Ann

    I would like to hear what you all have to say about Tiger mom Amy Chua's children; are they naturally gifted?

    November 15, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  34. Bookldy209

    Have taught public and private elementary school on both coasts for thirty plus years. One of the first true "myths" humankind teaches is that all men are created equal. All are deserving of a quality education and can be nurtured to their full potential but some are more gifted than others and a good teacher can tell by the third grade. Too many public systems teach to the middle and potentially "lose" their high and low achieving students.

    As far as the suggestion of skipping grades, I was one of those kids who was double promoted and started college as a 17 year old junior. I had neither the maturity nor social skills to deal with college life and took off a couple of years to wait tables and see a bit more of the world. I did return to school eventually and did well, for the record. Please don't push your children either; childhood comes but once.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:32 am |
  35. Jimbojoe

    I was "highly" gifted at a tested 144 IQ, and I did horribly in school. Material was never ever the problem, I just never did any homework or projects. It lead to getting A's on tests and mid-terms and getting failing grades in the actual class. Almost dropped out of high-school, but made it by the skin of my teeth.

    I've never heard of these stereotypes. There must have been some really dense people to assume these things. The one about people not wanting to test people before third-grade is true though. I heard the teachers saying they didn't want to test kids before 3rd grade, even though they had a first-grader in the program.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • yepsotrue

      I completely agree. 141 here, but I was tested back in 1st and 2nd grade. Material and info was easy – too easy actually, so I never paid attention or did hw/projects. breezed through elementary school. Classicly, had a tough time in HS when work completion was a bigger percentage of grading. It's tough being a kid listening to a teacher when both of you recognize you are smarter than they are.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • Lovee123

      My child went thru the same thing. She was tested with a high IQ, and put in gifted classes. She is 17 now and dropped out of high school. She just took her GED test. She went to school every day and did NOTHING. She failed everything but would pass the end of year test with flying colors. This was fine until high school when the end of year test were not enough to pass you to the next grade. She was diagnosed with ADHD and if you have ever had a child who was gifted and had ADHD you know you will never get any help from the schools. She even had a Gifted teacher tell her to her face that ADHD was not real and its what people used as an excuse when they didnt want to take responsibilty for the kids failures. It's been a nightmare. I believe in my heart she would have gotten more help had she never been "labeled" gifted.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:37 am |
    • Pam Miller

      Wow! You just described my son. Gifted classes in our area are 1 day a week in grades 3 through 6. He found homework pointless so he refused to do it. I was concerned as to whether or not he would graduate, but he did and when he got to college , he was on the Deans List. I don't understand why they don't offer the same opportunities for gifted kids that they do for the learning disabled.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  36. WIlliam Demuth

    Beware the gifted child

    A traditional child lost to the dark side is a tragedy and is not to be minimized, but a gifted child who is disenfranchised or denied constructive outlets can become a danger to themselves, and assuming they survive the transition to adulthood, can become a VERY significant risk to society in general. Be it poverty or poor guidance, be it tragedy or familial indifference, the causes may vary, but the outcome is usually the same.

    Having taken the latter road, and been involved in several EXTREMLY counterproductive sub-cultures at an absurdly young age I can assure you all, do not be foolish and believe these children will go quietly into the night.

    These are resources to be harvested for the greater good of all, but understand these youngsters can and will become either a significant asset or an extreme liability. The decision is ours.

    I have personally seen it all, from drug manufacturing and distribution, to cybercrime, to fraud, to political extremism, and even to improvised explosive fabrication with most of my exposures well before I was fifteen.

    Next time you see the face of a poor child, a victimized child or a disenfranchised child, look closely. You may see nothing worth noting, but look more closely, because if that child survives, rest assured he will remember you.

    You see we keep score, we don’t forgive, and we NEVER forget.

    Choose wisely

    November 15, 2012 at 10:19 am |
    • 72california

      Interesting point- I wonder if all the 'crazy people' are nothing more than disenfranchised gifted?

      What if big time drug lords, mass serial murderers, could have been saved if they had productive outlets to channel their ambition etc?

      We would need to really focus on ensuring gifted stay on the side of good vs sliding over to the dark side.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  37. Rob

    WAY too many stupid people on of being gifted but the content of your own comments indicates otherwise...many just show that they fail to truely understand the topic and concepts sad.

    November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • ZeroTalent

      The amount of people declaring how gifted they are makes me think there are tons of insecure stupid people commenting!

      As for doing poor in high school then doing great in college or real life work, congratulations. That's so rare! I only know TONS of people who did that as well. Sometimes you aren't good at a subject, sometimes you were lazy, sometimes the subject had nothing to do with your career now. So it's not relevant at all.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
  38. NancyB

    I was one of those kids who was bored all the way through public school and probably slept through most of it. I skipped a grade in high school, graduating at 16. Did not do well initially in college as I was not socially prepared for it. I never made straight A's until graduate school in my forties. I loved grad school, as a lot of my courses were on line and I could do the course work at my own pace and any time of the day. Unfortunately, we did not have that kind of technology in the sixties. It would have been a lot of fun to be able to get through high school on a computer!

    November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  39. Mustang

    As the mother of highly gifted children I am extremely frustrated by the public education system. Years of my kids education has been a complete waste of time! Its better now that I am active in advocating for my children. Last week was 9 school and district people and just me! My children come home and I "enrich" their learning. Despite working on higher grade level than their actual grade, the school refused to administer assessments that show they have passes their grade material and when they do they refuse to have them work at their level unless I advocate VERY STRONGLY.

    The good news is this, with Common Core (CCSS) being implemented in most states, I am hopeful this represents a cultural change to differentiated learning to multiple intelligence. CCSS has the potential to set the stage for differentiated learning becoming accepted practice helping all students – and especially advanced learners. Its long overdue, and IMO our country's success depends on it IMO. "In 2010, American students rank 17th in the world. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development says that this is due to focusing on the low end of performers. The country has been outrun, the study says, by other nations because the US has not done enough to encourage the highest achievers." To those with advanced and gifted learners – I encourage you to get a subscription to an online learning system like Compass Odyssey (I have it through time4learning) and an iPad and provide a lot of enrichment apps across a variety of topics so that these kids are challenged! Otherwise, as I saw you may see your bright, outgoing child "give up" and retreat into their shell and their interest in all things diminish. And please STAND up, be BRAVE and be a VOICE for your child in their schools because it takes time to effect change! Too often parents just go along with the school; and teachers manipulate saying oh your child is disorganized (i.e. gr 1) to justify not giving more advanced work. STAND UP for your children and be their voice! And that in itself will say more to them (modelling) than you can imagine!

    November 15, 2012 at 9:22 am |
    • Rob

      if your comment is any indication, while they may be above grade level (which is NOT necessarily "gifted"), perhaps they are not emotionally mature enough to move up...putting a smart kid in with older students in order to access the material often leads to the smart kid acting like a kid while others are acting like students...

      November 15, 2012 at 9:41 am |
      • Mustang

        My child has a genius IQ and was gifted tested in Kindergarten. Most schools don't have gifted programs until grade 2 and many schools in the country don't even have that and might have a gifted pullout once a week. My child was "bored out of her tree" in K and grade 1. She started K at grade 2 level. She has always been like a year older than her age (maybe because she has a close older sibling with same interests). She would be well suited to grade acceleration but her school does not allow it. In my experience at K level there is a broad range of kids skills (probably more so at this grade than any other), Volunteering in the classroom it is so apparent the kids that stand out as high achieving/ gifted in one afternoon with them. Why not cluster them and allow them to advance at their pace, with horizontal and vertical enrichment, compacting and telescoping curriculum? Schools could even group kids K/1, 2/3, and 4/5 like they do in Montessori to give kids more opportunities. Simple changes, big results w/o needing to put child in with older kids.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:05 am |
      • hawaiikaos

        Oh wow that's offensive and ignorant. I was a gifted kid that was held back because I wasn't deemed emotionally mature enough to advance, even though I was bored out of my skull (which is why most gifted kids act up btw). I was deemed immature because I didn't interact with other children at all, just adults, because I could not relate to them and the level of things that they talked about was of no interest to me. It was obvious to me that being with older children was a better fit intellectually but somehow this logic eluded the administrators and my parents and no amount of pleading from me could avail it. The only positive was that it made me very aware that I had to take my education into my own hands and learn voraciously everything I was interested in on my own time.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:12 am |
      • hawaiikaos

        I was tested at six grade levels ahead of my age peers btw, so public school was not the most appropriate place for me.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
      • Rob

        schools don't conduct IQ tests....if you claim to have had a test done in 2nd grade, it's called a LIE....a teacher might notice a cause to get tested but it would be done completely independently, often by a child psychologist.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
    • Patrick

      Most kids should be at a higher grade level then what is being taught. Most public schools have dumbed down what is being taught so the kids pass. I have family and many friends who are K-12 teachers. They are being forced to pass kids should should not pass in order to keep the number up. What they teach is repeating the previous year or is the previous year. The subject material is in the wrong year. My 5th grade friends tell me that they are teaching material that should have been taught in 4th grade and often 3rd grade. The kids that are at a 5th grade level are bored. The advanced kids are even more bored.

      Maybe it is time to teach based on the child's level not their age. It will be embarrassing for an older child to be with children who are younger. It take a lot of work to keep the kids in line. Kids are in school to learn. School is not free daycare. Schools should be able to kick out kids who disrupt rather then learn. There is a huge difference in a child that is acting out because they do not understand or is not being challenged then a child that is acting out just because they can. Good teachers can tell the difference. Most people can tell the difference. More often then not the answer to "what is wrong" or "What is bothering you" will let the adult know. The trouble kids act out. The kids that want to learn don't.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:50 am |
    • Newsfish

      I read your comment, Mustang, and it seriously disturbs me. I raised a gifted child and I was left to do so as a single parent (not by choice.) There were no programs to help. She was not supposed to "make it" and at that, she is still, by Federal law, physically challenged (Type I, Juvenile Diabetes.) My daughter has an LD complication in the bargain. She was unable, I believe, to achieve to her fullest, but she is helping others to do so as a highly qualified educator in one of those public schools you lambasted in your generalized comment. Yes, she was enriched through experiences from home and travel. She entered kindergarten reading fluently 85% of the English language. Yes, she knows her tables fluently to this day. My mother, another educator, reduced me to tears, but I learned my tables. My daughter was also reduced to tears, but she knows hers. If your child does not, it is partly your fault and when they start taking timed tests and working within timed parameters it will hurt and be an obstacle to their success in math if they do not learn those tables, no matter what any teacher says. I acknowledge that parents must be a part of the educational process for their offspring. It takes a village to raise a child. But that village must work as a team and not critique efforts from others, especially those in the classroom who have worked very hard at extreme cost, to have the opportunity to instruct other people's children. You have no idea the burden of teachers today who are so underpaid for such an overwhelming task. The curriculum grows daily in pace with what we know and why we know it. Technology, including parent/administration emails 24/7, smartboards, power points, etc. takes away from instruction time and even planning/grading time at home. The rest of the professional work force has a one-hour lunch, often away from the office; not teachers. Most of them can use the bathroom on their own schedule; not teachers. Many of those workforce professionals receive bonuses at year end; not teachers. Teachers in our State have received 14 furlough days over 13 years and all have received approximately a 25% pay cut over those years due to the unwarranted expense of health care. You see, the profession of teaching is practiced because of love and it is a mission, albeit educators have many unmet needs of which parents and other critics have no idea.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:20 am |
  40. SomeGuy

    I find many of the arguments in this article troublesome, but I'm particularly bothered by the argument that gifted children should not waste their time helping their peers. Teaching other children can have enormous benefits for the tutor. Not only will they develop a deeper understanding of the material, but they will learn very valuable life skills – empathy and the ability to see the world from another person's perspective, to name two. The gifted student gets frustrated when the less advanced student does not understand the material? Guess what, much of success life is about learning how to communicate effectively and how to deal with frustration. The author states that "Peer tutoring using gifted students also takes away time they should be using for more advanced work, more rigor and more higher-level thinking", yet these are the kids who are already excelling at these skills????? Whatever happened to viewing education as a means for developing children who will be productive members of society who experience rich fulfilling lives? Or is the goal to produce children who can score off the charts on standardized tests?

    November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |
    • JC

      Clearly, you aren't very gifted...

      November 15, 2012 at 9:27 am |
    • HB

      Really, JC? That's your comment? Did you giggle when you wrote because you are so clever? You are a clear example of someone who should have been tutored by a gifted student.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:50 am |
      • HB

        *wrote it

        November 15, 2012 at 9:51 am |
    • AC

      There are certain bebefits in having advanced children helping out other kids. BUt, it's not very rewarding. I have always thought, wow, what an opportunity to develope deeper understanding through this practice! But my son taught me a lesson when he was fortune enough to go to a GT program. The first thing he said was, this is great, now I don't have to lead and tell others what to do any more, and I can actually hear other's opinions, rather than just mine. I can finally have discussions. He does miss his "teaching" momemts at his old school, while he was always leading discussions and trying to "teach" others and have other kids regard him as "smart" and a leader. But he was BORED. He was screaming for something more, ever since kindengarten, while he actually had been placed on fast track all along, and still feeling bored. He needed an enviroment where he could talk about stuff with equally gifted kids on more challenging topics and doing bigger projects. This essay is valid and true, for gifted kids. They are gifted in a way that they have special needs.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:57 am |
      • BC

        I related to the story and then your son's statements to you hit the nail on the head. I really needed to be around people that approached things the way I did. I did not like leading every group, and I did not like looking like a "know it all" ALL the time. I was 38 years old before I was around people that did not treat me like I needed to be dumbed down and/or like I was talking "crazy talk". The way you were able to communicate what your son said, you sound like an great listener and a great mom. Thanks.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:35 am |
    • phoenix1920

      ummm . . . first, you realize that these are children we are talking about, including 5, 6, 7, 8 year olds. Expecting an 7- 8 year old to being able to understand that others learn differently and handle the frustration is not developmentally on point. My husband can't stand explaining computers to me and he should have the capacity for handling frustration at such things. More importantly, gifted students don't necessarily know the answer by how the teacher is explaining it. My daughter knows math beyond her grade level because she sees relationships that others don't see in her grade level. So her teaching another student would NOT be helpful for that other student unless the other student was at the same level of math as she was. Teachers teach using certain rules (like to recall addition facts with doubles plus or minus 1) but gifted students know equations seeing relationships that are not yet being taught to that grade level.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:26 am |
    • Jub

      It depends solely on the personality of the child. Some gifted children do like to tutor theirs peers. However, most of their peers do not want to be tutored by a grade level peer, gifted or not. It is embarrassing to them. Gifted children become teacher's aids, because the teacher doesn't know what else to do with these types of students that finish their work so quickly. It is not fair to gifted to students to have to do the teacher's work or tutor other students. What is fair that the gifted student receives a challenging education at a pace that keeps them interested.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
  41. Josh

    Spending education dollars on gifted and talented education has the highest rate of return for our economy and therefore our government.

    November 15, 2012 at 9:03 am |
    • Daisy

      Yep, few years back my son was the best gifted child, and I was so proud of him, went to a famous university, went to a wrong crowd of friends, a college drop-out. I punish, bribe, anything I can think off for him to go back to school with full financial support but refused. He's working but pay check to paycheck. Can't afford to buy a car, so I bought if for him twice already of course brand new at his choice. Of course it's my fault for giving in to him, but it's my only child. And now I decided to cut him off. It hurts but I'm going to do it.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:27 am |
      • rtup

        Do it!

        November 15, 2012 at 9:36 am |
      • Rob

        it sucks that you messed up your own kid's life....anything given is not handicapped your child by giving them the things they needed to WORK for...

        November 15, 2012 at 9:43 am |
      • KC

        At least you have realized your mistake. My ex's father was still bailing him out of his self-created messes well into his 40s. And why SHOULD he restrain his spending when he knew his father would cover the bills?

        November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
      • yepsotrue

        being gifted doesn't mean being self motivated. in school growing up there were 3 kids in my school who were generlly accepted as being ridiculously smart/intelligent/capable. of those three, one works in a warehouse, one works at a books store, and the one who was the high school dropout is now a 1 percenter and quite successful, and got no help from family.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:45 am |
      • Lovee123

        Daisy cut him off! I have the laziest gifted child I have ever seen living in my house. She has chores (the sames ones for the last 7 years) and I still have to tell her what needs to be done everyday. She is up all night playing stupid computer games and sleeps all day. She is a high school drop out. Never had a job. I just forced her to apply at Mcdonalds ( I even had to take her to turn in the application so I could make sure she actually turned it in). She is out of here in Feb. I told her a year ago I want her out. She isn't taking me seriously. Sounds terrible, but I don't care if she has no where to go. She is out. Maybe a few nights on the street will do her good.

        November 15, 2012 at 11:06 am |
      • JC

        @Rob: You are either unbelievably pompous or the antetheis of the subject matter of this article. You really feel like you are in the position to judge Daisy's parenting skills? Shame on you! Many of these kids get on a wrong path because they have been able to get by (thanks largely to their wit) every situation they have been confronted with, in most cases despite the best of parenting. Judging this woman shows your utter ignorance Rob

        November 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
      • livingtheconsequences

        Please – for both of your sakes, cut him off.
        He won't like it for the first few years (neither will you) but will benefit enormously from this forced self responsibility.
        I speak from experience.
        Otherwise he will be a lifelong dependent, working menial jobs and most likely never living up to his potential.
        I was lucky and eventually "got it" but not until I was 43.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  42. Michelle-Middle School

    I am amazed at the true insight that is seen in this article about gifted students.

    November 15, 2012 at 9:02 am |
  43. horf

    Another myth about gifted children is that they should be allowed to take classes with kids much older. This is not the right approach (Doogie Howser). This is not good for these children's social skill development. It's really important for the gifted kids be around kids close to their age.

    BTW, it's just fine to have a perfectly normal, average kid.

    November 15, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • Josh

      I disagree with this. My older brother was highly gifted in mathematics. My school had an advanced class but we was well above that. So for math class only he took the advanced class with the kids a year ahead of his class. He did pretty well in the end. BS in Math from Dartmouth and he has a Master's in Computer Science and an MBA. He is one of those over-paid executives now.

      Each kid is different and each subject is different. Schools don't always have the resources to handle all skill levels, if they close that door.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:09 am |
      • Food4Thought

        Single biggest change – change structure in class to working in groups for reading and math, instead of teaching to whole class, to facilitate differentiated learning and collaboration to find answers. The Common Core emphasis is not on rout learning but higher level thinking (how you come up with the answer).
        With online courses online and virtual learning there is no excuse anymore for schools saying don't have the resources!! There are online courses for elementary school, middle school, high school and college level courses. They can provide these courses in the classroom; or alternatively do a pull out to a higher grade class. When possible group some gifted kids together in a classroom so they don't feel isolated and different; and lessens work for the teacher. They can support each other even when working on different levels.

        November 15, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • doughnuts

      The article wasn't talking about taking classes with kids just a year or two older. They were talking about 10-year-olds going to college.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:28 am |
    • Moopsee

      For many of you, you don't understand that some of us WISH we had normal children. Being bored all day is stressful, builds anxiety, leads to misbehavior, and shows depression. 2e children are gifted with a disability - assumed that they will be well because they are so smart. It is exhausting. Many are suicidal, angry, and lonely with their uniqueness not fitting into the school square. Heart-wrenching to say the least.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
  44. ussenterprise

    As a member of Mensa, I will often say that I no more "intelligent" than anyone else. To me, having a high IQ simply means that I think faster. As for gifted identification, I was one of these children that was missed. I recall doing the bare minimum because I was bored. Nothing in school challenged me. I found self instruction to be far more valuable. That said, it would have been better to have been identified early and placed in advanced studies. Lazyness is learned. It is not inherent. And this is the failing in our schools.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • Anne

      Outstanding comment ussenterprise. I have walked a mile in similar shoes. Why does it take us so long to figure out that we aren't any smarter, we just have faster processing systems.

      Thanks for making that clear.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:14 am |
      • ussenterprise

        Thank you Anne. For me, it was observing others in similar job roles that I had. Seeing people come to the same conclusion at various times without any interaction on my part.

        November 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Rob

      Mensa is nothing but a ego boost for outsiders...

      November 15, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Jorge

        Well, we know who DOESN'T belong in Mensa...

        November 15, 2012 at 11:17 am |
      • ussenterprise

        Wow... I'm pretty sure I typed that I am no more intelligent than anyone else... Yep. That's what I typed...

        November 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • A

      I have a unique situation with my son. He was identified as gifted by some testing we had done. We had some other concerns(ie social, emotional). What we found out was that he has an extremely high verbal IQ(which is the best indicator of academic success), but only average processing. This causes him a great deal of frustration. He has so much in his head and can only "get it out" at an average pace. We are also facing some attention and organizational issues. The psychologist suggested my son could skip a grade, but he is already the youngest in his class with an August birthday. We didn't want to have a 16 year old boy graduating HS. We also thought he should be with kids his age to socially "catch up"...He seems to be doing fine, but I have made it clear to his teacher that he will get bored. He is being pulled out for random sessions by the gifted teacher, but as some are saying, he is only in 2nd grade so the full blown program doesn't begin for another year.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:46 am |
      • ussenterprise

        That is me exactly. I am often frustrated at my apparent inability to verbalize some concepts accurately. So much can occur at any given time that can instantly alter a response. Even in mid-sentence. I have gotten better at it. Such is the nature of my job. But I sometimes still have to type a response out before I will verbalize it...

        November 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • yepsotrue

      bingo. IOW, our internal cpu just processes more data faster, and once the realization is made that most everythng in life follows *some type of pattern, combined with the gifted brain;s ability to recognize patterns faster than others leads to leapfrogging ahead to the answer well ahed of others. the capabilities when recognized and utilized can be tremendous.

      and yeah, most gifted people don't come close to utilizing their full potential. what a world it would be if they did!

      November 15, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • ussenterprise

        Thank you.
        It is my opinion that no one gets ahead without some sort of help. That help can be educational, monetary, emotional, intellectual, etc... If someone is truely gifted, but lacks the resources to advance, there's a chance that they will not advance. At least not in the direction that they desire... They may have to go another route in order to arrive at thier destination. They may have to delay significantly their progress.

        November 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  45. Whatever

    This is a bunch bull. she talks like these kids are porcelein dolls. gifted kids DO have a distinct advantage and they DO have a step up on the rest of us. particularly "myth" 8, gifted students will get by just FINE without special programs and special classes. shut the #@!$ up.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Nick

      You are obviously NOT gifted if you believe that.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:01 am |
    • hatevrew

      "FINE"? Perhaps..but they could not grow and achieve their optimum potentials.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:24 am |
    • malaikamarie

      As a parent of at least two gifted children(from a total of six), i know that by NOT having my eldest gifted child attend extra education programs; i failed her. Though she made a 29 on her ACT, should could have easily done much more had she had the types of gifted classes that i put my younger gifted kid in now. Those little extra classes dont seem like much to the child, because they enjoy learning. But in the long run, it will be extremely helpful.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  46. KeithC

    Even the most gifted child can suffer the consequences of parental neglect and abuse.

    Raised by two violent alcoholic parents, my gifts remained unwrapped for decades. More painful than the horrible memories tattooed on my brain and soul is the knowledge that I missed out on my own potential and more fulfilling life

    Not a sob-story, just a fact.

    Love, and not IQ, is what makes children strong and successful.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:50 am |
    • Fred Jones

      awesome comment man...

      November 15, 2012 at 10:17 am |
  47. cnsutton83

    As a parent, you are in a bubble and think your own child is the s**t. I am guilty of this and many others are as well. All we want as parents is to have the best for our young and want them to be and do the best they can.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |
  48. A Mom

    The formula for success is the the amount of determination an individual possesses coupled with the basic intelligence the individual is capable of maintaining.

    So, someone who cannot spell with ease, cannot add or subtract without a calculator, may truly succeed in this world....because they were determined to succeed and found their strength. It does not require a college degree to become an artist, a dancer or become a manger of many department stores.... to become a police officer or a fireman. Historically, many individuals deemed successful were simply able to relate to other people and contribute to the overall success of the group.

    Age, gender, race, socio-economic status, may make some thing easier and others more difficult to attain, but it is the dificulties in life that enable us to grow.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  49. Yesiree

    My kids do well in school, score 96-99% on every achievement test and have been tested as gifted. However, I think they are just well behaved, smart kids that do well. A gifted kid seems to me to be one that is so darn creative or so darn smart that the regular curriculum just doesn't fit. They can mold something fantastic out of clay, or build a rocket on their own. I agree that we over use "gifted" and I've seen the parents go a little crazy with taking this 'gifted" label too far and actually create a kid that is over scheduled and stressed out because they try to put them in everything (extra music, art, math, etc.) . Let them be kids, and don't confuse a great kid/great student with a mad scientist gifted kid who is the one that really needs something different. I want my kids challenged for sure, but the truly gifted need to be challenged and creatively stimulated so they don't get bored and then take that special gift and use it for negative behaviors (hackers, graffiti, pipe bombs, etc.). I am glad my kids aren't "highly gifted", those are the tortured souls of the world who don't fit in socially and rarely do well in life.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:34 am |
    • Jamie

      You are full of BS and looking for an easy way to not put in extra work to push your children. I was one of those gifted students. I was taking college courses starting the summer after 6th grade and continued taking them through junior high and high school. I was often bored in regular classes and rarely paid attention, because I had already completed the work. Yet by your definition I shouldn't be able to succeed, because we rarely succeed. Myself and the 4 other people in my gifted classes have all gone on to successful careers with families. Every one of us has an advanced degree in a professional field and are working towards PhD. Out of the 300 students I was placed with at the advanced learning center during the summer, I know of only 5 that have not become successful.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:58 am |
      • Rob

        "Successful" is subjective and you'd know that if you were actually "gifted"'d certainly NEVER use such a term without defining it's parameters...

        November 15, 2012 at 9:48 am |
    • Shred of truth

      There is actually a shred of truth in this though. When you get a 36 on the ACT, a 1600 on the SAT, and generally think at a much faster pace than everyone around you, you get bored with most people immediately. The fact is, probably 1 in 1000 people is my intellectual equal. I feel very alone in the world and don't think I will ever get married or have a family because I will not settle.

      I'm not being egotistical, this is just the way people like me think.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |
      • judeamorris

        How old are you? I don't read maturity in your post. As a person with a highly gifted intellect who has also reached the grand old age of 64, I can tell you that I have learned a great deal over the years about living in the world. I have a very active intellectual life brimming with self-learning and discovery. I share this part of my life with just a few people who also are extremely intelligent and well educated; but I also have lots of friends who are not intellectually gifted, and I enjoy their company and companionship just as much. There is a tendency among gifted individuals to dismiss others precisely for the reasons this author lists (personal challenges not being met, frustration with those who do not grasp concepts as easily, feelings of being different from the norm). We live in a diverse world. Intellectual diversity should be embraced. When I meet new people, I don't set up a yardstick by which I measure their intelligence against my own; I look for what we have in common, what interests we might share, what things this person knows that I don't, what he or she might teach me about the world. My spouse was not my intellectual equal, but he had qualities, talents, and interests that opened my world. Being gifted is like being a member of any minority group and struggling to swim with the school. Just because intelligence is a valued gift des not make its owner any better than anyone else in the world or any less charged to get along with other people.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  50. maggiemay

    My adult son DOES wear glasses, reads all the time, is highly educated and can get or hold a job. Lacks social skills. He's always been in a world of his own.

    November 15, 2012 at 8:31 am |
  51. rh

    Stereotypes of any sort are stupid. And how can the fact that intelligence has a genetic element mean no special services are required? That's like saying that Down's syndrome has a genetic element so special services are not required...

    The only one that I absolutely agree with being a myth is No. 10, that "all children are gifted". This of course depends on the definition of the word "gifted" but if you assume it means "having an extraordinary level of ability in a particular area", then by no means is every child gifted. It is disgusting that my son's HS told him "we don't like students taking more than three honors and/or AP courses at a time, because it is too much for most students". He is targeting Ivy League schools, and they focus on students taking the most difficult courses available, and doing well in them. How dare people who are NOT gifted make judgements for children who are? I consistently took 5 honors and/or AP courses in HS, and got into two Ivy League schools. They look at the program taken. We had a girl who had straight A's all throughout HS, and she was ranked 50 out of 300 students because she was only in Honors English. She was not interested in college but did well in regular classes. It is so difficult to try to teach children to believe in themselves as a parent, when teachers and guidance counselors consistently put them down as being "average".

    November 15, 2012 at 8:30 am |
  52. Mark8899

    The biggest myth is that your kid is gifted in the first place.

    November 15, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • Marcia

      Said the parent of the average student.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:02 am |
      • Rob

        My kids are in all GT classes and have been classified as "gifted"....the entire 6th grade GT class is about 5 years behind where I was at the same age..."gifted" doesn't mean what it used to....if you think your kid is gifted, they aren't....if they were truely gifted, you wouldn't just "think"'d have ZERO doubt...

        November 15, 2012 at 9:51 am |
      • veruca

        That's pretty funny Marcia... : )

        November 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • rh

      It is difficult for some to believe that their child is not gifted. The word "gifted" itself brings to mind inherited money or class. Gifted is a poor word to use – someone might be a gifted athlete, but they aren't going to have "gifted gym class". They might be a gifted clarinet player, but the school is not going to have "gifted" music classes. The thought is that academically gifted students need to have honors classes and advanced placement classes.

      I think the word "gifted" is overused and not used correctly. Perhaps "high-achieving" should be used instead. And I also don't buy that all gifted students "have problems". If a student is a high-achiever, but has a learning disability, they have a learning disability that should be addressed. It is not a side effect of being "gifted".

      Does it p1ss you off that my kid can talk coherently about the election in 10th grade, including key issues, but the rest of his class has no idea?

      November 15, 2012 at 8:34 am |
      • marysluck

        You missed the point…gifted kids aren't always high-achievers. Just like children with learning disabilities, kids with high IQs think and learn differently. They are often bored in school or may be mislabeled as day dreamers or ADD. But, they don't have a disability, they simply need to find a place that helps them reach their potential by allowing them to really use all that brain power.
        If your child is the only one is his or her class who can discuss the elections, you need to re-think the school you chose. You should be surrounding your child with other bright, interested students.

        November 15, 2012 at 9:07 am |
      • Rob

        gifted gym class is called afterschool sports....

        November 15, 2012 at 9:52 am |
  53. Corporate Bankster Thug

    This article made me want to watch that movie from the mid 80's called REAL GENIUS.

    Loved that movie as a kid.

    November 15, 2012 at 7:50 am |
    • MI mom

      Another interesting film is Race to Nowhere. You may have to go to their website to find a showing, but schools all over the U.S. are sponsoring screenings.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:56 am |
  54. Scott

    Yea I was gifted as a child and got to ride the short bus.

    November 15, 2012 at 7:41 am |
  55. ouflak

    Another myth, that I thought I would see on the list: Parents can identify a gifted child in their first few months or year of life.

    No doubt some children develop certain skill sets faster than other children, whether those are physical or mental (or both), and may develop others more slowly. But there is a whole lot about their environment and basic interests that will influence whether they are truly exceptional in any particular areas further on in life. Just let them be children. Encourage and support positive pursuits, discourage negative pursuits, and love them and be there for them. All this 'gifted' stuff will sort itself out soon enough.

    November 15, 2012 at 7:10 am |
    • rh

      Not at all, my middle son has developmental disabilities, and has been getting help since 18 months old, but when he took his first standardized test in 3rd grade, he got all 60 math questions correct. No one had any idea that he was that bright, or able to apply his knowledge – he had been suspended multiple times each year due to behavior, and though he liked math, it was a struggle to get him to do homework.

      And in a more extreme case, I have one brother who was thought of as "slow" when he was in school, though the other three of us were considered "gifted" (two went to Ivies, one to a six-year med program). As an adult, he is clearly showing that he is extremely capable and likely could have done much better in school with more encouragement. But as a child, he was stressed out and felt no reason to perform well in school. Conversely, I was depressed as a child but I felt the need to work on my schoolwork as an outlet.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:38 am |
  56. ATeacher

    This article makes many good points. As a nation we need to do a better job of challening and supporiting our brightest students. Schools have many supports in place for children who are struggling that are protected by law yet we have very little for those at the other end of the spectrum. It varies widely from school to school and depends largely on whoever is in charge of the program. If we want to compete in the global world we need to nurture and support our best and brightest students to meet their full potential, they will be the world leaders and the inventors and the doctors that our country needs to stay on top.

    November 15, 2012 at 6:54 am |
    • Char

      Amen! Well said ATeacher.

      November 15, 2012 at 9:14 am |
  57. Kris Wood

    The problem with having a gifted child for most parents is the fact they slather the fact the child is gifted on the child's head by putting them in every class and lesson they can find. Being gifted is not helped by being given "opportunities"'s helped by self exploration and discovery. Unfortunately most parents who hear "Your child is gifted" immediately go into "LIVE MY DREAMS THROUGH MY CHILDREN" mode and completely screw up any potential the child may have.

    November 15, 2012 at 6:20 am |
    • A

      You are correct. My son was identified as gifted when we had some testing done due to other concerns. We always knew he was bright. It's hard as a parent not to be excited about it, but I was recently reading an article written by an Ivy professor and she made your point. She said her students could play world class piano, got straight A's, etc etc. She also said they would never be the people that would change the world. They were never given any time to just be. That is how these gifted kids thrive. They have to be allowed to have their own interests.

      November 15, 2012 at 8:02 am |
    • 72california

      Agreed; gifted kids should be allowed to self study – believe it or not, through simply curiosity, back when I was in ELP and GATE etc, I was doing material designated for 3 or 4 levels above my current grade.

      My experience has been that gifted need to recognize that they will *not* fit in completely. There will always be a sense
      of exclusion and depending on the individuals internal compass can either extinguish the self-education drive or reinforce it. I shake my head at most TV shows and most internet article. Meeting people who are capable of holding intellectual conversations is few and far between. Discussion at a higher level is mentally exhausting and oftentimes, just when you think you've found someone to connect with, the stupid factor emerges.

      For non-gifted readers of this article, know that us gifted have learned to *tolerate* the way non gifted operate/act/think. Like a person stuck in traffic. We probably won't be the most outspoken one in the room but we probably already have the answer. If you ask us, you might not understand where we are coming from or why because we are thinking multiple levels beyond the simple problem.

      I am sure the gifted folks probably can relate to what i have posted. I think the trick is to find outside things you enjoy and realize that just because you find the 'system' stupid, don't ever give up learning and trying to make the world a better place through humanitarian efforts and public goodwill.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:18 am |
  58. mik

    My son was diagnosed " gifted the day he was born, 11 years later, even more gifted. Go figure.

    November 15, 2012 at 5:35 am |
  59. Jessica

    "All children are gifted." A myth brought to you by the parents that all think that their children are little angels...

    November 15, 2012 at 3:51 am |
    • Eric

      I was a member of "Gifted & Talented" classes since elementary school (I am 32 now)...These classes were extremely fun, and encouraged thinking "outside of the box" Now, I knew what it meant then (in 3rd grade)...and I still do now. The name of the "Gifted & Talented" class changed from Gifted and Talented to Stars, and then to was offered during traditional "reading classes"....and, we would do mind games, word puzzles, build creative egg protectors from random normally considered "pieces of trash." And, I promise there was a difference between our class and the normal reading class.....because I chose to stop going to the PACE class in 7th Grade for being made fun of by the other guys in my class who deemed me a "geek." So, I did normal class with them for a year....hated it....and went back to the other class....EVERY kid IS born as an ANGEL for their parent....(or, should be considered).....but, it does take unseen GIFTS and learned TALENTS that set them apart from a sweet Angel who may turn into a devil if not loved enough.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:16 am |
      • Rob

        you can't learn "talent" can learn skill....but talent is innate...

        November 15, 2012 at 9:56 am |
  60. Hemyola

    The problem is that we call them "gifted" too easily. When a child is TRULY gifted, it is clear as the daylight.
    Such a child is best on a personal path as in homeschooling.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:30 am |
    • Vern Sawyer

      Homeschooling is great if you want your gifted child to never, ever have a romantic relationship with anybody.

      November 15, 2012 at 6:57 am |
      • Vern Sawyer

        I hate you, mom.

        November 15, 2012 at 8:19 am |
    • ishiibrad

      I think a lot of people that homeschool don`t understand is school also helps teach social skills. Everybody needs human relations. It`s part of life both good and bad and how to deal with what life throws you.
      I think we are see the effects just now with computer kids and video games. People are having a harder time building relations and real friends not facebook friends!

      November 15, 2012 at 8:37 am |
  61. Bob-just Bob

    They're pretty sure I'm a savant, but the specialists just can't seem to identify exactly what my gift part is, yet.

    November 15, 2012 at 3:00 am |
  62. javrodri

    I was a "gifted" child when I was younger. Yeah...that turned out real well. I can't even get a job after college. What a farce.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:57 am |
    • sarahmonster

      You can thank the voters and Obama for the lack of job.

      November 15, 2012 at 6:31 am |
    • true

      @sarahmonster......if Romney hadn't outsourced all those jobs......
      Enough politics, jerk.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:53 am |
    • dr_spaceman

      I was just going to post the exact same thing lol

      November 15, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  63. Christopher duPerier

    The intellectually gifted are becoming a myth.

    Without early identification and intervention, a brilliant mind will be subjected to a debt-saddled diploma from a regional state college.

    Standardized testing is a failure as well. A "genius" in the South has little exposure to the "Vocabulary" word that describes a knot used by yachtsman preceeding a polo match. In the same fashion, no Hampton's vacationer can name the seven kinds of meat on a snapping turtle.

    The Federal Government must intercede in the education of America.

    If a college diploma is so vital to the success of our economic future, than I propose a congressional action for a "University Equivalance Degree".

    It wasn't that far-fetched when we created the GED, so why not raise the game?

    I respectfully submit the criticism that; Just as an eigth-grade educational level was used as the standard for a GED in years past, so should a BED (Bachelor's Equivalency Diploma) system be implemented, and it shall reflect the average of 12th grade graduates in the U.S.A..

    November 15, 2012 at 1:45 am |
    • terrible byte

      Because bumcheese, highschool is mandatory, college is not.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:00 am |
    • Anne

      I graduated college in my 40's but the biggest difference between high school and college is concrete and concept thinking. There is a difference.

      That said we need both in the world, just as we need gifted and average. Look around you, which group would you cut out of a democractic, capitalistic society?

      November 15, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Rob

      A GED is possible because in HS, they just teach WHAT to college, they teach HOW to think...which is why so many people missed that part of their education...they only know to follow what an "authority" tells them without thinking about it themselves...

      November 15, 2012 at 9:59 am |
  64. giftedstudents

    kids gifted in mathematics can solve mathematical problems with ease. gifted students in a particular field. don't need teachers or tutor. these kids have better brain power or wired differently like better storage of information or faster processing. IQ is inherited like personality and cannot be taught.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:19 am |
    • ES71

      Compeltely untrue. You can learn to think faster with practice. But you have to be challenged all the time and work hard.
      Potential is inherited , what you do with that potential is completely up to.
      Many potentially brilliant people end up as avaerage because nobody invested in them while they were children.

      November 15, 2012 at 10:01 am |
  65. giftedstudents

    A gifted student in mathematics can learn math just by reading a math book and need for teachers..same with kid gifted in music, the y can lear n to read and make music just be reading books and learn a new language by watching tapes an videos..learning a particular fields is 'easy'. or kid can so creative in writing creative genius...comes naturally. don't need teacher. they can learn things just by reading a book because it's like the knowledge was already there.

    November 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • someone

      You'd think that, but you're very wrong. I was one of those kids and was EXTREMELY lazy. School was boring (because of all the slow idiot classmates that took forever to learn things) so I learned to do as little work as possible. If a teacher hadn't been around prodding me to continually do learn more, I would never have gotten past the third grade. Many gifted kids are like that. lol

      November 15, 2012 at 2:37 am |
      • Rob

        your argument just proved him right...

        November 15, 2012 at 10:00 am |
    • giftedstudents

      a tip to all you gifted students, stay in the same grade and don't go to gifted programs and don't tell everyone you are gifted. and don't go to college till you are 18 year old. there are more important things in life than being gifted...get all A's and spend more time playing video games and socializing. gifted students require less time studying and don't need to do homework to understand courses in school. and yeas gifted students don't need tutors or teachers. a gifted student can lear n mathematics on himself just by reading a math book and learn another language by themself with language videos. in a few days. a tip gifted students don't need special programs. a gifted students have more time to play since they don't need t to do home work or study for hours..

      November 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
  66. This is your life

    You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying matter that makes us all.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:57 am |
  67. Ed

    Number 10 beats around the bush a bit. Just go ahead and say it.... All men (and women, since we apparently have to make that clear) are not REALLY created equal. Some people are gifted, most people are average, and some people are just plain oxygen thieves.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:46 am |
  68. madcap laughs

    Myth: gifted kids should play chess. Oooops, we used that as our cover photo!!! My school thought being smart was an unfair advantage, so they told me to be normal. Turned me into an under-acheiver for a long time; i just skated by in school doing the minimum. Luckily the TRS-80 Model I rescued me.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:25 am |
    • madcap laughs

      A TRS-80 is a computer, for those of you who don't know. Programming eventually lead me into not only business but genetic research and the space industry. Also I thank Star Trek and Isaac Asimov for being great role models. Look up "The Fun They Had" by Asimov on the web,it is 2 pages long, you'll fall in love with Isaac.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:28 am |
      • Mike

        I loved my TRS 80. My mother knew that I had a vast interest in computers and so she went and bought one for me.

        November 15, 2012 at 8:11 am |
    • calmus

      I'm so sorry the Trash 80 was your salvation... just think of how far you would have gotten if only you had been given a Commodore PET instead. :)

      November 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
  69. JP0

    Very few people in the education system have a clue about what it means to be gifted. In my experience most programs for the gifted are make-work programs to keep them busy. My highly intelligent children were encouraged to learn about things that interested them outside the confines of school. One of the problems I saw in my formative years was parents of gifted children who didn't know how to deal with an extremely bright child.

    November 15, 2012 at 12:00 am |
  70. Nidwalden

    I do have an issue with Myth #3, while I agree it is important to identify children early, the problem is may children who are "gifted" in preschool will be fairly ordinary by 2nd grade. Then you have all these children funneled into gifted programs early with no room for children that are not identified until later. So who is more deserving? The "IQ" of a 4-year-old will not necessarily be the same at 8-it's fluid at a very young age.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  71. Mom of 3

    I found this article to be quite interesting but find the comments even more interesting – slightly unnerving, in some cases. My children are ages 9, 7, and 5 and the first two began reading at age 4, amongst other things. I assumed my local school would meet their needs but found extreme disappointment there, as well as other public schools in my area. I don't fault the teachers, I fault the system. One of the only options I was given at the time was to take my kindergartener and place her in a fifth grade classroom. I can't imagine the ramifications if I had chosen for my five-year-old to be educated alongside kids twice her age. So, I found an online homeschooling option that caters to my kids' levels and have been doing so for years now with great success to their educational needs.

    Here's the point: is there a light at the end of this tunnel? Despite the wonderful support our school gives us and the freedom this way of educating gives us, I am so tired. I strongly believe as their mother it is my job to ensure they receive the best education they can but some days I just want to be their mom and not 'mom and educator.'

    We're moving to a different state, partly for its better education system, but after reading some of these daunting comments and stories, can I ever place my children in a public school system? Are there any success stories? Should I even try? We're not wealthy; private school (as much as I'd love to) isn't an option.

    I truly am looking for some experienced help here. I don't want to limit them in any way but I do need to find a solution that will fit all the members of my family, including me. Perhaps my solution is to just 'suck it up' and continue as we're doing. If so, then so be it. We all want the best for our children, no matter what their capabilities are.


    November 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • elle

      Giftedness is inherited so the parent probably knows best how to teach their own stop expecting the system to take care of it for u...take the bull by the horns and get it done yourself....

      November 14, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • rswon

      Unfortunately, public school support for gifted children varies radically from state to state, county to county. You'll want to look for a district that offers advanced placement classes and/or partners with local 2-year and 4-year colleges. As for home schooling, that's your choice, but keep in mind, even in a non-gifted program, a public school can offer a wide variety of courses that can challenge your child.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:00 am |
    • someone

      Honestly there is a light at the end of the tunnel. I was public school educated but was one of these so called gifted students. They placed me in special classes and had all this special work and blah blah blah. None of it was interesting. It wasn't until college that I shined. I went Ivy and did pretty well despite not working hard at all.

      Here's the bad part.. They're going to learn to use this to their advantage. I for instance, never did a single homework assignment outside of class and still got a's on tests. This has created an admittedly bad work ethic... but I get by.

      Here's the good part.. People are so slow that I can breeze my way into any job with the utmost ease. I do a week's work in about 8 hours (apart from meetings and emails). Also, I make a ridiculous salary. Maybe you can expect these things for your kid, but don't let them play you, I got away with way too much as a child due to being persuasive.

      So there's the pros and cons of your kids being gifted. Here are a few tips from what I noticed while I was in school. In college, history and philosophy are amazing and interesting. In grade school, it's like jamming thumbtacks into your thigh. Maybe you could find them some college level books to read. I don't doubt that they might have trouble with some of the wording but it will be interesting and they should for the most part understand it.

      Also, consider Minnesota. They have excellent schools and a charter school program of some kind that lets you pick whichever school you'd like your kid to attend. Many have alternative schools that will cater to your kid's needs and learning styles.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:48 am |
    • MrEE

      I think you also need to be careful and realistic about your suppositions and expectations.

      First of all, kids that read at 4 (and other "things" as you mention) are ahead of grade level, but not necessarily "gifted". When you have a "gifted" child, there's no mistaking it, and no stopping them from developing their interests in a way they make for themselves. Having three children, and thinking they're all gifted, is a stretch – to put it mildly.

      All that said, maybe my experience can at the least help you avoid certain things. For one, I was identified as "gifted" early on. I spoke in complete sentences with adult grammar at about 18 months, read adult level texts around my second birthday, and mastered algebra and geometry by age three. By kindergarten, I began to be subjected to testing, the results of which had me moved forward in grades and placed into a special "gifted and talented" program.

      The result? School, even the "enriched" version, bored me to tears. I lacked the discipline at my early age to just buckle down and do the "pointless" work, and got less than stellar grades. I was socially challenged not by my personality, but by my age – it's very awkward being several years younger than your peers entering high school.

      After high school, I gained the discipline to be a more responsible student, and went on to do well in college, and I have an excellent job now.

      The most "enriching" things I ever did to advance my education, however, were all things I did for myself – I taught myself everything that interested me, researched and experimented with everything about any subject until I felt that I had mastered it, and then I moved on to something else – and I still do today.

      So in short, try not to make common mistakes, and as for what you should be "doing" to develop your child, I assure it it won't matter. If they have the talents you suspect they do, there'll be no stopping it.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:17 am |
      • Rob

        when I hear that a child didn't start reading until they were 4, I wonder if there is abuse or neglect....I have an entire bookcase of Nancy Drew novels I read when I was 4....that was WELL after I learned to children are following in my footsteps...

        November 15, 2012 at 10:08 am |
    • Devan

      Hello, I was determined "gifted" when I was in 3rd grade because I was 4 years ahead in math than most of my counter parts. However I was placed kicked out of the program because I was getting bored too much in class and would act up because of my boredom.

      This could not have been a bigger mistake, because once I was placed back into the normal math class I was even more bored and acted up even more, but the teacher was more familiar with this and didn't act as harsh as my gifted teacher because she knew I was doing algebra and geometry by 2nd grade since I had her the previous year. But because I was placed in this class that I already knew everything about I would just sit there and once she had given out the homework which I would do with 5 minutes left in class and complete it and hand it back to her and leave so I could play on the playground. I will say that myself and only one other student were the ones that would act up in that class when we both were a part of it. He stopped, but I did not. So I would say that is not a common thing. I also had a lot more problems as a kid than most kids because I never met my Father while all the kids in the gift program knew their parents and they were together and that caused me to be a little bit angerier as a child because I would wonder why my Father wasn't there for me.

      1. Public schools are fine, you just want to find some with AP classes and "gifted" classes and see how those classes are rated by peers and how you children feel about them. I went to PA's school and went to Council Rock North High School. I would recommend that school since it is a very nice area and even better school. The Council Rock School district is one of the best in the country. It is in the Newtown, PA area in Bucks County.

      2. As they get older they will get more lazy with homework, so make sure they do their homework by making them doing it on the dinner room table and that they can not do anything until they are done. My mother did that until I was 8 and after she stopped is when I started to not do most of homework anymore.

      3. Get your kid involved in sports, clubs, something to get them around other kids and making them active. Best way to do that is be active yourself as well. My cousin has a friend that literally his whole life in which he was awake he was in a school or college, but he never was around other people much except teachers or professors. When he met my cousin he literally didn't know anything besides what schools teach to kids. He didn't know legos, any TV shows, music, movies, sports, or anything used to start a conversation. My Cousin was also his first friend and the kid was 13 years old taking Cal 3 in College. Needless to say his father is a college professor and so is his mother.

      4. Take them to social events such as concerts, let them go to parties, etc. This is just letting them live life and have fun with other kids and make relationships. I would literally only limit their time in the house to do homework and maybe watch a movie with the family or play a game together or something. Limit video game playing as much as you can. Video games keep kids inactive and are meant to be addiciting. Now to counteract that I would get a Wii system if anything that is very family friendly. Do not remove games completely, but if you remove something, and this is in general for nearly everything, then when they are finally allowed to play it they will never get off it and get addicited to it.

      Good Luck and have a good one.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  72. Lori F.

    As the parent of both a gifted child and one with learning differences, I can assure you that they both have special needs. I did nothing different raising them, and they are just 12 months apart. Yes, my gifted child has weaknesses, and my other son has strengths, but they are NOT the same. If a ten-year-old is taking Algebra, he is gifted, meaning he is beyond other kids his age in one or more areas. And yes, there is an equal weakness. Which is why his education must be INDIVIDUALIZED. Just like my other son, who happens to be an excellent artist and athlete, neither of which help him learn math.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  73. elle

    I have wondered if a lot of 'gifted' children are on the autism spectrum. So it may be more of a special needs situation...but call it that and parents won't like it...

    November 14, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
    • Lori F.


      Many gifted children are ALSO on the spectrum. One is not exclusive to the other. You can be gifted with or without being on the spectrum, and can be on the spectrum with or without being gifted. Most parents of gifted children already know this.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
      • elle

        Great wish the article would have mentioned does not so I posted my comment....

        November 14, 2012 at 11:46 pm |
    • mom

      Many smart kids are considered twice exceptional. Some are in the spectrum, some, like my son, have ADHD – there is a wide range of issues. We have a separate program here for the advanced kids. I'd say about half of them have some other issue they are dealing with. This program is the only one I've found that really knows how to deal well with these issues. Their teaches have had vast experience with learning disabilities, spectrums, ADHD, etc. because so many bright kids have these issues.

      November 15, 2012 at 7:06 am |
  74. GTeach

    As a teacher, I know that parents cannot "make" their child gifted. They can try their hardest, but if the child doesn't have a combination of High Intelligence, Creativity, and Task Commitment, their child will not be admitted to the program (at least in my school district). Yes, parents and teachers nominate students. However, we look at both subjective and objective data (verbal and non-verbal). If the child does not exceed expectations on the majority of our criteria, they are not placed into the program. It does not matter who their parent is. That's the only proper way to identify. I do agree that the word "gifted" in an educational setting leaves many other students out. There are many artists, athletes, and musicians that sometimes do not meet the academic criteria. I guess there's no perfect way to identify, but at least we try. These programs are vital to the future success of our country.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • elle

      Yes all the rest of the non gifted don't do much for our future success. Oh wait was Steve jobs gifted? Has every president been bout give me a break a lot of people contribute to society's success gifted or nit...

      November 14, 2012 at 11:34 pm |
      • GTeach

        Like I said... identification isn't perfect, and it's mostly based on academics. You may want to re-read my comment. These leaders must have been gifted in some sense, or they wouldn't have gotten to that level. I would never believe that "non-identified" students are unable to be successful. That would be ridiculous. Some of the most "gifted" students that I have worked with were not identified academically. However, I still think these programs are vital to our future. It is never a bad thing to encourage problem-solving and leadership skills.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:02 am |
      • Rob

        Looks like someone is bitter about being "normal"...

        November 15, 2012 at 10:10 am |
  75. Diane

    That was supposed to be a response to Chris.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
  76. Kelly

    Growing up, I was considered a "gifted" child. I went to some special classes, occasionally, had a few opportunities to study beyond where I should have been. But without guidance, without challenge, without knowledge of the real world, I wound up nearly failing out of high school, and being remarkable unsuccessful in college. I played the system as a kid, doing my homework at the last minute, or not doing it at all and relying on test scores to get an easy C. I never learned how to do homework, how to really apply myself, just how to slap a project together at the last minute powered by Coca-Cola and beef jerky, and have it praised as good work simply because I threw a few big words in there and used proper punctuation. Fifteen years later, I still have no degree, have a mindless job in the military, and still don't know how to properly budget my time for a project. And I'm not alone. Some of the most gifted kids I ever knew are just finishing their degrees, or burned out on drugs, or toiling away at some menial job. And all because we never had the guidance and challenge we needed to learn how to succeed. Everyone says I'm still the smartest person they know, but without ever learning how to use all that knowledge, I'm just another loser lost in the workforce.

    November 14, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Vivian

      Sure, schools and parents may have difficulty supporting gifted children, but once we become adults, what skills we have become our own responsibility. It looks like you have identified some of the skills you lack–that is a first step for sure–as you are so intelligent, figure out what training you need to do to acquire the necessary skills to move to a better career. We can only blame our parents/K-12 schooling for so long. I was a gifted kid, and for example I stereotypically lacked certain social skills. This was problematic before and during college but since then have read books or taken courses to get better at the things I'm not naturally good at. To be successful in the global economy, we need to continually add to our skill set–that goes for everyone, not just those identified as "gifted" as children.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • freightlinerfreak


      I feel for you as your story sounds much like mine. I went from gifted classes in junior high to regular classes in high school as we moved to another city during the summer between. The new school district had a moronic rule that you could not be admitted to gifted or advanced classes until you had been a student in the district for one year. I was left relearning stuff I had learned 2-3 years before. This left me bored out of my skull so I quit trying...after all, I had worked my butt off to get into and remain in the gifted program in my previous school but for what? To be thrown into regular classes just because of a move? So what was the point in trying and working so hard? When I earned an A in Algebra after slacking off all year, simply by virtue of acing the final along with both bonus questions, it only served to reinforce this school of thought.
      I ended up dropping out of high school and getting my GED. While I took some college, I have largely drifted aimlessly. My problem has never been a lack of desire to learn. Quite conversely, it is that my Aspie obsession is with learning in and of itself. Unfortunately, the sheer amount of STUFF available to learn about overloads my Aspie much to learn, so little time....where to start?...where to start? I also tend to learn better when left alone. College was somewhat of a struggle for me due to the class sizes. Crowds overload me...too much movement and activity and my brain short circuits and can't focus. Group discussions? Forget it. If more than one person talks at a time, I don't "hear" either one of them. If another student near me is talking/whispering during a lecture....I lose my ability to "hear" the professor.
      As a result, I may be one of the smartest "dumba**" truck drivers on the road with an IQ in the 190's....

      November 15, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • Kevin

      I was in gifted classes starting in 4th grade. I remember always being bored in class and finishing the textbooks and other readings before Christmas. My junior year in high school I never handed in one homework assignment or project, but got A's on all of my tests. I never cared about my grades because I knew they were not a reflection of me learning. I took some community college classes after high school and then joined the Marines not long after 9/11. Luckily at the time there were a few other bright individuals joining the military, but most of the time the gap was infuriating. When I left the Marines I went back and took 18 credits a semester in college, and made Phi Beta Kappa. Many of the poor study and organizational skills I learned in the Marines. I'm now very successful in Graduate School, and I find ways to challenge myself with scientific research even though the classes are still relatively easy.

      November 15, 2012 at 4:02 am |
  77. Diane

    Whoa. Ummm... Well, I guess it would just be so much easier if the all looked the same too. Potty trained at the same age. Colored in the lines. Learned to talk at exactly 1 yr old. Maybe we should breast feed every child for exactly 6 months. Walking, no exceptions, at 13 months.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • okidokie

      Wow, that sounds a lot like "common core" :)

      November 14, 2012 at 11:29 pm |
  78. smm

    This article says a lot of nothing since no research or actual facts are sited. However, as always, the comments are more interesting than the article. The idea of an educational system that meets everyone's individual needs is great but seems unlikely to be possible when trying to 'educate the masses'. Having said that 'giftedness' is another way of saying above the standard bell curve. Being one of those so labeled I can tell you it takes a special teacher to help that one reach their potential. I had one teacher that used to give the kids in the gifted class a puzzle, for instance one of those 3-D ones, but take out the key piece that holds it together and watch them struggle to put it together since she hid the piece. I had one teacher accuse me of plagarism simply because "a sixth grader couldn't possibly have written that". Many times I was simply bored. I don't claim to know the best way to approach it but it seems quite unfair to waste any students time waiting for the other students to catch on.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  79. Austin

    As a child in elementary and middle school, i was in our gifted program. This program helped us learn math and reading at higher levels then the students that were around us. It made us have something to work hard on during class and kept us from disrupting other students. The gifted program also taught me work ethic and how to excel in higher grades. In High School this has helped me excel and be in the top 5% in my grade level. The gifted program is a great program for schools and i think that it should be more adaquately funded. This would help our nations students prepare for the world in which we live and teach them necessary parts to a higher education.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
  80. Chris

    These Myths are BS; just an advertisement for her cause. Any Child can be gifted. The idea that gifted kids need to be separated from their piers is wrong. What we need is a more flexible education system that tries to achieve achieve a higher potential from every kid. Gifted just means that a special sequence of events that happened during infancy. Some kids just have tricks, like speed reading, photographic memory or like that guy who is the human calculator. These people aren't better than anyone else. They have deficiencies just like anyone else. The schools can't detect it because they tend to be deficiencies that everyone is good at like, hand-eye coordination, social skills, artistic skills, emotional skills, leadership, etc. Its impossible for everyone to be good at everything. Your only an infant once. Instead of special schools to further develop thier "giftedness" they should focus on having them catch up to everyone else in the things they are deficient so we all get along as a generation and be well rounded enough for life.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • George

      You're an idiot. just like dumb kids need extra help, so do smart kids.
      Do we have to call them gifted though?
      It has a religious connotation. How about simply advanced?

      November 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
      • Chris

        My point is that they are not anymore "advanced" than anyone else. They have deficiencies and their "average" skill levels across all fields, scholastic and not. Everyone has this they are better at. Some of these things are useless nevertheless, there aren't enough special schools for everyone and it is not fair that because their skills aren't deemed worthy the don't get "help". Bullies for example, can show extreme leadership skills.

        November 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Charlotte

      My brother, sister and i were all tested back in the 1970's. We were smart, IQ well above average. My mother, a teacher, refused to allow us to be advanced past other grades, she though we needed to be kids. If the class was too slow we had instructions how not to disturb the othe kids, read upside down, etc. But we were bad, caused craziness in school. We turned out fine, work, take care of kids, etc. But sometimes a teacher couldn't understand why we didn't have to do 17 steps on a math problem and could do it in 5. Gifted Children are a Gift. If they are not directed they will cause trouble. I bet every Drug Kingpin in the US is an undiagnosed Gifted Child. So maybe the best thing is to spend a little money to teach us, if we are tired we don't cause trouble.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • rosethornne

      You don't have a clue what you are talking about.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:31 am |
    • Vivian

      Why is it either-or? We should help the gifted kids develop BOTH the things they are good at AND the things they are not so good at. For maximum company success and greatest employee satisfaction, business schools teach that you give your employees more tasks that they are good at, and you mitigate around the things that they are not so good at (by sending them to classes on giving better oral presentations for example–they may never be great if it's not a natural skill that they have, but they will be less horrible at it). It seems to me that a similar philosophy should apply here. Gifted kids are made very happy doing the things they are good at, and they should be encouraged so that they have the best chance of for example inventing the things that make all our lives even better in the future. Meanwhile, I agree they should also get support in the things they are not so good at so that they can get along with everyone else and not have their lack of social skills for example hold them back.

      November 15, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Mama Marconi

      No- not any child can be gifted. I was a smart kid but in the grand scheme of things I wasn't out of the norm. I have a daughter who started reading last year in kindergarten and now reads chapter books (she finished Harry Potter three weeks ago, and has since gone through our Library's collection of Dahl books). She also grasps math far quicker than I ever did (at home we have her working on multiplication and division). She's not challenged at school and our school district has cut gifted programs. We're now looking at moving. This lady has it Right and I'm thrilled to see this article which confirms all that I've been seeing and the some of the ideas we've been up against. She gets in trouble...why? She's bored. Imagine being asked to sit quietly and not talk (as a kid) while they review shapes

      November 15, 2012 at 9:09 am |
    • Better to be kept separate

      Regular kids needs to go at a slower pace than advanced kids. That's just the way it was when I took regular electives. Had I taken all regular classes, there is no way I would've been prepared for the pacing and workload of college. Thankfully years of honors and AP classes made the transition seem smooth and barely noticeable, and my contrast made college seem pretty simple.

      This isn't to say regular students aren't worth the extra time, it is to say however that those who will move on to more advanced fields need to experience that more advanced pacing early on so they can be prepared for a heavy course-load/workload further down the road.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  81. GTeach

    How dare students be allowed to or even be encouraged to exceed the norm! Unfortunately, success has now become a dirty word! Gifted classes are based on an educational need just as ESOL classes are needed by second language learners and resource classes are needed by students who have learning disabilities. Why is it acceptable to help some and not others? I promise "certain types of parents" cannot magically make their child gifted. It's time we stand up for all of our future leaders (no matter their need) and stop discouraging success.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Todd

      Here's the problem with the idea that "certain types of parent can't make their kid gifted" – in a way, they absolutely CAN. There's no objective test, metric, or agreed-on standard as to what giftedness is. It's entirely subjective, and inclusion in gifted programs is often based on the request or recommendation of either a parent or a teacher who favors this particular child on an emotional level. Parents are not objective judges' of their own childrens' intelligence. I'm not trying to be mean here, but they aren't. Virtually every mother will tell you her child is gifted. A tacher who particularly fond of a student will often see higher intelligence then is actually there, as well (we're only human). That's why an objective, verifiable standard of some sort is needed here.

      Programs for actual gifted children are extremely valuable, but perhaps 10% (and that's being generous in my estimation) of children considered gifted actually are such.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
  82. Steve

    Can't say much about the mentioned myths, but I can say this: being gifted doesn't mean you will be a success later in life. I'm living proof of far. As I will tell anyone, I'm a f%$#ing genius. I got As and Bs in high school without ever opening a book, which worked out perfectly for me since I literally never opened a book. I was the class clown, always causing trouble (nothing violent). I went on to college and graduated with honors. I now have a business with no customers (thanks to the banks screwing up the economy), so I might as well be unemployed. There is only one other person in my entire family who went to college, my uncle, and he is a desk bound security guard at U of Virginia; a taxi driver before that. I can say that I have never worked a day for another person and have earned everything I have, which isn't much, on my own, and not many people can say that. I have a few more ideas up my sleeve, so I may yet turn out OK.

    I've always felt that gifted programs were basically something parents could brag about to other parents. Whenever I hear the bragging I say, "Look at me. I was in the gifted programs and I'm basically unemployed. So don't put too much stock in it."

    November 14, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • George

      Thank for the update on your average life. Illuminating. Good luck with that non-business.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
  83. Ladywriter

    Gifted, schmifted. Some kids just memorize better, and they get the laurel of "gifted." I bet the school district gets paid more to classify a kid as "gifted." I know a kid who made F's in a "gifted" program, yet stayed in the program. What a farce.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Diane

      Why so resentful? You base this opinion on one student you knew? Did you sit with the gifted kids who excelled in the program? Good grief.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  84. Diane

    This is old information. Old, old, old, old, old. This was known when I was advocating for my son 20 years ago. I'm not exaggerating. Same myths, same disclaimers. So far, the only real way I have seen for gifted kids to reach their potential is for them to have parents who advocate for them.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Christi

      Both my sons "checked out" of school due to boredom and being under-challenged, the first in 3rd grade, the second by 9th. The outside world was much more interesting. They self-educated because even with my exhaustive efforts, the schools could not figure out how to reach them. The oldest, now 33, has made millions as a venture capital broker and the younger one is professional poker dealer and player. One has a GED, the other dropped out off college after a few semesters. They chart their own futures outside the mainstream without "permission" and rubber stamps from anyone. But I still feel a sense of loss that school couldn't be anything more for them than biding time and annoyance. Their work ethic (for school) was terrible, but they were wonderful participants in discussions. "I already know the subject, why should I do homework?" I never convinced them that playing by the rules was in their best interest.

      November 15, 2012 at 4:36 am |
      • Rob

        What you are saying is that your kids overcame bad parents....

        November 15, 2012 at 10:13 am |
  85. Todd

    Articles like this always draw out tons of posters who talk about how amazingly gifted their child is, and how well their amazingly gifted child is doing in a school for the gifted (which is probably a private school, happy to let you think your kid is gifted as long as you're paying tuition).

    This just reinforces why SOME kind of objective testing or metric is needed to determine what "gifted" really means – because almost every mom thinks her kid is gifted, and if a child is particularly well-liked by their teacher (who is subjective, and only human) the same thing can happen. The term has to be defined, or it doesn't mean much of anything.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
  86. cmj124

    My 2 sons (ages 12 & 6) attend a school for gifted children and I can't imagine what their lives would be without it. They are challenged on a daily basis and I am ever grateful for that. If it weren't for a HUGE amount of financial aid, they wouldn't be able to attend and I can't imagine what their school lives would be like.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  87. thecraftedword

    This is such a crock! Why believe their premises, methods, or conclusions? Anyone who would believe in "giftedness" (as if one gift was more valuable than another) is a sycophant to their own. vanity. There is not one bit of research in this whole inane article!

    November 14, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • J

      Bitter much?

      November 15, 2012 at 1:56 am |
    • sarahmonster

      clearly you are one that has not been gifted. so sorry!

      November 15, 2012 at 6:33 am |
    • yambi

      You sound jealous and bitter - definitely not gifted.

      November 15, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  88. LetsBCivil

    Anyone who doesn't understand the value of teachers well schooled in teaching the gifted has never raised a truly gifted child. Night and day difference in the results.

    November 14, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
  89. Matt

    Impressive, CNN managed to actually bring in an expert that isn't saying something trite or topical. These myths are ever-present in our society and are one of many reasons that we struggle dealing with children who are actually gifted.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
  90. wubbledoo

    These are all true. I am mid to high-gifted, I.Q. ranging from about 145 to about 175 – it's hard to measure, because I want to argue with whoever wrote the tests about whether or not they are measuring intelligence or rote memorization.

    Also, I completed 5th grade in 3 days, but they didn't know what to do, so I floated around the school for a year doing nothing. In 11th grade, I had switched schools because of moving again, and essentially took the same year over again. Got into some verbal fights with teachers when they didn't know what they were talking about. Barely graduated in the top 50% of my class of 450, but was bored passing the MENSA test.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • Genius

      I know the feeling. I have an I.Q. of 240.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
      • Honest John

        Is that 240 in base 5?

        November 14, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • BrontosaurusRex

      I find your claim of an IQ of 145-170 highly doubtful. If you took a true IQ test then there was no memorization involved. IQ don't have memorization questions unless you take the ones online, and if you think those are legitimate then your IQ is certainly not even close to that range.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:34 am |
    • Rob

      Mensa is a's a club for people who feel like outcasts, nothing's an ego boost...

      November 15, 2012 at 10:16 am |
  91. Abril

    Interesting points. From the perspective of a former educator, I think the tragedy for so many gifted kids is the one-size-fits-all approach at many schools. I taught in a middle school in which all kids were grouped together for self-esteem purposes, and logistically it's just impossible to challenge those at the top. Against my own ideas, I ended up teaching to the lower students, attending to the most disruptive, and virtually ignoring the quietest–often brightest–ones.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  92. BH in MA

    My oldest tested above the 99th percentile and is estimated to have a 145 IQ. First grade was fine since, oddly enough, there were 5 kids like him in the class and they could be dealt with as a group. Second grade was a disaster. He was far ahead of his class but his teacher did not know what to do with him. She even refused to believe he was gifted because she gave him some advanced math to do and he could only do some of it. She didn't TEACH him the advanced math, just gave it to him and expected him to know how to do it. So instead of being taught at the pace he was capable of, he spent 3 months doing math exercises that involved counting change – something he had mastered before entering school. Gifted kids need extra services for the same reason the kids with learning disabilities do – they learn differently and the system is not set up to deal with them. Someone with a 70 IQ learns very differently from someone with an average IQ and so does someone with a 145 or higher IQ. Yet we only give the extra attention to one and assume the other will be "just fine." Anyone who thinks that needs to be forced to sit in a room for 6 hours a day while others are being taught things you mastered years ago. When you blurt out the answers because you're tired of waiting for people to get it, or tell the teacher straight out that you're bored, you get in trouble. Now repeat that 180 days per year for 12 years.

    Our younger son also tests well and learns differently. He's been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. If we want special services for him, all we have to do is wave the official paper at the school and he gets help.

    So, in a nutshell, Kid #1: outside the norm, learns differently from peers, no help. Kid #2: outside the norm, learns differently from peers, school legally required to help if we ask.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
    • Becky

      Agreed! We got IQ tested in kindergarten and the "gifted" students were then placed in a separate class for the next few years. It was a mix of grades, but taught for kids with high IQs who learned in a different way. That class was disbanded a couple of years later, and we were sent out amongst the general population again. The first year that we were essentially in "gen ed," my anxiety got so bad that I became physically ill and missed most of fourth grade. As an adult, I was finally diagnosed as autistic, and looking back I realize that the "gifted" class was essentially the Aspie class! I'm now a special education teacher, and I've modeled much of my program on the gifted classes I had as a child. There is a tremendous similarity between children with disabilities and children who are gifted. (Often the highest and lowest performing children in a school are on the autistic spectrum.) It is a terrible disservice to our children when we only recognize the needs of the children who are struggling academically. Moreover, we are doing our society a disservice when we fail to develop our brightest minds to their full potential.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:44 pm |
      • GTeach

        I totally agree! Bless you!! :)

        November 14, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
      • Rob

        schools do not test for IQ...they never have....any claim otherwise is a lie or you are confusing an assessment test with an IQ test....schools do not employ people that are qualified to administer an IQ test. These people easily demand FAR more than a school system can afford.

        November 15, 2012 at 10:24 am |
    • Chris K

      This is so true! Thank you for posting your story, we are actually in a very similar boat with our kids. Unfortunately it seems it's human nature to focus on the "needy", since the "smart" ones can take care of themselves, supposedly.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:29 am |
    • sarahmonster

      Same thing happened with my son,who has since graduated from high school with a 65.5 avg but a regents diploma. My son tests in the 90th percentile in standardized tests passed all of his regents exams with mastery. He refused to do homework or any projects in school because he knew how to do it and he felt his time was better spent reading what he wanted to read and doing what he wanted to do. Every year from 6th grade through 12th grade I was daragged to school for a parent/student/teacher/principal conference where they threatened my son by telling him he was going to fail that he would never be sucessful etc.. My son would just sit and listen and I would state give him a challenge and they would say, we cannot because he is not capableof doing the routine assignments. They refused to try my way or to challenge my son or go off the course and teach my son differently. I finally stopped nagging me son in the 10th grade, he always almost failed first 3 quarters of school, but last quarter he would bring all his grades up to the 90 or higher avg because he knew what he had to do to move on. Just like his graduation, where many people congratulated my son and stated we thought you would fail. My son stated to his peers, I spent my whole high school doing what I wanted to do when I wanted to do it hunting, fishing, reading sometimes doing nothing. he then asked how much time did you spend on homework and studying? They would state 2-3 hours a day sometimes more. My son then held up his diploma and said, hmmm I have a regents Diploma just like yours! I am proud of my son, not happy he does not apply himself or strive to be superior, but this is who he is and how he is happy.

      November 15, 2012 at 6:46 am |
    • dulcimer172

      I never got tested. I was assumed to be "mediocre" or "just fail C-D student".

      I could never understand my Math teacher. He would teach a topic, I would understand it just fine, first time. Then he taught something else & I was confused as hell – it was almost identical to what he just taught be before.& I was soooooo confused. No-one ever told me that they taught the SAME concept multiple different ways, because some people didn't get it first time.

      I came out of high school with poor exam results. dropped out of community college due to lack of focus. Worked dead-end jobs for a few years. In my late 20's, tested with a 172 IQ. So I stopped listening to the 100 IQers telling me I was dumb, because THEY couldn't understand me..

      November 15, 2012 at 9:42 am |
  93. C.W. Sullivan III

    While I agree with the comments about misconceptions regarding gifted children, I object to the use of the word "myth" to refer to "things which people believe that are demonstrably unture." Myths, i.e., mythology, as ancient belief systems demonized by Christians are much more complex than that.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm |
  94. mrlewish

    No, your child is not special. Schools have these programs to appease certain types of parents that a certain that their child is gifted. Many private schools make a living by appraising so many average students as "wonderfully gifted" to get the parents money. It's a sales pitch folks and you all buy it hook line and sinkers.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
    • LetsBCivil

      mrlewish commented that, "No, your child is not special. Schools have these programs to appease certain types of parents that a certain that their child is gifted...."
      Just as 'grade inflation' exists in a great many schools, one could certainly make the case that 'gifted inflation' also exists. However the existance of 'gifted inflation' does not negate the existance of gifted children. To be so negative toward gifted children and parents of gifted children shows a real failure to understand the difficulties these families face. While it's a blessing to be gifted, it's also a curse, as mrlewish has helped demonstrate.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
      • ParentofGifted

        Great reply LetsBeCivil to mrlewish "sour grapes" posting. Both of my kids tested into gifted while in 2nd grade (2 years apart). They are in high school now and it has been such an incredible experience for them. They've had fantastic gifted teachers who focused on advanced writing, problem solving, and critical thinking skills. Remember folks, these gifted kids could be the ones that end up finding a cure for Alzheimer's some day. Essentially, they could save your life. Schools need to continue to devote resources to these gifted students so that our whole society benefits.

        November 15, 2012 at 12:11 am |
    • MND

      Call it what you want mrlewish, but you obviously have not had to deal with the challenges of having a child who learns at a different pace than the established standard. My oldest child was reading and comprehending the Harry Potter books at age 4. This is extremely frustrating for EVERYONE when the bulk of the time spent in K-3 is on learning how to read. Currently, at age 14 he reads faster than I do and finishes entire novels in 2 hours or less. This is not about ego stroking. It is about the necessity of individualized education instead of trying to fit everyone in a box.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Maid in America

      Sorry, I thought the same thing, then we took our child to a restaurant one day at the age of two, and he began to read the menu to us! We had been trying to teach him the alphabet, and he could read already! Kindergarten was a struggle, as the others were being taught the alphabet, and to count to ten. No one had any idea what to do with him.

      November 14, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • George

      What an idiotic statement. Yeah, you're right. No kids are smarter than other kids. You silly person.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • AGrey

      My brother was in a gifted program and my parents didn't ask for it. The school just approached them and said he was in the gifted range and they thought he should be in their gifted program.

      November 15, 2012 at 12:08 am |
    • rswon

      Then how do you explain the 17 year old I mentored as a Summer student? He was about to graduate High School, he was accepted at a prestigious college. He'll be taking a 3rd year math class (linear differential equations, iirc). The only reason he's a Freshmen is because some classes were unavailable for advanced placement. It'll take him 3 years to graduate because he's carrying a double major, physics and computer engineering. Nope, he's not gifted at all, just your average high school kid with an IQ of 163.

      I'm guessing you don't work in a research profession surrounded by PhDs?

      November 15, 2012 at 1:26 am |
  95. FrmerMarine

    Never heard of these 'myths".

    November 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  96. t g shafer

    A gifted kid is as far off the mean on the Bell Shaped Curve as a mentally disabled kid. His thought and information processing systems are just as diffrent in their own way. They, too, require intensive special work to achieve full potential.


    November 14, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  97. Michael

    My local town's school budget:
    Special Education: $14,961,513 ($11,134,693 salaries, $2,145,603 benefits)
    Gifted Education: $176,610 ($136,918 salaries, $18,792 benefits)
    Regular Education: $72,762,739 ($55,965,638 salaries, $11,749,251 benefits)
    That is almost 85 times more money for remedial than gifted.
    Then, try dividing by the number of each student. It costs more than twice as much for each special ed student as a regular student.
    I ask, is that fair?

    November 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Disappointed

      Is it "fair" that so many children are born with learning disabilities, and must face those issues for the rest of their lives? Have you considered the alternative, in which funding is siphoned away from these students? It may not be intentional, but your remark is particularly cruel. Be thankful we live in a country that supports those in need.

      We need the public school systems to be better funded to support programs for the gifted, NOT to pull money away from existing programs for the mentally and emotionally needy.

      November 14, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
      • BrontosaurusRex

        Let me ask you this. What are the chances of someone, who is learning disabled or on the bottom spectrum of IQ, to make a difference in society? Now what are the chances of someone with a high IQ doing impactful research or creating things?

        Don't bring up Mozart. He wasn't dumb, just deaf. And he was obviously extremely intelligent in his field.

        November 15, 2012 at 2:41 am |
      • Amy

        Mozart wasn't deaf, that was Beethoven and he didn't become deaf until later in life.

        November 15, 2012 at 9:19 am |
      • Rob

        Bronto, to be fair, an idiot could accidentally save the life of a genius who then goes on to cure cancer or republicanism...

        November 15, 2012 at 10:26 am |
      • Disappointed


        I could bring up Helen Keller, but I'm sure you would argue that she doesn't count either, though nearly everyone had given up on her at the time. You think we should only make "good investments" in educating children, if I'm understanding correctly. By that logic, why bother spending ANY money educating children with IQs below 70? Or below 100, for that matter? They'll clearly never amount to anything, and why should we, as a society, care about or support people who don't bring their fair share to the table each day?

        November 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • someone

      Interesting. I always used to wonder what the truly disabled actually got out of school. I'm not saying this in a judgmental way or anything but there was this one special needs girl when I was in school who must have had some kind of physical and mental disability. She couldn't steer her chair or anything and drooled continually. I am not sure what she had but she didn't seem coherent enough to actually use the schooling. She always had two people working with her too. I don't doubt that she got something out of school and her parents certainly need a break like any other parent, but I'd be interested to see the syllabus.

      November 15, 2012 at 2:28 am |
  98. Jules

    Being gifted means realizing young that society just wants to use you for what it can get, chew you up, and spit you out again. Their agenda is not your agenda, as a gifted kid. You realize fast that those teachers and schools and the government officials putting them together–they don't care about you and they are not your friend. They do not want you to grow up to be a person who is laid back, happy, productive enough to pay your bills and live inside your budget, and at peace with yourself.

    They want you to know when you grow up you can be anything you want to be, that you have the talent to be anything you want when you grow up! And they want you to know that you had darned well better want something lofty enough to make their list. You can be anything you want–as long as you want what they want you to want.

    To a certain extent they want you to "be all you can be." To the extent that what "all you can be" is and does produces something for *them*. If you let them they will eat you alive and route you right onto a treadmill to do as much for them as possible. They will make you right into an obsessive workaholic if they can, with a smile on their face for how *well* they're helping you reach "your" goals.

    Underachievers dig in their heels in self-defense against people who don't care a crap about anything more than what the kid can "do for the world someday."

    November 14, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
  99. juice

    If we have gifted students, there are two possibilities: 1. Either they are above normal intelligence, or 2. Or they are at normal intelligence, but most of us are just below.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Rob

      there is a 3rd option....based on experience with my step-kids getting into ALL GT classes, apparently, you just need to be really good at following do what the teacher tells you to do the first time you're told, they are amazed and think the child is advanced because the rest of the kids are too busy picking their noses...

      November 15, 2012 at 10:31 am |
  100. Michael Allen

    "Gifted" is a horrible label pinned to students who have abandoned a broken education system and taught themselves. The system tries to reclaim these individuals in order to receive a paycheck. Then the label meme is established and we continue the cycle anew. Nothing to see here.

    November 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • BaltoPaul

      Maybe where you are.

      Our school system has advanced placement for children who are ready for material one grade level above their assigned grade, and they have the option to test into the gifted and talented program, which is geared towards being two grades above the assigned level.

      Both have well-defined goals and teaching methods. Sure beats what I had, which was basically being sent out to set at a desk in the hallway to be "my own math group" during math period throughout my elementary schooling.

      November 14, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
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