I have a “beef” with the stringy, meat-like texture of the American school system and I find it very hard to chew. What our students lack is not only based in the accounts of the budget makers but is also found, if not more prominently, in the hearts and minds of those who define the educational system’s structure. The variety found in the melting pot that is America calls for a more demanding and individualized approach, with a collective acknowledgement that education starts at home, extends to the school, and is fed by empowerment.
It seems as though those whom we deem the most intelligent in our society are unfairly plagued with an inexcusable wart of indifference and neglect. Our plethora of programs to accommodate the learning disabled within the school continue to gain speed and recognition, while our programs for advanced children remain on an apparent hold. The latter is forced to go to outside academies and privately funded schools to gain the proper education. That’s just the thing: I believe our schools should be the academy.
It is not always an option for an advanced student to attend what often ends up being an expensive and distant private school or academy; and as a result, we find our school system ticking down the peg board of national comparison like a Plinko chip on ‘The Price is Right’. When I think about the fact that our schools rate 17th internationally I can’t help but wonder why we are often referred to as “The Land of Opportunity”. It could be logically deduced that, while the problems perpetuate, holes will exist which will assist our tiny geniuses in falling through the cracks in the system.
I believe further information can be gathered by reading the book “Outliers – The Story of Success” by Malcolm Gladwell. This very topic is discussed at length and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in the subject.
As someone with an above average I.Q., I can attest to the findings of the studies highlighted in the book; and, as a graduate of the American public school system, I can also recall many shortcomings in the curriculum even when taking into consideration I was offered and attended the gifted programs at my “above average” public school. Regardless of the menial indulgences afforded to me, I found it difficult to assimilate into the standard classroom as though things were “dumbed down to accommodate those feeling challenged, and not challenging those who were feeling dumbed down.”