Does Focusing on Under Achieving Students Impact Over Achieving Students?

South San Francisco, CA    August 25, 2015  

Failing Our Brightest Kids The Global Challenge of Educating High-ability Students by Chester E. Finn and Brandon L. Wright Paperback, 304 pages

Failing Our Brightest Kids
The Global Challenge of Educating High-ability Students
by Chester E. Finn and Brandon L. Wright
Paperback, 304 pages

An article by National Public Radio caught our attention as it questions ‘How well is the U.S. educating its top performers?‘  This subject was discussed in light of the recently published book “Failing Our Brightest Kids – The Global Challenge of Educating High-ability Students’ written by Chester E. Finn and Brandon L. Wright

We put this question out on our social media and the responses bring up a good conversation at a time we are trying to educate our youth for jobs in our own City’s life science companies. Please CLICK HERE to read the full article and CLICK HERE for more information on this book and purchase options.

From our Facebook Page:

Is this true in our ‪#‎SSFUSD‬? ‘ No Child Left Behind, the 2001 federal law, incentivizes “just getting kids over a bar,” Finn says. “In the public policies affecting our schools — state and federal — there’s almost no incentive to boost a smart kid up the scale or take someone who’s ‘proficient’ and push them to ‘advanced.’
This was a thoughtful read and had some interesting comments on the article, worthy of sharing as we kick off this school year.

Community responses include the following and we encourage others to share their insights in our comment area below.

* Monica I believe it happens in elementary school. The more students trying to reach proficient, the less time and resources for the advanced students.


*Adele Didn’t read the article specifically but from another view, we’re definitely neglecting the smarter bunches, and not just in book smarts, but in other resources/self exploration. These kids who are in advanced classes get more room and choice for electives, but we cut all the electives and these kids get other people’s values shoved down them. For instance, cutting art, band, shop, mechanic class? Why are those the less valuable to the US? My friend is a top Goodyear mechanic in Cali and he loves his career choice that he got to explore in high school. Now people don’t get that chance…. Meanwhile, other countries have students picking their interests in school tracks and they get to go farther in study of something they truly like and not just A-G requirements alone. But yeah, funding… it’s complicated.


*Jim They spend so much time with the kids that don’t want to learn that they neglect the kids that do.


* Laura this has always been my pet peeve. My kids are advanced yet there is no gate program. When they need help, I have to pay for it what is wrong with this picture.


* Pamela When I was young, grades would be skipped. I skipped 2nd grade and could have skipped 4th but my parents wouldn’t allow it. Was angry with my parents at the time, but came later to understand that being one year younger than my classmates made a difference. Two years would have been a lot worse. But I agree that there needs to be some sort of program for kids who are capable of advancing, and a program for those who need some extra help. Educate our children!


*Mark we had high 1st and low 1st if a kid was lagging they keep him back u were only 6 months behind now a kid loses a year they don’t keep u back cause 2 bad years u would be almost 20 still in school the old way u would be younger my gson should have be laft back now he’s always behind


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