A Critique of the American Educational System: Failing the Gifted and the Disadvantaged
Nelson, Joshua D.
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America's educational system is under a great deal of pressure at this stage in its development. Recent studies like "Nation at Risk" have pointed out many flaws in our system. International comparisons of test scores have shown that we have fallen behind many other industrialized nations in many areas. Everyone seems to have their own idea of what needs to be done, where to start, what to change, etc., and in this regard I am no different than anyone else. I feel very strongly that some of the pervasive philosophical attitudes among educators are hindering us from fully developing many of our students. The basic approach of compensatory education which became all the rage in education during the past decade or so has many weaknesses under its veneer of good intentions. I believe that it has hindered the education of many students in an attempt to improve that of a few, and even those few are not benefiting as much as they could under a different system. In particular, I feel that our attempts to reach the "underprivileged" have caused many to overlook or just ignore the needs of the gifted, while at the same time, we have not been very successful with these "underprivileded" to whom we are devoting so much time and money.