The War on Gifted Education: Why the landslide loss for San Francisco’s school board is a victory for American meritocracy

James Pethokoukis:

Central to that cultural history has also been the notion of meritocracy, going back to the Mandarin bureaucrat-scholars who obtained their positions through the imperial examination system. More recently, China’s communists have attempted to run a more vibrant economy by reintroducing meritocracy — and not just in government. 

As Adrian Wooldridge, author of The Aristocracy of Talent: How Meritocracy Made the Modern World, recently wrote in Bloomberg Opinion, “Children compete to get into the best nursery schools so that they can get into the best secondary schools and then into the best universities. Examinations regulate the race to get ahead. This examination system, which draws on the tradition of civil service examinations that were administered for more than a thousand years, is now more geared to produce scientists and engineers rather than Confucian officials.”

We need an education system that works for all kids, whatever their background and natural abilities. And by work, I mean maximizes their human potential. And then we can reward that potential by having a society that deeply values achievement. But this is also important: Getting the most out of our best and brightest. I am distressed by growing efforts to undermine gifted education programs across America. When California’s Instructional Quality Commission adopted a new mathematics framework in 2021 that urged schools to do away with accelerated math in grades one through 10, it explained the move this way: “We reject ideas of natural gifts and talents.”

Mandates, closed schools and Dane County Madison Public Health.

The data clearly indicate that being able to read is not a requirement for graduation at (Madison) East, especially if you are black or Hispanic”

2017: West High Reading Interventionist Teacher’s Remarks to the School Board on Madison’s Disastrous Reading Results 

Madison’s taxpayer supported K-12 school district, despite spending far more than most, has long tolerated disastrous reading results.

My Question to Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers on Teacher Mulligans and our Disastrous Reading Results

“An emphasis on adult employment”

Wisconsin Public Policy Forum Madison School District Report[PDF]

WEAC: $1.57 million for Four Wisconsin Senators

Friday Afternoon Veto: Governor Evers Rejects AB446/SB454; an effort to address our long term, disastrous reading results

Booked, but can’t read (Madison): functional literacy, National citizenship and the new face of Dred Scott in the age of mass incarceration.

When A Stands for Average: Students at the UW-Madison School of Education Receive Sky-High Grades. How Smart is That?