I've taught a couple of these kids. My school does a fairly good job with them, but there's really no plan involved in doing so. There are so few of them, can we afford to devote more resources to them? And let's not bring up the NCLB canard; we weren't really paying attention to such kids pre-NCLB, either. Is there something better we as a state or country can do? Where's Professor Xavier?
Andrew Almazán, the 16-year-old Mexican who has just received his psychology degree and is scheduled to finish medical school in two years, told me something in an interview last week that I wasn’t aware of: Millions of exceptionally talented youngsters in Latin America are being pushed out of public schools for lack of gifted-student programs.
In an interview from his home in Mexico City, Andrew told me that when he was in elementary school, he was bored in the classroom, and got into trouble with teachers for challenging what they were saying in class. His teachers saw him as a troublemaker, and diagnosed him with attention-deficit disorder, although he had an IQ of 162, higher than Albert Einstein’s...
Citing World Health Organization estimates, Andrew told me that an estimated 2.3 percent of the youth population of every country is highly gifted. That would amount to nearly 800,000 youths in Mexico alone, he said.
“But here in Mexico, about 95 percent of highly gifted minds are wasted because they are not identified as such,” Andrew said. “We are losing that intellectual capacity, because of a tendency to adjust everybody [downward] to the average.”