Public schools throughout the United States are failing to provide our brightest students with an appropriate early education. Parents of gifted children have to choose between paying for a private school, homeschooling their children, or leaving them in an inadequate educational situation in their early years. Acceleration, in many forms, has been shown to be the single most effective intervention for these bright students. Schools say, "We wish we could do something. It would be great if gifted children could have this flexibility, but the law forbids us from accommodating students this way." This is not just a local issue, but an issue endemic throughout the United States.
The current one-size-fits-all chronological approach to education completely ignores the early educational needs of children who are at the upper range of the normal curve in aptitude. There are programs and early intervention available for children with disabilities, but there is nothing in place to serve the needs of our young gifted and bright children at the other end of the spectrum. The US Department of Education does not serve these children, who are forced to wait for two or more of the foundation years of their education waiting to meet age limits for enrollment or in classes that do not meet their educational needs.
Acceleration practices are simple to provide and cost effective. There is abundant research evidence that this type of intervention is less disruptive and works very well. The only cost is in the willingness to allow such exceptions. All that is needed is to assess student readiness and provide for that readiness by allowing gifted students to study at a level that is going to challenge them. Failing to provide flexibility to these bright students makes them vulnerable to boredom and disengagement during their early school years - what can we as a country possibly gain by doing this to them?
All school children, including the bright ones, should receive a grade-level appropriate education. As parents and educators we ask the US DOE to serve the needs of bright young children by granting some flexibility in the age of enrollment and age of first evaluation in our schools, and to grant schools the ability to accommodate these students so they can have a grade-level appropriate education. This flexibility would put an end to considerable frustration for parents, children, and for educators who are currently not able to meet the educational needs of these students in their classrooms.