For two decades now, American education reform has been obsessed with raising the performance of our lowest-achieving students. And it’s worked—national assessment results show huge gains for the country’s low-performing, low-income, and minority children since the late 1990s, especially in the early grades, and especially in math.
That’s the good news. The bad news is that America’s highest-performing students have made very meager progress during this time period. Meanwhile, countries around the world are investing heavily in talent development, and particularly in their most able students.
To find out if these nations might have something to teach us, the Fordham Institute’s Chester E. Finn, Jr. circled the globe, searching for answers, talking to educators and officials, and learning how leading countries do “gifted and talented education.”
The result is his book, written with our Fordham colleague Brandon Wright, Failing our Brightest Kids: The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students.
Checker and Brandon visit the Ed Next Book Club podcast to talk about the book, what they’ve learned from countries overseas, and whether there’s reason for hope that America might finally get serious about better serving our brightest kids.
Additional episodes of the Education Next Book Club can be found here.
– Education Next