You mention promoting the highly intelligent. I don't think that should be a prerequisite for public education. What I do think is that only those who want to learn should be grouped together. Regardless of race, creed, IQ level -- if you have a thirst for knowledge, you deserve to be in an environment where it can be fostered. This is difficult to do when the teacher has to provide a "one size fits all" course, to cover those who would rather be getting high and getting five-finger discounts at the mall along with everyone else.
Slower people (I consider myself to be of average intellect, at best) should be welcomed into the general flow of education, as long as the desire to learn is there. In short, public school should not be an obligation, but a privelege to be excercised by anyone and everyone who wants an education. If you don't want it, fine -- don't let the door hit you on the ass and have fun pumping my gas at minimum wage for the rest of your life.
Now, as an aside, several things stick in my memory from public school.
The first was that in junior-high and highschool, I recall being encouraged by several teachers to complete all the 'extra work' I cared to, and it would be counted toward my credits for graduation. Within a month, I had completed an entire year's worth of material and completed the tests as required. When time came to ask about the credits I would be granted, I was told that it was not going to happen. It was too unfair to the other students who did not do the extra work.
Yes. Doing extra work and being credited for it was unfair to the students who did not get credit for not doing the work. I suppose that means that it's unfair for students who do the minimal work to be allowed to graduate, because that is grossly unfair to those who didn't do any work whatsoever.
The second incident actually happened in my freshman year. During a typical spelling test (keep in mind, I tested in school in the 99th percentile for spelling -- and have since spiraled downward, maintaining the spelling capability of a toothpick), my teacher (who wasn't really a teacher, but was placed into a teaching position as an addition to his track-coaching duties), paired me up with a student who was new to the U.S. In our class, you paired with someone, who read the words to you and then you wrote the correct spelling down. Then you handed the tests to yet a third student for correction.
Now, this student spoke english. But they did not speak it well. As a result, I failed EVERY question on the test. The words the student was giving me were real words -- they just weren't the words that were on the test. The teacher apparently found it amusing and I'm pretty certain paired me up with this person intentionally. This was the first time I had ever failed a test. Period. Every. In my entire life. It brought my grade down drastically, since it was an end of the quarter grade-marker.
I just read K5 for the articles.
[ Parent ]