Subscribe to
NSLog(); Header Image

Public Schooling for the Intelligent Kids

True or false: public schooling in the United States is generally well suited for the average and below average children while leaving many of the more intelligent kids to fend for themselves.

Feel free to elaborate in the comments.

6 Responses to "Public Schooling for the Intelligent Kids"

  1. I think alot of it depends upon the school and the teachers employed there. My school district was one of the higher rated in the area for a public school and while it generally did aim to satisfy the "average" kids many of the teachers had no problems helping myself and a few friends to keep engaged and interested with more indepth topics, more challenging studies, etc.

    But yes, I'd say most schools probably barely aim to get by especially with having to teach to the tests now

  2. My viewpoint is a bit different: I think if you're above or below average, you get more time/attention in public schools. If you're average, you get less attention. You have to be outside the middle 80 percent of ability to warrant special instruction – which is very good on both sides of the equation, in my personal experience. We have a child in advanced math and language arts studies at a public elementary school, and she gets a ton out of these programs.

    From what I see in the private schools around me, average students get more attention because class sizes are generally smaller, but they don't always do a better job cultivating the exceptional students. Some do a great job, but parents really need to do their homework to find the ones who do.

  3. I would generally say that statement is true. Public schools, who, out of an unfortunate necessity, need to be hyper focused on test scores, give a lot of attention to underperforming students. The smart kids will always perform well on standardized tests (at least at the average high school), so there is no need to ‘worry’ about them.

    However, schooling, whether it is public or private, is what the student chooses to get out of it. The students who want to get a lot out of their education will have the opportunities to do so, even at public schools.

    As a senior at a relatively mediocre public school (albeit a better public school for my area), I wouldn’t trade my public school education. I had the choice to attend to a private school (actually, my parents encouraged it); but, I chose to go to the public school. My choice has forced me to be active, not passive, in my learning, which I feel will benefit me greatly both academically and socially later in life.

    It depends on the child too of course. Different kids excel in different environments. Though smarter kids often do have to “fend for themselves,” I’m not quite sure that that is such a bad thing – teaching a kid to be active and aggressive in their pursuit of knowledge is a pretty valuable lesson.

  4. 1. It depends on the public school. Some do, some don't but as long as there are good libraries, opportunities to join or create groups of interest...
    2. Some of the best private schools would give more intelligent kids a lot more attention and a better environment in some ways but they could be shelled from the realities of life.
    3. I cannot stress that school itself doesn't give the best education, if the child has got the bug of learning and discovering the world (which is the most important thing), he will do it himself and become an autodidact.
    4. In a public school the child might learn how to fend for himself a lot quicker than in the "safe" environment of an elitist private school.
    5. The important issues, I think, are to choose a school that will help him or her gain independence, build character, and good enough for your kids to be able to pass those silly exams and concentrate on their own interests and learning.
    6.What were you and your partner's experience of school? Your kids are most likely to experience it like you did. How do you think it affected your character? Would having gone to a rougher or safer school been better?

  5. I have several friends who work in public schools, and they all tell me the same thing: they are not allowed to discipline the troublemakers, so it is the troublemakers who get all the attention.

    They all tell me that parents demand social promotion even if their children are failing.

    I think your statement is true in that public schools today are engineered for the LCD - least common denominator, which means that it is better suited for children toward the bottom. There are exceptions, and there are classes for advanced students, but in general it is better suited for those at the bottom.

  6. I think a lot depends on the school's management and also the educators that are in the school. Although i am a firm believer in homeschooling concepts, i have plans at a certain point in my kid's home school education, to send them to public school for a more holistic exposure. I still think that those who fend for themselves are those that are less than average. The above average should do well in public schools in my opinion.