No gifted guarantees

Written by Susan Mannella on .

Let me assure Joel B. Kundin ("CAS Undermined," Jan. 28 letters) that the admission of students who may not have been deemed "gifted" does not mean a lowering of Centers for Advanced Study standards or the end of the world.


Having watched many gifted children grow up over the last several decades, I have learned that not all gifted children are superior in every subject area, some even struggle. Non-gifted children can be and often are -- oh, be still my heart -- equal to and even excel a gifted child in specific subject areas.

Mr. Kundin has done a horrendous disservice if he has taught his son that he is better than others because of his "gifted" designation. I can guarantee that if he hasn't already, his son will encounter many minds superior to his.

I have seen "gifted" children over-impressed with themselves crumble when they went from a little local pond to a great big college lake only to discover that they are no longer the big fish.

Not all "gifted" children are equal, something many parents fail to understand. Someone found to be gifted with an IQ of 130 often finds it very difficult to keep up with a gifted IQ of 150, 160, 170. And most of those will never understand the writings of Stephen Hawking.

I seriously doubt the Pittsburgh school district is in the business of setting their students up to fail. It is highly unlikely anyone will be placed in a CAS course who does not have the ability to succeed there. Giftedness is not a guarantee, or even a requirement, for success.


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