What happens when schools focus the majority of their efforts on boosting low-achieving kids to proficiency? In this country, says Chester Finn, M.A.T'67, Ed.D.'70, it results in the students who are already above that bar being neglected.
"This really is a serious problem," says Finn, distinguished senior fellow and president emeritus at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, "especially for kids from disadvantaged circumstances who are smart."
So, what can we change so that academically talented children — of all backgrounds — aren't being left behind? This is one of the questions explored by Finn and his coauthor Brandon Wright in the Harvard Education Press title, Failing Our Brightest Kids:The Global Challenge of Educating High-Ability Students, in which they take U.S. practices and set them against those of other countries in order to find the best ways to support our brightest students.
In this edition of the Harvard EdCast, Finn discusses his new book and the problems that inspired it, and looks at the global challenge of educating high-ability students.
The Harvard EdCast is a weekly series of podcasts, available on the Harvard University iTunes U page, that features a 15-20 minute conversation with thought leaders in the field of education from across the country and around the world. Hosted by Matt Weber, the Harvard EdCast is a space for educational discourse and openness, focusing on the myriad issues and current events related to the field.