It’s about time. Many of us know and are troubled by it–we have left the top half of our classes behind in our effort to bring up the bottom half. Yet, noone likes to talk about this, apparently, as it’s viewed as elitist… And, alas, many people believe that these students, often called gifted and talented (a label I do not like!) will be OK on their own, even without focus and effort and support by our schools. Well, it ain’t so.

I applaud Chester Finn for putting this vital issue out there, both for our national interest and for these students’ personal interests. It’s about time. We need to focus also on the top students in our land.

While his solution is to have more exam schools, I’m not convinced that is the way to go. No matter. The first step is to admit that we have a huge challenge. We’ll figure out what to do with that–once it’s front and center before us. Now it is.


About Miriam

Miriam Kurtzig Freedman, JD, MA—an expert in public education, focused on special education law— is a lawyer, author, speaker, consultant, and reformer. For more than 35 years, Miriam worked with educators, parents, policy makers, and citizens to translate complex legalese into plain English and focus on good practices for children. Now, she focuses her passion on reforming special education, with her new book, Special Education 2.0—Breaking Taboos to Build a NEW Education Law. Presentations include those at the AASA Conference, Orange County (CA), Boston College (MA), CADRE (OR), and the Fordham Institute (DC). Her writings have appeared in The Wall Street Journal, Education Week, Education Next, Hoover Digest, The University of Chicago Law Review on line,, and The Atlantic Monthly on line.

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