Thank you, Fordham for this study. It’s about time.  In our national effort to ‘close the gap’ of various groups needing to function at least at the average level, have we forgotten about our top students– who already function above the average?  I believe we have. Our efforts, funds, and focus are just not there. 

Two examples.  NCLB focuses on the students who are not yet reading, writing, and doing math and science at grade level. It does NOT focus on students who are already there, called ‘high flyers’ in this study.  Special education, as well, focuses on children who remain below academic and other standards.  The NCLB and IDEA are where our moneys and focus have been for the past many years–not on the ‘high flyers.’

A 2004 study  pointed out one statistic that has stuck with me:  we spend 143 times as much on special education as we do on gifted and talented students–and that was BEFORE NCLB’s requirements! Has there been an update of that study?

For America’s future, we should finally focus on ALL students:  the top, middle, and bottom. Hopefully, this study will help us on our way.  It is more than time.

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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