Gifted students skipping grades? That’s a bad idea for many reasons


I am responding to Matthew Boyle’s letter that suggested gifted kids skip grades in order to save money.

Your opinion has to be one of the most short-sighted letters I have ever read. I have two children in the Fayette County Schools who could most likely be chosen to skip grades. First of all, the vast majority of gifted kids are NOT Albert Einstein. They are just extremely smart, quick and hard-working kids who need extra challenges in school.

When my blood stopped boiling, I read your column to my 12-year-old daughter to see what she thought. She immediately pointed out that it might be okay for subjects like math and reading, but for science and social studies, kids would have giant holes in their education.

You might then have a kid who knows absolutely nothing about World War II or the structure of cells. They would surely suffer for that lack of knowledge later in their education.

As for your comments on class size, I have never known any of the gifted classes to be any smaller than the regular classes, so there is no extra expense there.

To be sure, the amount of money spent on gifted children is miniscule compared to the money, time and effort spent on kids who are lower academically. The gifted kids are a very small part of the budget overall.

Lastly, I am shocked by your callous attitude toward children and that they should “have more years to be productive.” Children are children for such a short length of time. They have probably a good 60 years, God willing, to be productive citizens with jobs, families and responsibilities.

Why in the world would you want a child to rush through the fun and joys of childhood just to save a little money? What do you think happens to a kid who is a couple of years younger than everyone else at college? Do you think they would have a normal college experience and any friends or relationships?

The Fayette County Schools are certainly not perfect in sufficiently challenging the gifted students, but I cannot imagine shoving those kids out into the world with gaps in their education and social development.

Andrea Schmid

Peachtree City, Ga.