Dumbing Down America
The War on Our Nation's Brightest Young Minds
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At a time when the U.S. education system consistently lags behind its international peers, Dumbing Down America shows exactly why America can't keep up by providing a critical look at the nation's schools through the eyes of the children whose minds are languishing in countless classrooms. Filled with specific examples of how gifted children are being shortchanged by a nation that believes smart kids will succeed on their own, Dumbing Down America packs a powerful message: If we want our nation to prosper, we must pay attention to its most intelligent youth. With more than 35 years of experience working with and for gifted children, author James R. Delisle provides a template of what can and must happen in America's schools if they are to fulfill their mission of educating every child to the fullest potential. Dumbing Down America is a must-read for any individual who believes that the unfulfilled promises to gifted children must begin to be met in America's schools today, not someday.
Table of Contents
PREFACE Three Reasons to Care CHAPTER 1 In the Beginning CHAPTER 2 The Upsides CHAPTER 3 The Battle of Equity Over Excellence CHAPTER 4 Is Giftedness Something You Do or Someone You Are CHAPTER 5 Instructional Panaceas That Aren’t CHAPTER 6 Legislative Absurdity . . . and the Organizations That Try to Rein It In CHAPTER 7 What Next CHAPTER 8 The Big Picture: Fitting Gifted Child Education into the Broader Educational Landscape That’s All, Folks References About the Author Index
James R. Delisle has worked in gifted child education for 40 years as a teacher, professor, counselor, and dad. He is the author of 21 books, including the best-selling Parenting Gifted Kids and The Gifted Teen Survival Guide (with Judy Galbraith). His work has been translated into multiple languages and has been featured in both top research outlets and popular media sources like The New York Times and the Oprah Winfrey Show.
Overall, this book is an engaging and powerful read, and a passionate call for change that excites readers to join the cause of supporting America's gifted children. Dumbing Down America takes a comprehensive look at the state of gifted education, offers solutions that can begin now, and emphasizes the importance of providing America's brightest minds with the chance to be heard. “For too long, genius has been denied and our nation has been deceived. With knowledge, tenacity, a strong collective voice, and a gifted child's needs at the forefront of your efforts, we can do better. Saving smart kids isn't a choice; it's an obligation” (p. 202).,Davidson Institute for Talent Development, 5/1/14
Dumbing Down America felt like a book I had been waiting for since my first child was identified as gifted! As a parent, I appreciated its tone. Our children are more than the sum of their test scores and achievements . . . Gifted children have a right to an education appropriate to their abilities just as much as any other child. This is a rare occurrence in most American schools where they are either ignored or face the elimination of even meager programs due to a lack of understanding on the part of policy makers. If America wants to reverse the trend, it would do well to put into place the recommendations by Dr. Delisle as outlined in Dumbing Down America.,Lisa Conrad, Gifted Education Advocate, 9/6/14
Although the “Dumbing Down” bit of the title is provocative, the most engaging and exciting part of the book's name is the “what we can do to fight back” part. Yes, homeschooling is included as an option—but it doesn't work for everyone. Which is why it's exciting to see so many ideas on the pages of this book. Delisle deserves kudos for his plans. If you care about gifted kids—your own or others, then read the book to learn more about his suggestions and pass it along to the education change agents in your community.,Pamela Price,Red, White, and Grew, 9/12/14