Top Students Lose Ground


Is helping low achievers hurting high achievers? A new study by the Fordham Foundation raises this question in response to evidence that many high-performing students lose ground as they transition through school.

Teachers working with students with a mix of abilities may not be able to cover as much material or in as much depth as they might if a majority of students in a class are high-performing, Fordham’s Michael Petrilli said at the report’s release.

Fordham argues that while NCLB focused on stricter accountability for low-achieving students, federal programming for high achievers fell by the wayside. Notably, this year, Congress eliminated funding for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Program ($7.5 million).

Proposed, bipartisan legislation, the TALENT Act (To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers), would require state assessments capture when students perform above grade level and report learning growth for the most advanced students on state report cards.

Are education policies leaving high achieving students behind?