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Why not explain ‘gifted’ process?

There has been recent discussion about eliminating the so-called gifted program for elementary students in the Champaign school district.

In Thomas Sowell’s book, “Discrimination and Disparities,” he explains, “Some kinds of goals are process goals, such as ‘free markets’ or ‘a government of laws and not men.’ Other goals are outcome goals, such as eliminating socioeconomic ‘gaps’ or ‘disparities’ between individuals or groups.”

During the presentation to the school board, it was stated that Unit 4 has tried to increase the number of minority students in the gifted program. However, specifics on that attempt were lacking. No one discussed why certain groups were at a lower participation rate nor how students in the lagging group could be encouraged to participate in the program.

Shed more light on the process rather than the outcome. Improve the process if change needs to be enacted. Using a single set of numbers, as Unit 4 did, to prove a preconceived outcome or conclusion is flawed science.

Sowell continues with, “There is no question that human biases have contributed to unfair prospects. But it is a complete non sequitur to say that human biases are the sole, or even primary, causes of unequal prospects, without hard evidence to support that conclusion.” And, “vast amounts of evidence ... show that the particular circumstances in which members of lagging groups have not only succeeded but excelled have almost invariably been circumstances where there was no lowering of standards for them, and where ruthless competition was the norm for all.”

LEE McDONALD

Champaign

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