Let­ters

The Walrus - - CONTENTS -

Ka­t­rina On­stad’s cover story in the Oc­to­ber is­sue, on gifted pro­grams in schools (“Class Di­vide”), is prob­a­bly the most well-re­searched piece I’ve ever read. As a for­mer school trustee, I find that she de­scribes ex­actly what I ob­served about the par­ents of gifted stu­dents over the eight years I was on the board. Nearly half my time was mo­nop­o­lized by the par­ents of a pop­u­la­tion that makes up only 3 per­cent of stu­dents. These fam­i­lies are well or­ga­nized, up­wardly mo­bile, and have a sin­gle fo­cus. Gifted pro­grams are viewed not as es­sen­tial sup­ports for stu­dents with a spe­cial need but rather as an elite Ivy League– es­que stream within the pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem. Some­thing has to change.

John Shea

Ot­tawa, ON

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