Fully Developing the Potential of Academically Advanced Students: Helping Them Will Help Society
Worrell, Frank C.
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As a society, we care deeply about narrowing achievement gaps and helping students who struggle academically, and this is reflected in education policy conversations. However, academically advanced students are left out of reform discussions. The lack of investment in talented students is remarkable, given their importance to maintaining national competitiveness, increasing gross domestic product, and enhancing societal innovation through developments in science, technology, engineering, and math; artificial intelligence; cybersecurity; and big data. In this context, the authors review evidence for the disproportionate positive contributions of academically talented students to society and the economy. They show that the talents of academically advanced students are relatively underdeveloped, and suggest that universal testing and appropriate educational interventions should be provided. This would help identify and challenge advanced students, narrow opportunity gaps, and enhance societal innovation.