SEN. GRASSLEY: ‘One-size-fits-all government’ inappropriate in education

***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

I’ve always been a critic of one-size-fits-all government.

There are few places where this is more inappropriate than education.

Each child is different.

And, if we offer only a cookie-cutter, assembly line education, it will hurt all students.

Whether we’re talking about students with gifts and talents or those with a learning disability, students with unique learning needs must have teachers trained to address their way of learning.

It may seem like common sense to say that students benefit when their education is tailored to their needs.

Any parent can tell you that.

You can’t expect all students to learn at the same speed and depth in every subject.

Unfortunately, those like outgoing New York Mayor De Blasio want to scrap programs for gifted students.

Citing the fact that white and Asian students were over-performing compared to students from other ethnic categories, De Blasio tried to end the city’s program.

His focus on maintaining equality of outcomes by preventing any students from excelling is misguided.

It would have the perverse effect of reducing opportunity for the very students who need it most, including historically disadvantaged minority groups.

Wealthy families can afford to put their kids in private school or pay for services outside of school.

It is those students who aren’t as well-off who need access to services to address their unique learning needs.

Families from less advantaged backgrounds are not helped by limiting opportunity for all students in public schools.

They are the ones who have the most to lose when the public schools cancel needed services.

Thankfully, the incoming mayor recognized the importance of gifted and talented programming and pledged to keep it.

I introduced the TALENT Act to address these unique needs of gifted and talented students and ensure that they don’t slip through the cracks.

Thankfully, much of this bill was included in Every Child Achieves in 2015.

I’m also a strong supporter of Javits Gifted and Talented Education.

This is the only dedicated federal program to develop and help teachers implement teaching methods that meet the needs of gifted students.

And it is targeted specifically at disadvantaged gifted students.

Thankfully, Iowa is a leader in this area.

Iowa law requires gifted education services for kids who need to be challenged.

This applies to all students, whether or not they can afford private school.

Iowa has recognized that we should aim to challenge kids with gifts and talents and give them the resources they need to excel.

We should help all students achieve their potential, not try in vain to find one identical education for every kid.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here