At one time or another, most people like to think of themselves as flawless. We just hope that the annoying reminder that we all make mistakes isn’t broadcast too far or wide. Unfortunately in the education world, your mistake can occasionally be laid out to the public. The silver lining: we all get to enjoy these textbook fails.
At Fordham, we work day in and day out in the hope of creating paths to help children all over the nation reach their full potential. However, in our humble opinion, schools should not venture down this path to make their kids smarter. After being mugged and brutally beaten, Jason Padgett developed an interesting side effect: Savant Syndrome. He is a college dropout turned mathematical genius who can now draw visual representations of formulas like Pi. Talk about turning lemons into lemonade.
In our parents’ eyes, we all are the brightest, most special child in the world. Yet, as toddlers, not many of us had to compete with Heidi Hankins. The four year old is the most recent member of the MENSA society with an IQ of 159, just one point below Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. At 14 months, when most children are barely able to make a mark on a page, Heidi was drawing princesses and animals. A parent’s love may know no boundaries, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t envious of another person’s child.
A recent study by the National Center for Education Statistics examined reading, math, and science achievement levels of language-minority students in eighth grade. The scores were reported in three categories: race/ethnicity, poverty status, and mother’s education attainment. Students were broken down into language majority (English is primary language spoken in the home) or language minority (a different language is spoken in the home). The language minority was then broken down into further sub-groups based upon English language proficiency in kindergarten. One of the study’s findings concluded that, no matter the primary language in the home, students with highly educated mothers scored the highest in all three subjects while students with the least educated mothers generally scored the lowest.