Monday, March 9, 2009 | I grew up in the immediate post World War II era in a blue collar Boston neighborhood. In that rough-and-tumble culture a “gifted” kid, particularly a boy, was very likely to be taunted and bullied. The climate was, and probably still is, anti-intellectual. My experience taught me that the burden imposed on a child is likely to vary with the neighborhood cultural and socioeconomic level, so perhaps programs like Seminar, if limited in funding, should target kids from less advantaged neighborhoods. My personal preference would be for us to recognize that if we invest in the children who are exceptionally able, that we will get a big payback as a society, and to make that investment in all of them. In my view, it is not elitist to identify and nurture our best intellectual assets, it is plain ol’ common sense. This is the approach in China and India, and if we continue to squander our intellectual talent we will not be able to compete with those countries.

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