I agree with everything you’re saying. But one thing: The “gifted” and “honors” and AP kids always got all the attention, respect, and resources that everyone else didn’t. Some of us were perfectionists, and others total slackers. It shouldn’t be that way, but it was.
I’ve worked with both gifted and developmental kids for a while. One thing has always been true: If you treat them like they’re smart, they’ll act smart — as smart as they can.
Sadly, too many teachers never realize this.
I’m giving a lot of thought to alternatives to public ed for my kid. If we have to go public, and she’s labeled gifted, I’m going to take it and deal with the downsides. And if our district doesn’t sponsor gifted programs, we’ll explore other options. Because being labeled “average” is probably even worse, when it comes to the public school system.
Just my thoughts. ;)