Education: Bright Youngsters

About 1% of U.S. schoolchildren have either superior intelligence or a specific talent beyond their years. Educators have long grappled with the problems of average and retarded students, but gifted children have been largely forced to pass through school at the pace of their less talented classmates.

Parents and educators have come to realize that this minority presents a problem of its own: unless a precocious child is given the extra challenge he needs, his talents may be wasted, and he may become lazy or unruly, end up as an undesirable adult. Many states and communities in the U.S. have tackled the...

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