To the future president,
I understand that when coming into office you will be swamped with thousands of problems that you must address. As much as I wish that this were not so, this letter is not being written as a note of pity but as a way to bring to your attention one issue of the many; gifted programs in schools.
As a gifted student myself I find this a considerably overlooked when there are so many other things happening in the world. What you may not realize is that the students currently in going through school will be the ones running the world when you are all gone. It is the current leader's job to prepare today's youth for future roles through the school system. Many of these future leaders (though not all) are the students currently in the so called gifted or advanced programs.
This is where the problem arises. These programs are so different and separated that there is no way to set a common bar for what is expected of them. For example the Operation Explore (OE) program of Baldwin County Georgia works completely separate from the Gifted and Academically Talented Education (GATE) program of Buchanan County Missouri. While one may go along guidelines of a single theme for a year, another may focus on multiple topics per semester. This makes it difficult to set a certain guideline for what should be covered in a gifted program.
People may argue that this is not a major problem as gifted students are still receiving the proper enrichment regardless of program, but I must disagree. From personal experience I have found that while one program may have constant stimulation, another may give large amounts of idle time.
Now, of course, student's learning style will be taken into account when gauging the effectiveness of a program. One student may need the constant stimulation while another works best when given an assignment or project (ex. Science Fair) and time to complete it. This is another reason that a set bar must be placed. With a common expectation for programs, all students would be able to benefit from a balance of stimulation and down time.
In conclusion, I hope you consider setting a common bar for gifted and talented education in schools as it will today's students and future leaders.