Gifted Students Need Special Treatment
The article "Mixing It Up in the Classroom," April 2, makes some good points about the advantages of heterogeneous classrooms, but it misses the point of why special classes are needed for gifted students.
Meeting the social and emotional needs of gifted students is an integral part of a curriculum for the gifted. Gifted students, in contrast to precocious students, think, process, and react to knowledge differently. Gifted students need a place to work with other gifted students. Teachers of the gifted should maintain an atmosphere where their students can explore and develop their abilities, free from ridicule for "showing off" and other anti-intellectual pressures of today's society.
The article implies that gifted classes have all the fun. Students in my district that participate in the resource room work hard but have the chance to explore areas and skills appropriate to their abilities. These often go above and beyond the basic curriculum.
All students are not the same; our gifted students are the future leaders of our country and society. We cannot afford to shortchange them.
Mark D. Wilkinson Solon, Ohio
Solon Education Association
Pakistan's national security at stake
The editorial "Cooling Asia's Other Crisis," March 28, is a welcome reminder of the proliferation concerns in South Asia. Since well before India's first nuclear explosion in 1974, Pakistan tried to contain this dangerous trend through its bilateral and multilateral proposals to India. These range from joint accession to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to declaring South Asia as a missile-free zone.
However, owing to Indian superiority in conventional weapons as well as its nuclear and missile capabilities, Pakistan cannot take any unilateral nonproliferation step as this would endanger its national security.
While we endorse the Monitor's proposal for a dialogue to curb the nuclear arms race in South Asia, the "short range" view - not to release arms contracted and paid for by Pakistan five years ago until after Indian elections - seems wholly unjustified. This is a purely bilateral Pakistan-US issue and, as we are told, US relations with Pakistan and India are not a zero-sum game. Moreover even a cursory reading of the Indian press shows that this transfer is hardly an issue in the Indian elections.
Mohammad Azam Washington
Embassy of Pakistan
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