Gifted Exchange garners a mention in NurtureShock authors Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman's new piece in The Daily Beast: The New Child-Testing Craze.
We are grateful for the shout-out, but I worry that their writings on this topic aren't being read as carefully as one might hope.
Bronson and Merryman repeat their point from NurtureShock that a child with a tested IQ of 130 at age 4 may not necessarily test in the gifted range later, then go on to say that unfortunately other tests aren't any more reliable (such as those designed to see if kids can get along with others, follow teacher instructions, etc.).
Thus, they write, admission to gifted programs can be random, "save for an occasional bona fide prodigy who blows the top off these tests."
The problem is that this is an exception that is worth thinking about. While there may not be a big difference between a child with a 125 IQ, and a 130 IQ, and IQ can change over time, there are ways to deal with this. First, you can test multiple times. Kids can go in and out of gifted programs. And most fundamentally, gifted education should be viewed as an accommodation for kids who need it, not some sort of reward. That's one reason that acceleration (grade skipping) is often a pretty good option. It's not a special program where you get to go to science museums on Friday. It's what everyone else is getting... just a few years ahead.
But while there may not be a big difference between 125 and 130, there is a difference between 100 and 160, which Bronson and Merryman readily point out. Unfortunately, I think that point often gets lost in the recent craze (see the New York magazine article recently) to claim that giftedness is a myth.