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The toxic power of labels

Jane Caro’s article (ER, February 2009) on the downside of gifted and talented or selective schooling, as evidenced by her daughter’s experiences, describes a scenario with which many parents of kids identified as G&T would be familiar. After the advantages of being educated with their intellectual peers instead of going on to reach their apparent potential they lose interest in learning, drop out or start to drift and are often still messing around unable to settle to anything in their late 20s and even 30s. I could add a number of stories of people I know or am related to in which those who took the opportunity offered by selective education did considerably less well than those who declined this privilege.

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