Mensa Mom’s Moral of Story: Human Spirit Trumps School Smarts

13 10 2007

Favorite Daughter read this letter to me over breakfast, thinking I might want to share it here.
(I think she is both morally good and highly intelligent!)

The following is a letter to the editor published in American Mensa’s Bulletin, October 2007, from a member who submitted one of five finals-qualifying puzzles and wound up praised by the event chair — not for her intellectually clever creation, but for being notably congenial throughout the elimination process. Some otherwise highly ranked competitors were deemed to have been “downright rude”:

That started me reflecting on what we value as the “top two percent” and wondering why intellectual achievement doesn’t necessarily go hand in hand with either tolerance or spiritual qualities like kindness. It seems like smart people should value these more than the other 98 percent of the population.

I have a gifted child and have always felt that it was at least as important for him to develop virtues as it was to hone his mental faculties. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Conventional Quackery” of Deadly Education Fad: Liberals, Conservatives Both Guilty

13 10 2007

Francis Cullen, a distinguished research professor in criminal justice at the University of Cincinnati, says their popularity was based on “conventional quackery.” In the absence of scientific proof, the boot camps just seemed like a good idea.

“What was special about the boot-camp idea is that liberals and conservatives liked it — though for different reasons,” he said. Read the rest of this entry »