Your 3-year-old is NOT a genius!

All parents like to think their kids are super talented and should be in the gifted program at their schools. Of course, we can be just a tiny bit biased. I, for example, think my 5-year-old daughter is incredibly intelligent because she's learning how to read and write in English in school and then coming home and transferring those skills to Spanish without any help. How amazing is that?

In all seriousness, though, I sincerely doubt that qualifies her to be considered "gifted and talented". Plus, I think she's still too young for anyone to really know if she's truly advanced. The Maryland State Board of Education; however, doesn't think so. If we lived in that state, thanks to new regulations for gifted and talented education adopted this week, my daughter could have been identified as a gifted student as young as 3 years old. How absurd!

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The school board's decision to implement the new regulations was faced with opposition even before it was adopted. The leading opposing group, the Montgomery County Education Forum, doesn't agree with labeling students as gifted and talented and argues that allowing local schools to identify preschoolers could increase the already large achievement gap for black, Hispanic and English-language learners.

"When we saw pre-K, that's when we went ballistic. We already think second grade is too early. When you label kids, you have winners and you have losers, and the losers are black, Hispanic and low-income," said the president of the forum, Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez (D-Montgomery), to The Washington Post on Tuesday adding that "it was irresponsible" of the school board to adopt the new measures. 

But supporters of the regulations say these will only allow teachers to begin identifying and monitoring kids who are more advanced, just like they do now for kids with disabilities. 

While there truly are exceptional children who easily get bored and need special attention to make sure they're engaged in the learning process, labeling children at such a young age when so many things--like socioeconomic levels and not innate intelligence--can explain the differences between them can be detrimental. Minorities are already at a disadvantage when it comes to quality of education, why create even more of a gap so early on?

What do you think about Maryland's decision to start labeling kids as young as 3? Is that even possible? 

Image via B Inspired Village/flickr