Since the enactment of No Child Left Behind, gifted and talented programs have faced numerous hurdles. No Child Left Behind has taken focus off individual learning and placed the focus upon all students meeting a standard at the same rate (Gentry, 2006). NCLB clearly fails to address the educational needs of gifted children. Gifted and talented programs have lost funding in many districts across the country. Some districts have closed their gifted and talented programs to expand the budget to meet the demands of NCLB.
The intent of NCLB was to increase the achievement level of below-average students on achievement tests. The effects of the policy has created problems for gifted and talented education (Gentry, 2006). Children do not develop physically or mentally at the same rate. When policies, such as NCLB, ignore this knowledge there is a negative effect upon the students it was intended to help. Children who live in impoverished areas have limited resources in the home that will expose them to out of school resources (Gentry, 2006). Schools receive a grade based upon test scores under the rule of NCLB. Out of fear of failing the test, teachers are teaching to the test instead of providing students with invigorating curriculum that challenges the thought processes (Gentry, 2006).
“Instead of requiring the same of everyone-proficiency-maybe NCLB ought to focus on strengths, interests, and talents of students (and their teachers), and fund-intervention programs, gifted-education programs, alternative programs, career- and technical-education programs, and special education programs. Changing focus might actually help students reach their potential rather than leaving them languishing in or dropping out of schools in which no place exists for them” (Gentry, 2006, p. 26).
The need for improvement of gifted and talented education extends worldwide. A study conducted in the United Kingdom evaluated of school-based interventions led to improvement of gifted and talented education (Bailey, Pearce, Smith, Sutherland, Stack, Winstanley, & Dickerson, 2012). The results indicted that there were too many variables to draw exact conclusions (Bailey et al., 2012). Another study conducted in the United Kingdom, explored the reasons that parents chose to homeschool their children rather than use the public education system (Winstanley, 2009). Parents and students in the United Kingdom face the same struggles that parents in the United States face such as lack of challenging or specialized curriculum, unique social issues of gifted children, testing and assessments, and asynchronous development (Winstanley, 2009). Research has also been conducted in Turkey concerning the emotional needs of gifted and talented students and the benefits of using the SENG Parent Education Model (Saranli & Metin, 2014). The struggle of parenting gifted children is felt by parents throughout the world.