I too am Canadian - and was excluded from the gifted program in high school - no clue why, but perhaps I was doing just fine with the class room structure, even if I was bored and drew horses all day. My friends that were in the gifted program found it amusing - got out of class to do other things, but in the end, I ended up doing more post-high school - bright, gifted, harder worker, more motivated, more conforming - I don't know. (OK, one girl went to Princeton - she blew me out of the water!)
I can only add a few questions to the argument.
Why are the parents in suburbia Boston 'red shirting' their affluent children at alarming rates (i.e. holding them back from kindie for one year). I would assume that many affluent children are from high achieving family (not high achieving families are the only affluent ones - don't want anyone to think I am basing it all on money). (My sister lives in suburbia Boston).
Is gifted in some cases (not all) just the show that we have 'dumbed' down schools (American or Canadian) for the average child, where average is too low? I look at the benchmarks for kindie for my daughter (SK for the Ontario types) - and it is ridiculous - she met those on day 1, easily. I think she is bright, but not gifted. Is it that this relatively affluent child, with post-secondary educated parents just simply better off than the 'average' child - where in the city of Toronto is highly highly multicultural, english as second language, and immigrant? [I actually heard that Toronto is the 2nd most multi-cultural city, behind London England - I knew we were multi-cultural, but didn't realize we were that multi-cultural.] Not at all saying that immigrant children are slow, just have more hurdles to overcome.
OK - I got to go make lunch - might add a bit more later.
So I say, once more, that *that* has nothing to do with giftedness and everything to do with achievement.
Gifted does NOT = high achieving. In fact, in research that puts gifted kids into different "types" the great majority of gifted kids are NOT high achieving.
They don't make As.
As for the dumbing down- sure, that is an issue for all kids. But gifted still exist by the same criteria and identifying guides that they did before. There IS a line between bright and gifted. (I know, I know, elitist terms, but the ones currently used)