To the Editor:
Chester E. Finn Jr. makes an important and too-rarely-heard argument that public schools often shortchange advanced learners.
Another part of the solution to the problem he identifies can be found in the efforts of a handful of nonprofit entities that have been working for decades to supplement and enrich the academic talents of advanced learners and address the "excellence gap" that exists in education.
Through early identification of academic abilities, partnering with schools and providing accelerated coursework in a wide array of topics, these organizations help raise the ceiling for high-achieving students who are already well above the floor.
If we want to equip more minds to reach their full potential, we need to realize that equity and excellence are not mutually exclusive.
ELAINE T. HANSEN
Executive Director, Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth
Baltimore, Sept. 20, 2012