The highly able are the most "disadvantaged" group in schools, because they are almost always grossly retarded in subject-matter placement. For example, 22 of the [seventh- and eighth-grade] boys tested [in the Baltimore area in 1973] scored higher than the average Johns Hopkins freshman on the Scholastic Aptitude Test's [SAT] mathematics items... Yet many of these brilliant youngsters must sit in seventh- or eighth-grade general mathematics classes all year and pretend to be learning something.
The quotation is from chapter 1 of this rather uneven symposium volume, and was written by Julian C. Stanley, professor of psychology at Johns Hopkins University and director of the study of mathematical precocity which is the subject of this book. With chapters by several of his associates in the study, and two chapters of more independent commentary, the text adds up to a defense of the quoted proposition, and a certain amount of