CaseySabath- Staff Reporter
TAG. It stands for Talented And Gifted, if the name doesn’t scream arrogance in itself then the concept will definitely show it. The program starts recruiting in elementary school. They select young kids with good standardized test scores; these kids have their future set for them at as young as 5 years old. Back when I was in elementary school it wasn’t as big of a deal, but now it means everything. The program means success and a shot at a decent college. It’s an unjust system, and it needs to be stopped, or at least altered. Lately the world has had a negative view on irrelevant topics. From gluten at bake sales to saying “no” to a child, there is just so much sensitivity and emphasize on the small problems. With such detail to all these problems it comes as a surprise that no one has complained about the system.
So what exactly does this infamous TAG test consist of? It is made up of two parts, the standardized test and the creativity portion. But it’s a little peculiar that they grab the good standardized testers and not the students that show above average creativity. Especially considering that half the test it solely based on abstract and creative thinking. So what happens to the others that aren’t even given the chance to test, and how does that actually affect their education? It actually plays a huge role in the classes you take and the education that you are able to receive. TAG prepares its participants with the knowledge they need to learn at a more advanced pace than the average student. Not only that but once students hit middle school they are separated into two groups. One for the on-level students, and an exclusive set of classes for TAG kids. This is an unfair system because in their middle school classes they are learning high school classes, which definitely plays a role in your education. This being because in high school you have the opportunity to take the higher-level classes even as an average student, but most of the time your class will consist of TAG students. But if you are one of the bold students like me who decide to make the extra effort, you’ll be able to understand how the program really benefits the kids. One thing I remember was struggling in chemistry class while everyone else thrived. In middle school they were taught the subject to an extent and therefore were able to breeze through it. They learned this in a middle school class that I had no ability to join. Maths and sciences were where they really thrived, and where I was the weakest. I don’t know if that was coincidence, a natural sign of their superior intelligence, or simply an unfair advantage that they had.
Being in the TAG program aides you in your education far beyond high school though. Senior year, if you are and active TAG student they hand select internships based off of the career they wish to pursue. This means these students are able to build connections as early as twelfth grade. Meanwhile, on-level student have to search for their own internships which they aren’t even allowed to call internships. They are called work-based-learning programs.
The whole matter truly irritates me and makes me hope for a better and more fair future. Yes, I agree with some of the program, but excluding students who have never even been tested, that’s where I draw the line. TAG isn’t a system in which I think should exist and if this generation can’t see the injustice it serves, than I’m unsure if we’ll ever more forward in our education.