by Richard Thompson, Hillsdale College
While most nine-year-olds are learning about the eight planets of our Solar System, Tanishq Abraham is studying subatomic particles and advanced scientific theories. An inductee of the high IQ society MENSA at the age of four, Abraham is a student at American River College in Sacramento.
Not only does the prodigy attend college classes, but he teaches them as well, conducting guest lectures on topics ranging from astronomy to paleontology. But the boy genius is not limiting himself to academia. When asked about his plans for the future, Tanishq told a Sacramento reporter that he hoped to “use the knowledge to invent new technologies.”
Tanishq’s story is hopeful, reminding us that America is a country that rewards initiative and paves the way for innovation. At the same time, it forces us to confront the daunting challenges that face our education system. Without getting into a lengthy treatise on school choice, it is safe to say that the public school system has been failing miserably and is in need of grand scale reforms. Let us look back to Tanishq as an example: he was taken out of public school when it could not keep up with his advanced progression. Fortunately, his parents were able to take the time to home school him but not all parents have the necessary resources. How do we help those children who have so much potential and yet cannot effectively tap into it because they are held captive by the monopoly of mediocrity that is the public school system?
Not everyone can be a Tanishq Abraham. All people are born with different degrees of God-given talents, and many still need an education to cultivate these talents. America’s education system needs to lightly push its children in the right direction, instead of brutally shoving them out the door.