The above is irrelevant to gifted education. I don't know what kind of point you're trying to make here, though there's an implication that's likely based more in pseudoscience or biased interpretations of science than in actual reality. So the leaders of a school were making stuff up. Sure that's wrong, but they aren't the first ones to do that by a wide margin. How many students sign up for 10 school clubs and show up only for pictures in 8 or 9 of them? How many students go on voluntourism trips where they do nothing meaningful for the local people, but instead use the trips to burnish their college apps?

Many people on this board believe in equality of academic opportunity for all students. Doing so would help our brightest students achieve their own potentials. Ideally, their discoveries would help fight disease, help us understand the universe, etc.

Your messages here make it clear that you aren't interested in equality of opportunity based solely on merit, but rather in perpetuating the privilege of wealthy students who may or may not be gifted, to the detriment of pretty much everyone else:

Originally Posted By: Val
You’re trying to avoid the point.

Say a college decides to admit a less qualified candidate because mommy or daddy is a graduate/famous/a donor. The college does this because it sees the admission as benefiting the college in some way.

The college has the same opinion about admitting a less qualified student from North Dakota or from a given racial/ethnic group. There is no difference.

If one discriminatory practice (“racial boxes”) is unfair and must be ended, then they all are (alumni boxes, donor boxes, fame boxes), and they must all be ended. Admissions have to be fair, for everyone.

Discrimination in all its forms undermines society as a whole. Discrimination in favor of the wealthy is simply another form of discrimination, albeit with more serious consequences than discrimination in favor of the underprivileged.
Originally Posted By: Bostonian
Harvard charges $70K a year and has a $37 billion endowment. I favor treating it like other businesses. Businesses are not allowed to discriminate on the basis of race, but they do discriminate on the basis of willingness and ability to pay. That's how a market economy works.

So please, spare us your one-sided writings complaining about the injustice of "racial boxes" in admissions while you continue to support "money boxes," or, as you note, willingness and ability to pay. Your preferred form of discrimination isn't okay just because you prefer it. Everyone feels the same way about their pet forms of discrimination, which is why they all need to go. Really: we don't have to turn everything into a bare-toothed competition, and if some among us would stop trying to grab more and more and more, everyone would be a lot better off. Even the ones who'd end up with less, because they had too much to begin with. It's a gluttony thing.

For the record, I don't like admissions that focus on anything but merit, but I also think that the diversity-based initiatives should be the last things to go --- and only once we've finally addressed the economic and social stresses that savage cognitive achievement.