I was considered a "gifted and talented" student in my public school. I excelled in all subjects but Math. I was an above average, but not "gifted" Math student. The public school system was not set up to accommodate a student such as myself. You were either gifted in all subjects or you were gifted in none. Despite my A's in all the other classes, I couldn't keep up in Math and was moved into lower level classes across the board. My parents pleaded with the administration to allow me to be moved into a slower paced Math course while still being permitted to explore my giftedness in English and History. No, they could not make the schedule work. I was moved to all average classes, where I was so ridiculously bored that I could barely stay awake most days.
And finally there is the is issue of the secular humanist indoctrination going on in public schools. I remember the first teacher to blatantly mock Christianity. I remember learning evolution, while the teacher threw in jokes about Creationism. I remember not having the confidence at 12 years old to raise my hand and stand up to my teacher. And I remember watching as another student did, and was utterly humiliated by that teacher.
I understand that these were just one person's experiences in the public school system. Another student, in another time or another place may not have faced the challenges that I did. But these are my experiences, and I carry them with me into my decision making regarding my children's education.