The strong policy focus on struggling students shortchanges the gifted students in Georgia schools

Folks, To quote my colleague Jim Galloway, I have “gone fishing” this week. (I have actually gone hiking.)

I will have no computer access, but am posting some great stuff in advance, including this essay by Gyimah Whitaker, president of the Georgia Association for Gifted Children, and Ann Robinson,  president of the National Association for Gifted Children.  It runs on the Monday education op-ed page.

I will be back online on the 19th.

By Gyimah Whitaker and Ann Robinson

Children across Georgia are now back to school. For some students, the return to school felt like a burden, a necessary chore they have to slog through every day, but not for the reasons you might expect.

Rather than viewing school as an unhappy departure from carefree summer days, many of the most disinterested students in a classroom are also the high-ability children who spend the bulk of their school days going unchallenged and largely ignored.

Our nation’s education system has a long history of disregarding the needs of gifted and talented students, a neglect that threatens the ability of our state and nation to compete in an increasingly competitive world.

From being regularly outperformed by global counterparts on standardized tests to needing to import a growing number of workers in math and science fields, it is clear decades of neglect are causing the country real harm.

The core problem is that our nation lacks a comprehensive gifted education strategy.

With little to no federal influence and funding, the burden falls to states and local districts. The result is a patchwork of regulations and policies, producing pockets of success few and far between.

Without strong and stable infrastructure, these programs are extremely vulnerable during challenging financial times like this, where educations budgets are being slashed significantly.
Georgia is better than most states at serving gifted students, and yet it still falls short of where it should be.

While the state provides some funding to support gifted learners, the reality is that in many corners of the state – particularly systems in poorer and rural areas – these services are bare-bones or nonexistent.

The absence of any focus on gifted students through the Investing in Educational Excellence  and within charter schools jeopardizes the protections that are now in place and that have been in the works for the past 50 years.

Despite decades of dire predictions now coming true, our law – and policymakers have been largely apathetic.

The impact of this complacency is visible throughout much of our national education system, which focuses primarily on preventing struggling students from failing by setting proficiency as a primary goal.

While it is vital to ensure that all students are accomplishing baseline concepts and skills, the programs and funding currently available encourage educators and administrators to focus almost exclusively on students who struggle to get by while ignoring those seeking more academic challenge.

The solution to this problem is comprehensive reform that recognizes our nation has an obligation to invest in our most promising students and that our long-term stability and prosperity depends on reigniting this commitment to excellence.

At its core, this solution must begin with an unflinching commitment to identify all students who are gifted regardless of what they look like, how much money their parents earn or whether they live in Hahira or Atlanta.

Educators must cast a wide net for talent and must begin this search at the earliest possible levels to ensure those students who are gifted receive the supports they need from day one.

The solution must recognize the fundamental truth that quality gifted instruction depends on qualified teachers who have received specialized training to meet the unique needs of gifted students.

Very few states, Georgia included, require all teachers to have any training in gifted education. This must change through a combination of revisions to state licensure laws and collaboration with our colleges of education to develop and offer gifted-education focused courses for all of our future teachers.

It is important to note that low-cost and creative answers can be deployed to address parts of the problem.

For example, here in Georgia, current state policy does not permit early entrance into kindergarten, potentially stunting the growth of our youngest minds.

The state can abolish this restriction and align Georgia with most other states by allowing local districts to use tests and other measures to determine if a child is ready for kindergarten.
Similarly, Georgia can amend its policy that requires students to be age 16 or in the 11th grade before they can take college courses for high school credit to permit similar opportunities for younger students.

And if our education policymakers and lawmakers are truly interested in excellence, it is essential that they ensure every single IE2 partnership contract and charter include service and supports for our most promising students.

Failure to invest in our gifted learners is a failure to invest in our future.
Let’s hope the start of next school year will be brighter for our most promising students.

123 comments Add your comment

Really amazed

September 11th, 2010
2:15 am

Maureen, hope you have a well deserved break!! Have a wonderful time.

Lee

September 11th, 2010
8:09 am

Nothing new here. Many bloggers have been preaching this sermon for years.

With today’s overemphasis on testing, the goal is to get everybody to a minimal standard rather than to a level commensurate with their ability level.

Unless You Have Been There

September 11th, 2010
8:34 am

Unless you have been there and had to deal with getting the extra help for your child, don’t judge. Let me assure you that those who need extra help are NOT treated any better than your gifted child is treated. Our children are bright and very smart in many ways, the same as your gifted child is bright and smart, but need that little something extra.

J.B. STONER

September 11th, 2010
9:00 am

The time has come for EVERYONE to homeschool their kids and get them out of public schools.
No more drugs/thugs ………….

Life will be better for kids and their parents.

Old School

September 11th, 2010
9:05 am

Many of the “struggling students” would not be struggling if my oft blogged suggestion of high schools being split into 3 focused sections: college prep, career prep, and special needs with the overlap areas being fine arts, physical ed, JROTC, etc. (with much fine tuning) was an option.

College prep would be rigorous with opportunities for AP, independent study, joint enrollment, etc.

Career prep would have its core academics taught in a lab-type setting focusing on grammar, technical writing, reading, applied math, applied sciences, business communications & speech, business law & economics. . . you get my drift.

Special needs students would have classes that actually meet their special needs instead of simply being placed in courses that are not always appropriate.

Ninth graders would have their own academy that would focus on the basics, giving those who need extra help time to master those basics and those who don’t, the opportunity to test out and move on. I would also bring back Industrial Arts for ninth graders and special needs as this exploratory course would give them not only skills for living but a chance to experience some trades areas that could open up career opportunities: woodworking/cabinetmaking, metals, small engines, drafting, photography, printing, etc.

My vision includes the college prep academies staying in close contact with a variety of colleges & universities to stay current on expectations and requirements. CTAE instructors have been doing something similar with business & industry for years with their Advisory Committees. Special needs academies would likewise have committees that might include parents and others from appropriate medical and professional areas.

We would get away from the traditional mindset of “graduating in 4 years”. When the concept of comprehensive high schools came into being, vocational courses were open entry and individualized. Students could progress at their own rate and tailoring a course of study that met the student’s needs and those of his/her chosen career was both simple and successful.

The SAT and ACT have been there for college bound students. NOCTI and specific certification exams for CTAE areas have existed for years. Perhaps it’s time to rethink high school completely and stop painting change with the existing broad brush. It seems to cover up more than actually change anything.

J.B. STONER

September 11th, 2010
9:26 am

I fell asleep reading ‘old school’.
Please keep comments to 50 words or less.

teacher&mom

September 11th, 2010
9:29 am

In my school system, identifying who’s “gifted” is often more political than accurate. I found this book to be interesting:
http://www.amazon.com/Removing-Mask-Paul-Slocumb-Ed-D/dp/1929229003

Enjoy your hiking trip. The weather is perfect right now.

Unless You Have Been There

September 11th, 2010
9:54 am

Teacher and Mom – thanks for the suggestion and you are correct, identifying who is “gifted” is many times more political than accurate and it is those students in this category who come out on the short end. Old School you have some valid points but I don’t agree with all of them. I also recommend reading Look Into My Eyes by John Robinson – gives you some insight into the Asperger Syndrome traits.

Michelle B.

September 11th, 2010
9:55 am

Couldn’t agree me Old School.

ScienceTeacher671

September 11th, 2010
9:59 am

Old School, I’m with you.

Maybe there should be a Get School Bloggers Charter School. :-)

ScienceTeacher671

September 11th, 2010
10:00 am

“Get Schooled” Bloggers Charter School…and an EDIT button.

GA Teach

September 11th, 2010
10:02 am

You must have never meet a home school student…..most of them lack the appropriate socialization skills that are necessary for proper social development (Not all of them, some children are special cases). The teacher can provide higher level instruction if they choose to provide the proper education by adjusting instruction. If people would invest more money in education then school systems would not have to do more with less….the people who complain about higher taxes for schools are then ones that need to zip it if they want better public school. Wait….instead of complaining…go volunteer in the classroom and help the teachers provide differentiated instruction in classrooms of 35 students. If the schools use the appropriate gifted testing strategies then every child should be identified.

say what?

September 11th, 2010
10:19 am

Title I schools should think more creativily and purchase resources for gifted students as well. Many times those additional funds are not used to push the gifted even more. All the focus goes on struggling/ bubble students. All children should be encouraged in the learning environment. No need for anyone to criticize and talk about home, we know that subject well, I am stating that the resources provided to the schools should have a better balance in resource sharing.

J.B. STONER

September 11th, 2010
10:20 am

d

September 11th, 2010
10:23 am

Old School for Governor, State Superintendent or whatever else…… we need this type of thinking in Georgia schools. Sure, it may not be the politically correct thing to do, but it is exactly the type of innovating thinking that will move Georgia forward and really make it to where students are ready for the future that they are able and wanting to have.

Good for Kids

September 11th, 2010
10:28 am

Off topic for gifted education but on topic for hiking trip…Maureen’s trip is one of the reasons I would be happy to move to a modified year-round calendar in Fulton. Having brief time off during different times of the year might permit different kinds of adventures to enrich children outside the classroom. The blazing hot summer makes some adventures untenable. My friend in Decatur is taking her third grade twins to Callaway to see the butterfly pavilion, bike ride, etc. for a few days. They’ve never been. I also think there are academic and emotional benefits (for students and teachers) to taking breaks more interspersed throughout the year.

Ability Grouping is the Answer

September 11th, 2010
10:29 am

Ability grouping would enable all students’ needs to be met. Differentiation does not work.

catlady

September 11th, 2010
10:33 am

My experience here is Georgia is that the gifted are the only ones who get pulled out for instruction in a more challenging way–one period a day. The rest of the “special” children (ESOL, EIP, sped) are served as push in–which seriously dilutes the instructional help they get. Until the day that gifted gets treated as push in, we will be stuck with this terribly flawed model of “help.” If gifted is ever done as push in, you will see all h3ll break lose.

I am speaking not only as a long-time teacher, but as the parent of 3 gifted kids. As a parent, I liked the gifted pull out model, as it meant my kids had at least one class without the lump-lumps (unmotivated or sub-par kids.)

catlady

September 11th, 2010
10:35 am

Let me also comment, however, that the sub-par kids at my school get HOURS a day of extra help that the gifted do not.

k teacher

September 11th, 2010
10:35 am

It definitely is our average and gifted students who are being left behind. Teachers are forced to teach to THE TEST. Those who are already going to pass it aren’t pushed because so much time has to be spent on the lower achieving ones to try to force them to pass a test that they aren’t ready to pass so our schools can be seen as making AYP. My current school didn’t make it this year because our sub-group of special education students who are almost always going to be two or three grade levels behind (otherwise they wouldn’t be special education!!) didn’t pass and we had a sub-group of low socio-economic African-American males who didn’t pass … and that’s with a wonderful African-American principal, an awesome African-American assisstant principal, and at least 10 hard-working, wonderfully caring, African-American teachers. Our safe-harbors couldn’t save us, even with 100% participation and a great yearly attendance score, and, I’m afraid never will again, due to these two groups that have so much emphasis put on them.

As long as so much focus has to be put on bringing up those students, and until the average and gifted parents start stepping up to the plate and advocating as loudly as the special needs parents, our gifted and average students are going to continue to be short-changed.

Samau

September 11th, 2010
10:54 am

This is so true! As a teacher, we spend all our time creating spreadsheets, looking at test scores, creating individual goals, etc… all on STRUGGLING kids! When do we get to focus on the ones that want to be there, and who are bored out of their minds bc we are teaching reading in 11th grade!

J.B. STONER

September 11th, 2010
11:05 am

k teacher..

Who the hell cares about african-american teachers .
Cant you respond without race issues .I dont give a damn if they are Chinese teachers and ass. principles.

IT STARTS AT HOME WITH THE PARENTS.
Oh, I forgot, it take 2.

Former Middle School Teacher

September 11th, 2010
11:29 am

Don’t count on Barge doing much for gifted education. He led the fight to kill an “IB” program in Bartow County. In addition with the new classroom size laws, gifted classes can be as high as the system wants them.

bk5

September 11th, 2010
12:59 pm

jbstoner, you are highly opinionated and rude about a topic you don’t appear to be knowledgeable about! Get off this blog!

Angela

September 11th, 2010
1:16 pm

This article is interesting. Just how many of you know what the criteria is for determining that a students is gifted. Well, there is a battery of test however, the detector is the (in Georgia) CRCT test score. Well, is that an accurate detector – H— NO! Yes, there are many gifted students out there and yes they need to be challenged. I have had the please of working with some so called gifted students and believe me they really know less than they think they do.

This articles states that the gifted are now being left behind well, it use to be and forever, that the less than gifted were left behind. And, if the truth be told in a/the real public classroom the less than are still the one’s be left behind. In majority of the cases the less than gifted are the behavior problems that don’t want to learn and the teacher tries to focus on those that want to learn. This article again is one that has no true idea of what really goes on in the classroom. Also, might I mention that in many counties the gifted program criteria have been relaxed to accommodate other students (goes without saying in certain areas of a school district).

This is another articles that places public schools at the bottom of the barrel and perhaps private schools on top. The comment made above about home schooling – best wishes – home schooling also has it down falls. When it comes time to test those students they are given a completely different test than those inside of the school. Also, home school does not allow for academic interaction or social and if the parent is not qualified on an academic level to home school then where does that place the child when it comes to his/her academic future choices. I am sure that many public and private school teachers can tell some true stories about teaching students who were home schooled and then sent back to the school HOUSE!

I am sure that we all have opinions about what should happen in and out of schools public and private however, if you don’t have a honest, logical, realistic, common sense and factual solution to the problem YOU ARE A PART OF THE PROBLEM. Instead of focusing on what is so wrong with the teachers in public schools why don’t you great and loving parents and so called stakeholders focus on assisting your child at home academically, volunteering (I ask a few days ago for volunteers and to this second I have yet to get a response – yes I am D serious – I will make arrangements for someone to come to my school and volunteer) and having positive communication (rather than judgemental) with the teacher and I promise you that you will gracefully receive more of what you wish for your child than all of the D— BARKING!

This is something I love as a saying – OPINIONS ARE LIKE — —- AND EVERYONE BUT EVERYONE HAS ONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, I still am waiting for a volunteer to say they will come to my school and assist – SPEAK UP, STEP UP, I WILL make the arrangements for you and look lovingly forward to working with you! HELLO is it anyone out there?

BM

September 11th, 2010
1:19 pm

I find your writings to be biased to say the least and mostl right of center. You are always writing to those who think and look like you without any opposing thoughts or opinions. It like preaching to the choir. As to the gifted children, I believe that all children are gifted, some have social and economic advantages that propel them to the top. I am an upper middle income parent, so I speak from experience. For example, in Dekalb County school system it is known that the worst teachers are generally assigned to the lower income and performing schools and it is factual that the most important person in a any school system is the classroom teacher, period. Morever, in DCSC, we provide 57 extra teachers and extra resources to the so called “gifted” or “smartest” kids in the county. We get even smarter as a system, we then turn to the federal government for Title I funding for these low performing schools to supplement our failures in providing a good education in the first place. Your conservative genes should be upset at the thought of school districts acting out in such a manner. I know, you don’t care about these underperforming schools and kids. Geoffrey Canada in Harlem, New York has proven that these kids are just as capable of learning at high levels as anyone.

jw

September 11th, 2010
1:36 pm

My concern about ‘gifted’ is this: It is based on a test score from one year of school. If you qualify for the program, you never have accountability to remain in the program – you CAN’T be removed – regardless of what the school system implies.

Also, when 25 to 30 percent of the children qualify, that’s not true – true giftedness would only amount to one to three percent of the population – they aren’t getting slighted, they get choice of teachers, facilities and a school career ticket regardless of whether everyone catches them academically or not. Make the qualifications stricter, boot out the ones that don’t qualify as they age and work with TRUE gifted students, not just a test score criteria gifted child – then we’ll talk about being slighted.

Brad

September 11th, 2010
1:57 pm

If you’re waiting for public schools to address the issue, good luck. I suggest finding an appropriate private school.

18 years as a teacher

September 11th, 2010
1:58 pm

No Child Left Behind also meant that No Child Gets Ahead. Few teachers have any idea how to truly challenge students who are working above grade level. Many of those students become complacent due to the fact that they are not challenged. Yes, we need to work with students who struggle. But we also need to continue to challenge the students who already exceed expectations.

Middle Grades Math Teacher

September 11th, 2010
1:58 pm

Angela, the CRCT is NOT used to determine eligibility for gifted. There are four criteria. If I remember correctly, three of which must be met. They are: a) measurement of ability (IQ), b) measurement of achievement (standardized test such as ITBS, etc.) c) creativity assessment (such as the Torrance Test of Creative Thinking) and motivation. The CRCT is a criterion-referenced test. Its goal is to determine if student have met a pre-determined minimum criteria. Most state tests are also criterion referenced tests.

Most measures of achievement (ITBS, CTBS, and SAT – Stanford Achievement Test) are norm-referenced tests. These are the ones that rank students against OTHER students, not against a set criteria.

And, I do agree that the gifted/high achieving students are slighted in favor of bringing students who are below grade level. This is a tremendous disservice not only to these students, but to society as a whole. We are missing an opportunity to get our best and brightest the very best education we can. This, in turn, deprives our world of future leaders, researchers, etc.

Do we need to do the best we can for the low achievers? Absolutely! But expecting a student with an IQ of 50 (100 is average, 130 is gifted, generally speaking) to be at- or above-grade level is absurd. Set realistic expectations and do everything we can to give them — and everyone else — an appropriate education.

Angela

September 11th, 2010
1:58 pm

@I find your writings to be biased to say the least and mostl right of center. You are always writing to those who think and look like you without any opposing thoughts or opinions. It like preaching to the choir. As to the gifted children, I believe that all children are gifted, some have social and economic advantages that propel them to the top. I am an upper middle income parent, so I speak from experience. For example, in Dekalb County school system it is known that the worst teachers are generally assigned to the lower income and performing schools and it is factual that the most important person in a any school system is the classroom teacher, period. Morever, in DCSC, we provide 57 extra teachers and extra resources to the so called “gifted” or “smartest” kids in the county. We get even smarter as a system, we then turn to the federal government for Title I funding for these low performing schools to supplement our failures in providing a good education in the first place. Your conservative genes should be upset at the thought of school districts acting out in such a manner. I know, you don’t care about these underperforming schools and kids. Geoffrey Canada in Harlem, New York has proven that these kids are just as capable of learning at high levels as anyone.

*******************************************************************************************************************
( Please forgive any misspelled words this has truly struck
a huge nerve) As a DCSS teacher in the South Dekalb area darling you are very very incorrect, wrong and all of those other words that are synonyms. Dariest the parents in the upper ends of the counties get up off of their A– and put that money into their schools. They don’t have to put the student on stage dancing and feed the family to get parental involvement. Those parents raise money, put money in and spend quality time with their child academically. It is our KNOW IT ALL – Coloreds that don’t. Yes, I can say that I am a STRONG BLACK WOMAN. And, the worst teachers are not placed in the lower ends of the county. The NERVE you have with your less than factual information. You are one of the worse parents that are in the lower income schools. Since you are so D MIDDLE class why don’t you come and visit my D school MISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS KNOW IT ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This will make me loose all of my professionalism!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Come on Back I am D Ready!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Angela

September 11th, 2010
2:05 pm

@Middle Grades Math Teacher,

Please remember that all school systems do not give a Norm standardized test. However, if I am incorrect about the CRCT scores as a detector please forgive me. But, unless I am wrong I remember after testing the following year those students with high scores are the ones who are pulled however, I will verify my information with our gifted teacher on Monday or Tuesday when she comes to the school.

Thanks!

Ernest

September 11th, 2010
2:09 pm

Gifted children can be left behind, especially in schools where they are the ‘minority’. No I don’t mean by race but but ability. Principals look to staff their schools based on the needs of the majority. If there are a handful of gifted students attending that school, there may not be the right kind of instructional resources available to meet their needs. Sometimes these students are looked upon to provide remediation for their classmates under the guise, “you already know it, just help your classmates”. As a result, they may miss out on been challenged more.

Another measure one can look at for this are the number of AP classes offered at some schools. I understand the concept of demand helps to determine the supply but if the demand of certain AP classes are high but for a handful of students, principals have a tough time justifying securing teachers for these types of situations. Yes online instruction is an option for this but face to face options may be limited.

Middle Grades Math Teacher

September 11th, 2010
2:13 pm

@ Angela — yes, please check it out and let me know! As far as I know, a criterion-referenced test should never be used for gifted eligibility. It’s not designed for that. I know a lot of districts don’t use norm-referenced on a large-scale, but will use those tests for students considered for gifted. They have to have a way of comparing a student’s achievement to their peers. A norm-referenced test is the way to do that.

Terry

September 11th, 2010
2:30 pm

@catlady – if the “gifted” are so smart, then why do they need “extra help”? Really — “sub-par” kids. I hope my “gifted” kid doesn’t end up in UR class or become friends with UR kids. Some people need 2 really get over themselves!!

JoDeeMcD

September 11th, 2010
2:32 pm

CRCT scores are used to screen students to see if they might be eligible for further (norm-referenced) testing to determine eligibility for gifted services. For example, if a student scores in the top 8 % for the district in CRCT Math or Reading, AND has a norm-referenced achievement score at or above the 90th percentile, he or she would be eligible to be tested for cognitive ability and creative thinking.

I_Teach_Gifted

September 11th, 2010
2:51 pm

CRCT is NOT used in determining eligiblity-it is not a NATIONALLY norm-referenced test!

And the short answer? Yes, gifted kids are being ignored…and as a teacher and a parent with a child who did qualify and use 504 services….the special ed/special needs kids DO in fact get more money and more services….Sorry to burst that bubble. My special-needs child had much more available to him than my gifted son did.

I am the sole source “enrichment” for my students. My program is woefully underbudgeted (even more so than other programs). Gifted ed. kids don’t get as much FTE money; and heaven knows they is a staffing shortage on the Gifted end.

Each county has its own way of determining gifted eligibility, provided it meets state DOE criteria.

The (erroneous) thinking going on? We must meet AYP! We know our G/T kids will pass-we must focus on those all important sub-groups, struggling learners, EIP kids, LD kids…

So, average and above average students? Pretty much left to their own devices.

I am a proponent of ability grouped classrooms. I know, I know..dirty word. However, even within similar ability levels, you will have differences. Instead of a teacher trying to teach to the middle-which means “meeting” AYP-teachers should be shooting high-however, with the wide disparity of skills and abilities? Not possible, when you have 29 kids in your room.

Differentiation isn’t happening for gifted kids in the regular ed classroom, but it sure is for below average kids.

There are lots of myths surrounding G/T kids; they are gifted in all areas (NO. I have kids who are at or below grade level in one area or another); that they are motivated; that they are always A students…the list goes on.

G/T kids need the same amount of resources thrown at them!

And heaven help that poor average kid. Good luck to him.

;-/

Momof2

September 11th, 2010
3:07 pm

One year I was talking to a counselor at my kids elementary school. She told me my son didn’t get into the gifted program (TAG) becasue he was 2 points short on the math section of the CRCT. He had never taken a test for the gifted program. So in Fulton County, the CRCT is a way to “test” for the gifted program.

high school teacher

September 11th, 2010
3:15 pm

My son qualified for gifted testing after he scored in the 96th percentile on the COGAT (cognative abilities test or something like that). CRCT was not used as far as I know.

I teach gifted kids in high school, and now the push is to identify kids who are not gifted but who would excel in an honors class. I have had about 10 kids put in my honors classes who are not gifted but who exceeded the reading and ela parts of the CRCT. I don’t yet know how I feel about this.

On an additional note, I am expected to differentiate my lesson plans for my honors classes just as I am my regular classes. Funny, I thought having an honors class was differentiation in and of itself…

Mel

September 11th, 2010
3:16 pm

I always hesitate to talk with people about my children because they are gifted. I am treated as if their issues – and they have MANY because of their academic abilities, in and out of the classroom – are to be pushed aside because they “don’t need extra help” or I “should just be thankful they are bright.” I am thankful, but it doesn’t make trying to give them an education that fully challenges them any less daunting. So, “unless you’ve been there” goes both ways.

Angela

September 11th, 2010
3:21 pm

@Middle Grades Math Teacher,

Thanks JoDeeMcD & Momof2 for the help ( I know that I am a little off my rockers but not by that much). But, I will still verify my info on Monday or Tuesday when she comes.

Middle Grades Math Teacher

September 11th, 2010
3:25 pm

@ Mom of 2: I’d ask to see the criteria for TAG in Fulton. CRCT is not an identifier, for reasons already explained.

@ Terry: 1) See what “I Teach Gifted” said. First, gifted students aren’t always gifted in all areas. A gifted child may be extremely talented in some areas, average in others. 2) We’re not talking about providing them with “extra help.” We’re talking about providing them with extra instruction. Example: “Average” students in my math class generally need several lessons and repeated practice in a topic to be competent with it the concept. A mathematically gifted child can master the concept in one lesson. That child needs a pace of instruction that will either a) let them move ahead; or b) provide them with a broader range of experiences with that concept that will allow the student to learn more and stay engaged with instruction. And that, my friend, is difficult to do in a class of 28 students. The majority of the class is working through 4 lessons. The gifted child(ren) is/are sitting there, going, “I GET THIS! Can we PLEASE move on?”

TopPublicSchoolCorruption

September 11th, 2010
3:27 pm

Atlanta…
no meat and potatoes in this topic…it has been worked and over worked.
Pull out programs do not work. Lower class size…Hire a teacher that is serious about meeting the individual needs of each child on any level.

Nothing new to talk about.

MB

September 11th, 2010
3:30 pm

Whoa, educate yourselves, folks, BEFORE you post as if you know something. (At least this allows those who know to share the facts – IF the mis-informed will listen.)

As a couple of others have posted, CRCT, grades, teacher motivation assessments, etc. may be used for screening but there MUST be a supporting nationally normed score (COGAT, ITBS, Stanford AT) to substantiate INTELLECTUAL giftedness. (For those of you in the every-kid-is-gifted camp; intectual talents and gifts are identified in this program.)

And if you question equity issues between funding for gifted and special education programs, look at what happened in school systems generally supportive of gifted programs this year. Did special ed classes move to maximum class sizes equal to regular ed? No. Did gifted classes? Oh, yes, or even more.

The only funding for gifted at the federal level is for research grants. The level of federal mandates – with some funding – is legendary; even the stimulus money for education was earmarked for IDEA, Title I and construction.

Don’t know how this STEM plan is going to work without some more emphasis on gifted ed. Teaching to the CRCT will NOT be a means to the end of global competition!

SAVE DEKALB SCHOOLS

September 11th, 2010
3:31 pm

@JB STONER,
You continue to spill garbage out of that mouth. Try some positive contribution instead of hate. Bloggers, wait and see the upcoming comments. It will be negative…..

Middle Grades Math Teacher

September 11th, 2010
3:33 pm

@ Angela, et. al — I would think that a high (defined as WELL above 850/exceeds) on CRCT might get a parent/teacher thinking…”Hmm…maybe we need to see if this child is eligible for TAG.” But you can’t show eligibility using CRCT.

I’ve had students who were average/above average academically, but not in TAG, who have scored 950 and 990 on CRCT. Two such studentsI had last year were hard working, motivated, asked lots of questions, had “gazelle-like” focus in class. They completed all work, weren’t afraid to ask questions if they didn’t understand something, and didn’t let it go until they DID understand. And, I didn’t let it go, either, until they did. In middle school, these students, even if they didn’t qualify for TAG, were eligible for advanced placement classes.

Gifted Child

September 11th, 2010
3:37 pm

As a gifted child, I can tell you that I really didn’t need any help or special courses. I figured it out myself. All gifted children do.

Angela

September 11th, 2010
3:44 pm

@high school teacher,

On an additional note, I am expected to differentiate my lesson plans for my honors classes just as I am my regular classes. Funny, I thought having an honors class was differentiation in and of itself…

I thought so too! However, it sounds like you might just be a DCSS teacher where sooooooooooooooo much is expected since KING Beasley (or should I say DR. REV. perhaps King does not put him on a high enough throne) is on the scene we have so much unecessary paper work to do. There is so little time to teach.

Also, from experience and one who requested that program in her elementary school some years ago – you might just like teaching them instead of the so called gifted. If you do the differentiate grouping and especially in high school you might just find that your other students may want to meet the challenge. I did in my elementary class. But, there is still the added paper work – well, I ain’t got no answer for that. But, maybe I do perhaps you can think of a standard routine that you will do in your class and start writing your lesson plan to reflect that with little modification needed. Such as Area 1 will routinely do xyz, Area 2 will routinely do abc, etc. each group will rotate daily so that everyone covers each area within that week. This is what I do on the elementary level. Hope it gives you an idea.

Angela

September 11th, 2010
3:50 pm

@Middle Grades Math Teacher,

I will let you know when she comes. Look for my response between Monday and Tuesday. Oh, I am in DCSS they do a lot that they are not suppose/should not do to accommodate parents.

J.B. STONER

September 11th, 2010
3:53 pm

Well hello there ‘Save De Kalb Schools’, so nice to hear from you.
How’s yo momma and them???
So nice to know you are doing well..