Let’s start off this week with a subject that has a lot of interest: Gifted education.
I received a note from a local educator about the question of how students are selected and whether the process is biased. She asked that we discuss it here on the blog. (Here is a longer blog posting that I wrote on gifted education. )
One of the reader’s observations is that students can qualify for gifted in one county and not in another. I had a new gifted teacher tell me once that there were many students in my local system who would have been in the gifted program in her former county of Fulton. This teacher was surprised that my system did not admit more kids to the gifted program.
I had assumed that the criteria was uniform across counties, but that apparently is not the case as this poster notes:
The sub-level representation of ”gifted” minority students in my county is an issue that has bothered me for years. A coworker and good friend of mine completed her Gifted endorsement class and has shared with me the biased discrepancies in the testing and eligibility requirements of students. She shared with me that the testing and screening items lead in favor toward one group of students, and are counteractive toward other groups of students — specifically Hispanic, ELL, and African-American students.
One of the main criteria of being eligible for Gifted participation is having high grades. But is the child whose parents are providing them with private tutors and are pressuring them to excel in school truly “gifted”?
School systems receive a lot of funds for testing and qualifying students in the gifted program. Many people are oblivious to this fact and I think they need to be educated on it. They also need to know that counties in Georgia have different criteria for a student being eligible and qualifying as a gifted student.
A gifted student in one system, is not necessarily gifted in another. I once had a student who qualified for Gifted participation in Fulton, but was not eligible in Cobb. This is another issue that perplexes me, if the Gifted classes are federally funded, then there should be universal requirements across the board.
–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog