Are schools failing highly gifted kids in society?

Time magazine takes a provocative look at whether schools are not serving the needs of the smartest kids in society. The magazine asks “Are we Failing our Geniuses? and is generally referring to kids with IQs over 145, many of whom would need to skip three grades to be with their intellectual peers.

The article summarizes it best but also puts it in some pretty vicious terms. From Time.com:

“To some extent, complacency is built into the system. American schools spend more than $8 billion a year educating the mentally retarded. Spending on the gifted isn’t even tabulated in some states, but by the most generous calculation, we spend no more than $800 million on gifted programs. But it can’t make sense to spend 10 times as much to try to bring low-achieving students to mere proficiency as we do to nurture those with the greatest potential.”

“We take for granted that those with IQs at least three standard deviations below the mean (those who score 55 or lower on IQ tests) require “special” education. But students with IQs that are at least three standard deviations above the mean (145 or higher) often have just as much trouble interacting with average kids and learning at an average pace. Shouldn’t we do something special for them as well? True, these are IQs at the extremes. Of the 62 million school-age kids in the U.S., only about 62,000 have IQs above 145. (A similar number have IQs below 55.) That’s a small number, but they appear in every demographic, in every community. What to do with them? Squandered potential is always unfortunate, but presumably it is these powerful young minds that, if nourished, could one day cure leukemia or stop global warming or become the next James Joyce–or at least J.K. Rowling.”

“In a no-child-left-behind conception of public education, lifting everyone up to a minimum level is more important than allowing students to excel to their limit. It has become more important for schools to identify deficiencies than to cultivate gifts. Odd though it seems for a law written and enacted during a Republican Administration, the social impulse behind No Child Left Behind is radically egalitarian. It has forced schools to deeply subsidize the education of the least gifted, and gifted programs have suffered. The year after the President signed the law in 2002, Illinois cut $16 million from gifted education; Michigan cut funding from $5 million to $500,000. Federal spending declined from $11.3 million in 2002 to $7.6 million this year…”

The problem is just not about servicing these students intellectually but socially as well.

“Gael (Oswald), a math teacher, began to research giftedness and found that high-IQ kids can become isolated adults. ‘They end up often as depressed adults … who don’t have friends or who find it difficult to function,’ she says. Actually, research shows that gifted kids given appropriately challenging environments–even when that means being placed in classes of much older students–usually turn out fine. At the University of New South Wales, Gross conducted a longitudinal study of 60 Australians who scored at least 160 on IQ tests beginning in the late ’80s. Today most of the 33 students who were not allowed to skip grades have jaded views of education, and at least three are dropouts. ‘These young people find it very difficult to sustain friendships because, having been to a large extent socially isolated at school, they have had much less practice … in developing and maintaining social relationships,’ Gross has written. ‘A number have had counseling. Two have been treated for severe depression.’ By contrast, the 17 kids who were able to skip at least three grades have mostly received Ph.D.s, and all have good friends.’

I can’t pull any more quotes from the article so I encourage you to read the whole article if you have time. It is very interesting.

So here are my questions:

Do you think schools are screwing the smartest kids in our society? Should kids be able to skip two and three grades ahead to be with their intellectual peers?

What do make of the article’s contention that the kids on the low end of the spectrum are getting too much of the resources leaving the gifted kids out in the cold? At what level should we be spending on the lower-end spectrum? At what level of proficiency should they be brought up to?

Is it right not to spend of the less intelligent kids to spend more on the brightest?

What about the social and mental health implications: how can those needs be met for the highly gifted child?

113 comments Add your comment

WarningTrack

September 15th, 2010
11:36 am

There is a solution to this if the public school system is failing your child: Private School, and there are many excellent ones in this region.
Our high IQ child, with multi talents, was “acing” through the gifted program in public school to the point it was a nice waltz. Private school takes sacrifices but it is well worth the investment. How many years of commitment are you talking about anyway?

a teacher

September 15th, 2010
11:41 am

Sage, the kids aren’t here illegally. They are Citizens just like you. They have the same rights as you.

Their parents may sometimes have come here illegally, but they rent homes in the area. The home owners charge a rent based on property taxes which goes to teh school, so they aren’t the drain you think they are. But even if they were, I am talking about US citizens when I am talking abotu these kids.

catlady

September 15th, 2010
11:49 am

Dan, we have also noticed that we can tell the parents who have been here the longest because frequently their kid revert to the “American way” of misbehavior and poor work. Just our experience here with Latino kids (half of their parents are from Mexico and the other half from Guatemala.)

retired teacher

September 15th, 2010
11:53 am

Gifted kids are being left out in educational planning. Also, I believe, many average to above average and high achieving kids are not receiving the services they deserve. Many gifted pull out programs are not they great…big fun projects little sustenance. After 30 plus years in public education and not 5 ears in retirement…public schools are a mess.

Gifted Ed. Teacher

September 15th, 2010
11:59 am

In GA, students that are qualified as gifted bring additional state funding into the schools. However, many times gifted teachers get no set aside monies for purchasing intructional materials and resources geared specifically for these “special needs” students. Gifted programs are often overlooked because of the total focus is on the lower end of the spectrum.

anonymous coward

September 15th, 2010
12:00 pm

My experiences aren’t currant but cetainly related. I graduated from HS in the late 70’s after the being the first freshman class to attend the new HS. For the first time I went to a school that actually had AP classes and a “Gifted” class and it made a huge difference for me. After my parents moved from California I was automatically pushed forward a grade. Every time our classes took the Iowa skills tests I scored in the 99.9 percentile, and all the reading and writing tests scored as 12+ grade level. Since my parents divorced I was living with a single mom and spend a lot of time helping to take care of my siblings and things around the house. When I got a chance to take all the AP classes in HS, I was in heaven because I actually had access to things that I had only read about – advanced chemistry, advanced physics, advanced english where I was directed to read things that had never occurred to me before. For me and at that time, the AP and gifted programs (which I think were very new) were wonderful. In my sophomore year I was IQ tested as part of the AP program and placed at 146. My struggle was more with the social aspects of high school – I didn’t like it, I didn’t fit in, and it was a waste of time. I tried to convince my mom to let me go back to California to live with my grandparents for a year to establish residency so I could go to UC Berkeley, but they wouldn’t allow it. I got an offer from Georgia Tech to start college in my senior year of high school (I was 16) but they wouldn’t allow that, either. I wasn’t too happy about that so I basically stopped in my HS senior year and did nothing.
Looking back on it, my experience was that the schools provided a pretty good place for me to excel, and I was very fortunate to have some very good teachers, but my parents were clueless even though they wanted what they thought the best for me. I don’t know what things are like today…

Dan @11:21 – what the heck does”excepting of testing mean”?

Sage

September 15th, 2010
12:01 pm

“Sage, the kids aren’t here illegally. They are Citizens just like you. They have the same rights as you.”

Sorry, but that kind of socialist mentallity is why we are at this boiling point. Fine, we’ll call them anchor children. That’s what they are.

“Their parents may sometimes have come here illegally, but they rent homes in the area. The home owners charge a rent based on property taxes which goes to teh school, so they aren’t the drain you think they are. But even if they were, I am talking about US citizens when I am talking abotu these kids.”

Those illegal parents with anchor children do pay rent. But that is not enough for the families per student per rented household. Let’s not forget the WIC $ they get, and the Peachcare they get – all on my back. Brings the word “anchor” to a whole new meaning, with the heavy burden they have on our country. Why are you and others putting blinders on?

anonymous coward

September 15th, 2010
12:03 pm

I meant to write – My experiences aren’t current, as opposed to my experiences being a type of fruit… oh well.

RJ

September 15th, 2010
12:06 pm

” A lot of illegals are draining our school system. They can’t speak english but they still have to be catered to and everyone is held down to their level.”

I’m sorry, but JJ you are dead wrong, yet again. Are you not the same person that blogged that “Mexican” kids are the fattest kids you’ve ever seen? Your assumptions are way off base. The Latino population in my school are the hardest working. When we request a parent meeting, we usually get 2 or 3 people to come up. Everyone takes an interest in their kids education. Imagine if the American kid’s parents all did the same.

Racism is defined as “The belief that one race is superior to all others.” Does that sound like you?!

Ezra

September 15th, 2010
12:21 pm

“Imagine if the American kid’s parents all did the same”
Then they would call us racist!

GiftedForEveryone

September 15th, 2010
12:24 pm

First of all the article title is very misleading…gifted and genius are two different items when it comes to public schools..

Years ago, to be entered into the gifted program REQUIRED genius IQ..and only a very small percentage were in the program. TODAY, EVERY child is gifted in public school, advanced or AP ready..yet check these “gifted” children when it comes to SAT and ACT scores?

MOST of these GIFTED children, shoved into AP and Honors classes much to the bragging rights of their parents, NEED TO TAKE THE COLLEGE ENTRANCE EXAMS MORE THAN ONCE IN ORDER TO ATTAIN ACCEPTABLE SCORES!..Does that SOUND like a gifted child to you?

Chilldren who are “genius” level need to be with a different social setting than children in public schools..a montessori enviroment which fosters learning based on MENTAL ability vs age. Home schooling or private schools are more able to handle these children. Public schools are goverment schools who funding of education is based MAINLY on what it produces on paper to the school board. The more “gifted/geniuses” it shows the more money it gets…

gtmom

September 15th, 2010
12:25 pm

Ok, so you challenge these kids with a gifted program. What next? I found college at Tech to only be challenging if I put in more than required typical course work. And bam… I hit the work force.. My boss could care less if I am challenged or stimulated. I am supposed to do design (engineering) and do it well. It is boring (I have moved up as high as I can technically in 10 years). I miss the days of new classes at GA Tech. Now, I am in real life…and work and life can be boring and not stimulating. So I think I am in favor of teaching kids that life will not cater around them because of their IQ. I know my job could care less about mine. Teach your kids early on that life isn’t about schooling is about making them contributing members of society. I see lots of “geniuses” in my field…. and they are failing. I had to get over my own hump to realize that sometimes I will be bored at work and not challenged (friends that graduated with me are still searching for the grass is green on the other side job – it is not there imho).

Ezra

September 15th, 2010
12:25 pm

These gifted kids we are discussing, exactly what do they contribute to society? If it means they would get a scholarship or grant to study the big bang theory, I think it is a waste of tax payer money. However, we should train less talented that we need ditch diggers, brick carriers, and mud makers. Many times kids can not be as successful as parents want them to be. I do agree we are spending and devoting way to much to retarded children.

ByPassTheSystem

September 15th, 2010
12:29 pm

I gave up on the system..had my daughter finish up her HS classes online, and enter college at 16 because she was ready and simply bored out of her mind in school..

Best decision I ever made…

Melissa

September 15th, 2010
12:29 pm

As parents of a gifted student, we fought hard to get him labeled as gifted at his school when he was testing four grades above his level in kindergarten. The principal told us he would never be above average, only average by skipping grades. Fast forward, he’s 13 years old in 10th grade and an honor student. He wants to go to college next year because he will only have 8 credits left to graduate. He is where he is because we fought for him and still he has not reached his full potential. There are no programs out there to keep these kids reaching higher, unless a parent does the research, but there are several out there for “special needs” students and kids that need additional academic help that are offered by school systems.

Sage

September 15th, 2010
12:31 pm

“Racism is defined as “The belief that one race is superior to all others.” Does that sound like you?!”

RJ by inacurately labeling JJ a racist, you are in fact trying to appear more superior to him/her.
Really, what does that accomplish other than making you look like a hypocrite.

It is the socialist attitudes that have brought us to this point – call everyone that has never welcomed illegals or their children racists or homophobes. RJ, what do you stand to gain by embracing illegal activity? My bet is nothing but a superior attitude towards them and some sort of payback when you feel the time is right for you.

Laurie

September 15th, 2010
12:32 pm

As a mother of a child in the gifted programs, I have a definite opinion on 2 of the questions raised.

Do the kids on the low end of the spectrum get too much of the resources leaving the gifted kids out in the cold? Yes. And the resources are more expensive. There is a family down the street whose child has special needs, and gets a special bus ride to a special school 5 days a week at the expense of tax payers. Ultimately, I think public schools should be responsible for teaching children at the median range of intelligence for their age group. So those parents with kids on the low or high end of the IQ spectrum should pay the difference if they want their children to get an education more specific to their needs. I can’t afford private school for my child, so she would not benefit from such a set up. But it’s the fairest and most efficient way to handle the issue, in my opinion.

Should kids be able to skip two and three grades ahead to be with their intellectual peers? Maybe. My daughter is very intelligent, but she is only as mature as other kids in her age group. I think each child should be evaluated for intelligence and maturity before making such a decision. But the choice should be available. My child is with her age group, and I’m glad because she has an advantage in the classroom, and friends of her own age to play with.

Ezra

September 15th, 2010
12:33 pm

I have a three year old and he can play starcraft. He makes the units gather minerals, builds barracks and other buildings, and trains marines. When attacked he can group the marines to attack the invaders. But you know, he does not know anything about Romeo and Juiet. He must be retarded.

David S

September 15th, 2010
12:37 pm

Government schools are failing all children. Parents are failing all of them by entrusting their education to the state. Modern overnment schools were never envisioned to be centers for the education of the young. They are about creating “good citizens” who are indoctrinated into the principles of state obedience.

Expecting anything other than that from the government schools is society’s mistake and failing, not that of the schools.

http://www.johntaylorgatto.com

LAFmom

September 15th, 2010
12:37 pm

I agree gifted kids are not getting what they need in public schools. We were told by many teachers that our son was “slow” because he didn’t do his classwork or homework, but when he took the tests he scored A’s. We had a few teachers notice that he was actually bored and gave him special assignments but overall most teachers considered him a problem. Unfortunately, to our dismay he dropped out of high school because he was bored with it.

Our youngest daughter (10) was getting done with her work before other students and actually got in trouble for helping the slower students. Before we recently moved to a new school system, she was getting very frustrated in her classes since she was bored. The new school is much better than the old one, she is more challenged than before but she still tends to get bored in class. Luckily her and our other daughter (12) love to learn things on their own. They read books constantly, watch history and science shows and research topics on the internet – anything they can to learn more. They always score above average on all the testing the schools do and read 3-5 levels above their grade levels. If we could afford to put them in private school we would.

The kids get their high intelligence from their dad. In high school he was often kicked out of classes for asking questions that teachers were unable (or unwilling) to answer about the subject. Most classes he only showed up on test days, always getting A’s on test and never cracking open a school book. His mom says that he was always reading any kind of book that he could get his hands on. I’m sure that if he had been encouraged more by teachers and the school that he could have gone on further in a career than he has (not that he has done poorly). He has multiple sclerosis and was told by the social security office that due to his education and training that he was smart enough and capable enough of finding other jobs to work so he did not qualify for disability – nothing about the fact that he can barely walk some days or stay awake. So basically they are saying he’s too smart to be on disability!

Sage

September 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

“So those parents with kids on the low or high end of the IQ spectrum should pay the difference if they want their children to get an education more specific to their needs.”

Laurie, I think this is a great solution. At this point, I would love to take my kids out of public schools but that is not feasible. Many parents also are at this point. I feel for the many parents that are in private schools being forced to pull out of private due to finances as well.

Ufortunately, I can think of a myriad of arguments the “other side” will come up with. Equality and racism will be thrown around as well, sit back and watch! :(

PW

September 15th, 2010
12:39 pm

“Gifted” is oftentimes, in the eye of the beholder. Having said that, GA public schools does a poor job of dealing with the education of it’s children PERIOD. The teacher is expected to manage to work with the 2 kids with ADD, the one with ADHD, the 2 with anger issues and the 1 who is so far behind academically he hasn’t got a chance. She is to do this while at the same time, hoping to teach the other 14 kids in her class how to read, write and handle math. Heaven forbid if one of the kids gets stuck and needs her help while she’s wrangling with one of the anger issues kids who just punched another kid in the stomach.

This is not a fantasy situation. It is an everyday occurrence.

We are not just shorting “gifted” kids we are shorting them all.

Big Daddy

September 15th, 2010
12:42 pm

In my opinion, attaching the word “gifted” is the real injustice. Whatever happened to good students and poor students? Another case of the tail wagging the dog.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

September 15th, 2010
12:43 pm

this editorial about gifted students ran in the paper earlier this week

http://www.ajc.com/opinion/gifted-students-bored-and-612385.html

Scared

September 15th, 2010
12:44 pm

The real point should be that the special needs programs are consuming such a large portion of the resources that even those kids only one to two standard deviations above the norm are being short changed. Any child that is above average needs to fight the system just to get ahead.

We also tell many bright kids to persue interests in the arts and ignore the sciences. We tell them we respect doctors, engineers and scientists but the money is in politics and law. The bright kids see this and realize the game is not as we claim it to be.

This is why other countries are catching up with us. They are focusing their educational resources on those with the potential for driving their economies. They also target their high potential students into programs that can drive their economies.

David S

September 15th, 2010
1:07 pm

Whatever happened to not labelling kids period? Gifted is simply a measure of learning ability. A regimented, inflexible system that segregates children based on arbitrary measures such as age fails to account for individual differences in learning progess and provides no flexibility to allow that progress to happen as their particular makeup dictates.

The learning potential of EVERY child is stiffled by the current format of both government and many private schools. Multi-grade classrooms of the past that provided opportunities both beyond and behind a current arbitrary level as well as the opportunity for children to interact with more advanced students in learning circumstances and less advanced students in teaching circumstances provides probably the best scenario for advancing the educational opportunities of all students. Many Montessori schools follow this format as did the small community “one room schools” of the past.

Gifted unfortunately has been turned into an unfortunate “badge” for those so labelled, but we fail as a society by not treated every child as gifted, for if they were provided with the right learning environment, all would outperform their current limited potentials.

But as I said before, that is not the goal of modern (post Dewey)government schools.

Sage

September 15th, 2010
1:17 pm

Well this discussion has been an eye opener for me. I guess my role as a good parent and advocate has become even greater and more challenging. The hardest part of this whole situation is that I have taught my kids to “be” and “do” all the right things, when all this time there are more forces than I have ever imagined undermining all my hard work. I am also starting to see why we have become such an “entitlement” driven society. After this discussion, I feel “entitled” to fight for me and my family and our future.

I just hope that everyone that is embracing the wrong people for the wrong reasons has figured out that they truely are have the most to loose when it is all said and done.

Good afternoon!

deidre_NC

September 15th, 2010
1:17 pm

@catlady–happy birthday to your miracle son!!!

deidre_NC

September 15th, 2010
1:28 pm

@sage….’illegals’ are not the only ones by any means who get food stamps and wic…i work at a place where every 1week of the month i see tons of white people coming in and buying $300 to $500 worth of groceries…and let me tell you they dont buy what i buy…i work my butt off and we eat very budget wise food-these people buy steaks and shrimp and whatever they want…and same for a lot of wic recipients. then they also buy their smokes and beer and wine and dvds and cds…things a lot of people who work their butts off cant afford it buy. we also have the mexicans who usually come in on sunday mornings and i have yet to see one of these families use food stamps. some do have wic, but the income requirements for wic are quite hight…you can get that even with a failry decent income. we also have a small asian population in this area (thank god they own the asian type restaurants!!) and they also never use food stamps. its all white people. im sure that may be different in some areas, but my experience has been that the asians and hispanics are very hard working and will do whatever kind of work they can find to support their families. i have often wondered who would fill their shoes if they were all made to leave.

sorry to get off task here :(…just got my feathers a little ruffled.

deidre_NC

September 15th, 2010
1:32 pm

and since my feathers are already ruffled i wont go into the nightmares i had trying to get the school to help my above average kids…it was hell. and it was years ago so i see things havent changed much. it really is up to the parents to make sure your highly intelligent kids are given the resources they need to excel. if you dont-and cant afford extras like camps and private schools, you could very well end up with a juvenile deliquent on your hands. do whatever you can do to make sure they have the resources they need to use their abilities as they should and not left to their own devices!

Mom of 4

September 15th, 2010
2:08 pm

I think the article makes several good points.
I don’t think we need to bash education outright, though. It used to be, if you were disabled, your family was not provided any assistance at all, and now we have become a more enlightened society and realize that disabled students deserve an education as well. Yet, we do need to compare the costs. I know as a former high school AP science teacher, that I worked hours and hours and hours after school to set up labs, write challenging tests, tutor my students in the difficult subject I taught, keep in contact with parents, and grade VERY time consuming lab reports and papers. Sometimes, it would kind of irk me to see people who got paid my same salary have 2 students to care for all day and basically have no work to take home at all and no reason to stay late or come early to work (which I did every day). And when you do the math – you realize that the cost to educate the 2 students that teacher taught was far more expensive than the 120 students I taught – even when you consider that those 120 students had 4 or 5 other teachers. Yet, I don’t think we need to discontinue support for students on the low end of the spectrum – I think it is very difficult for many of us to understand what a hardship taking care of some of those students can be – but perhaps we need to reevaluate and rebalance a bit. We do need to focus more on high achievement tests like AP tests rather than minimum skills test like graduation tests. By always focusing on getting 100% of students to reach the same minimum, we lose time and resources that could be used to get a less than 100% achievement at a MUCH higher level. As a mom of a gifted student (and 3 younger ones not old enough for a “gifted” program) I have been very happy with the schooling my students have received. I think I’d worry more if I had a “middle” student. Those students seem to get few of the “extras”. In the end, our schools often do a pretty good job educating a wide array of students. And this article just points out some improvements that are needed.

As far as skipping grades, I think, as a former educator, that this is usually NOT in the best interest of the child. I’m sure there are instances in which this is useful, but there are lots of smart kids out there. A lot! And there are lots of opportunities in AP classes in high school for those students to take – even in 9th grade – without having to skip a grade.

Denise

September 15th, 2010
2:10 pm

Happy Birthday, MJG! Many blessings to ya!

motherjanegoose

September 15th, 2010
2:26 pm

catlady…congrats to you and your son. That was a wonderful story.

deidre…you are singing the same song I have sung for years…why are able bodied folks not working and “purchasing” better food on my dime? Is there ANYTHING they could do? I have been attacked on this thinking before ( MOMANIA) but I see and hear it ( from educators) all over the country. Becky knows about it too. Are we the only three?

We had some WONDERFUL Hispanic contractors paint out house. They were recommended by a good friend. They worked so hard and did extra things too. I would recommend them in a minute. The job looks great! I treated them with respect, as they deserved it for giving ABOVE AND BEYOND an honest day’s work for an honest wage. Refreshing!

Thanks for the birthday wishes…I even got an e-mail ( today) from someone I briefly met in Texas on Saturday…so thoughtful!

RJ

September 15th, 2010
2:29 pm

@Sage, I call it as I see it. You don’t have tlike it, but it’s how I see it!

“call everyone that has never welcomed illegals or their children racists or homophobes.” Homophobes? Do you even KNOW what you’re talking about. Secondly, I never stated that I accepted illegal activity, however continuing to rant about a race of people is definitely racism. I support all efforts to close our borders to illegal aliends, but I won’t judge innocent kids. Somehow this makes me a hypocrite. As for payback, hmmm…I’ll just let that one go since it makes absolutely no since to me. But again, I don’t think that you even KNOW what you’re talking about; just wanted to have something to say. Next time please THINK before speaking. Of course if you have nothing else to say you can call ME a racist, socialst hypocrite!

You are welcome to rant on about what you THINK you know but understand this…I’ve yet to call out any one race of people and make blanket statements about them repeatedly. All Mexicans are not ILLEGALLY here. I’ll let you get back to you tea party! Peace!

gee ezzra

September 15th, 2010
2:32 pm

I’m sure you are so proud. I felt the same when my kid saved the princess in Mario II

Becky

September 15th, 2010
3:05 pm

Preach it deidre…Of course as MJG said, only so many people see it..I see it a lot and yes it pisses me off..As y’all do, I get up and come to work everyday to buy things that I want and need..BUT, I buy these things 95% of the time on sale and as deidre said, these people are out buying filet while I’m eating bologna..Or they are buying engery drinks at 3 or 4 bucks a pop and I’m drinking water..Or the big one that gets me (sorry for the repeat) is the pizza place that accepts the EBT card..WTF??

HB

September 15th, 2010
3:32 pm

Becky, some states allow elderly, disabled, and homeless food stamp recipients to purchase food at restaurants that have signed contracts with the states to provide meals to those customers at discounted rates. It’s an effort to make it easier for those who cannot easily prepare their own food, either because they have physical difficulties or lack access to a kitchen, to get hot meals.

David S

September 15th, 2010
3:34 pm

When government controls the process, politics will always run the show.

Dan

September 15th, 2010
3:39 pm

@ a teacher sorry I didn’t realize you spoke for all teachers, and while clearly no one method is applied to all but all that I have mentioned has been discussed on this blog and my particular exposure to it was based on the information my 10yr old niece brings home from her Dekalb public school as well as a few teachers in my social circle. While I applaud you and your school for not falling into such a trap, if you are unaware of the proliferation of such inane procedures perhaps you should look outside your school

Becky

September 15th, 2010
3:40 pm

@HB..I’m all for that, but the people that I know that use food stamps to purchase pizza are none of the things that you mentioned..Nor is the person that goes to the grocery store and buys energy drinks..I’m all for people getting help, but I really think that there should be limits on what can be bought with food stamps..

HB

September 15th, 2010
3:45 pm

Well, if they’re buying the pizza, my understanding is the card they swipe must belong to someone who the state thinks is homeless, over a certain age, or disabled. Not all cards can be used at restaurants.

motherjanegoose

September 15th, 2010
4:10 pm

HB…deidre, Becky and I are seeing things you are not seeing and I am meeting folks from coast to coast who are seeing it too. I know that the 3 of us have been around the block more than once. I have been around several blocks and in lots of grocery stores. If I did not know better, I would think I am the only one who thinks this idea is crazy ( of those who eat better on food stamps than the rest of us) but I hear it from hundreds out there. Maybe it is not happening in your area?

If anyone can afford a swanky cell phone, PLEASE buy your groceries with money you have earned and not mine. YOU DO NOT NEED THAT FANCY CELL PHONE….people all over the world are REALLY starving and they do not have cell phones….they simply need dinner and would be happy with a bologna sandwich…not crab legs.

Becky

September 15th, 2010
4:13 pm

None of the above, it’s just allowed there..Not sure why, but it is..

TechMom

September 15th, 2010
4:59 pm

Haha – I had to laugh at this statement from the editorial: “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.” I lived in Hahira from 8-12th grade. They should have chosen Morvin or Ray City, which doesn’t feed into one of the largest high schools in south Ga (Lowndes) that has a gifted program (and lots of AP courses & joint enrollment with Valdosta State). The interesting thing is that there was not a gifted program in middle school but there is gifted, AP and joint enrollment when you get to HS. If kids didn’t completely check out by the time they got to HS, there was some opportunity to actually take advanced courses but the numbers of kids who were ‘lost’ in middle school is probably not a pretty number… just adds to my point that I think the public education system really falls apart in middle school.

Heather

September 15th, 2010
5:18 pm

I WAS a gifted kid in the public schools, with IQ above 145. Back in the ’70’s and ’80’s. Gifted kids have ALWAYS gotten the short end of the stick in the public schools, and I think they always will. Public schools are simply not formatted to give gifted kids what they need, and, as soon as anyone really tries, we hear a lot of noise about it being elitism. My public school system did at least try to do something for me, but it wasn’t close to enough. My husband’s school system never even tried. Our kids are little, still, but are already showing signs of high IQ (for example, my 3 year-old figured out how to read right about her 3rd birthday–without any special help from us). They’ll be homeschooled. My parents didn’t have a choice, and neither did my husband’s. But we do, and we won’t knowingly put our kids through what we went through.

deidre_NC

September 15th, 2010
5:19 pm

ok..when i got laid off from a failry well paying job (as some of you may remember for NINE months) i applied for food stamps (and everthing else i could) for what i thought would be a very short time…it ended up being 9 months of unemployment, all my savings gone and credit cards maxed out. i didnt even qualify for food stamps being on unemployment. i actually didnt qualify for anything. i did hit the food bank a couple of times, but at that time the food banks were having a really hard time keeping food so i xtopped going there, thinking others really needed the little the banks had worse than i did I was still thinking it was going to be a short unemployment time..haha) point is….my daughter and i had cell phones, and i would have gladly cancelled them but i had a contract. they will only let you suspend it for certain period of time…i did have the tv service suspended for 6 months…the limit…so i can understand when people on food stamps and such have a cell phone…maybe they have a contract they cant get out of. my point is…why is it allowed to buy a freaking birthday cake from the bakery on food stamps? why is it ok to buy a whole live lobster? how much does it take to by a cake mix and make the blasted cake? this is happening so often in my area it just kills me. ill get off that rant..its not even the subject…my point earlier was that i have not seen the first hispanic family using food stamps. i know that may not be the case everywhere. and i am definately for closing our borders somehow….but the people who are here and working leave them alone. its more than i can say for a lot of americans. if they shoved all the illegals or whatever you want to call them out…whos gonna work in the stinky smelly nasty chicken houses…or who is going to work in the 100 degree weather picking tomatoes or whatever? id say if they could get rid of all the illegals there would be a lot of work left undone.

Steve

September 15th, 2010
5:28 pm

It is amazing how a person expresses their opinion and gets bashed for speaking. Sounds like what is happening in D.C. and everyone speaks how dysfunctional and sorry they are. It is a person’s opinion and they have a right to it. For all you bashing each other I hope you have a really bad day.

HB

September 15th, 2010
5:34 pm

MJG, I never said abuse of the system doesn’t happen or that people don’t ever make frivilous grocery purchases like crab legs with EBT funds (I’m really not sure where you got that idea). Becky wondered why a pizza place would accept food stamps, so I shared what I know about the restaurant program. She then said she knows of people not in that situation who use EBT at restaurants and didn’t think that should be allowed. My point was that there are indeed limits and those not meeting certain criteria are not “allowed” to purchase food at restaurants. If people do not meet the criteria for participating in the restaurant plan but still buy the restaurant food, then appears that either a) they are using the card of someone who does fall into one of those categories, b) the cards are misprogrammed, or c) they committed fraud when signing up for food stamps by saying they do qualify.

motherjanegoose

September 15th, 2010
6:05 pm

HB…I got the idea about crab legs because I SAW it when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant with my daughter and my blood pressure spiked so high, my husband was worried. It was Easter Sunday. We went to church and then out to dinner, as we both were working and could readily afford to eat out. I ran into Kroger to pick up some things. The lady in front of me was using FOOD STAMPS to buy crab legs, an Easter cake and was furious that she could not use them for a bag of ice as ‘I AM HAVING A PARTY AND NEED ICE …I NEED IT NOW AND HAVE NO CASH!” See, I would not have known a thing about the FOOD STAMPS except the fact that she was arguing with the cashier who would not allow a bag of ice to be purchased with FOOD STAMPS. THAT is where I got the idea. Most of the IDEAS I share on this blog have actually happened to me and since I have now been in 50 states, I have seen just a few things. At age 51 ( today) I have seen MORE than just a few.

FRAUD HB is everywhere…many are proud they are beating the system. The rest of us pay for it.

How about the lady who tried to buy DOG FOOD with food stamps and when the clerk refused…she came back with a ROAST and said, “guess he will eat good tonight!” I saw this with my own eyes.

deidre…point taken about the phone…what about those who are driving fancy cars with acrylic nails…that has to cost a bit more than a box of cereal or a can of soup.

Fed Up

September 15th, 2010
7:17 pm

This all boils down to entitlement. The government let illegals and ghetto mamas take and take for so long, now what your seeing is former hard working folks sitting back and milking the system. I personally am not buying into the fact that someone says they ’see all white and no hispanics’ use our welfare system, that is just plain piffle.

Our illegals and aliens of today are NOT the same as the immigrants that passed through Ellis Island. The current generation of “immigrants” is raping our country and we are letting them. They are teaching Americans how to crack the system. If we let this continue, we all just give up and give into socialism. That may be the ultimate goal of some but is pretty sad that we are turning on our own people to appease the illegals and aliens.

You people are tossing aside bright American kids to fight for themselves or deal with it. How can you show more compassion to strangers than your own. Your creating a class warfare and you’ll be the ones that are left behind.