When are kids gifted or just well prepared for the test?

The New York Times reports that school administrators in New York City are struggling to find ways to differentiate between true giftedness in children and children who have just had lots of prepping by private tutors and their parents.

From The New York Times:

“…The city’s leading private schools are even considering doing away with the test they have used for decades, popularly known as the E.R.B., after the Educational Records Bureau, the organization that administers the exam, which is written by Pearson.

“ ‘It’s something the schools know has been corrupted,” said Dr. Samuel J. Meisels, an early-childhood education expert who gave a presentation in the fall to private school officials, encouraging them to abandon the test. Excessive test preparation, he said, “invalidates inferences that can be drawn” about children’s “learning potential and intellect and achievement.”  …

Scores had been soaring. For the 2012-13 school year, nearly 5,000 children qualified for gifted and talented kindergarten seats in New York City public schools. That was more than double the number five years ago. “We were concerned enough about our definition of giftedness being affected by test prep — as we were prior school experience, primary spoken language, socioeconomic background and culture — that we changed the assessment,” Adina Lopatin, a deputy chief academic officer in the Education Department, said.

“And yet test prep companies leapt to action, printing new books tailored to the new test and organizing classes. …”

The story has all kinds of examples of the way companies and parents are prepping their kids to take these tests to claim their seats in the gifted kindergarten classroom and other classes.  Some 4-year-olds are spending hours weekly over months on test prep.

Now I’ve always heard that you can get false negatives on gifted testing but not false positives – meaning gifted kids can screw up the test (either on purpose or because hey they’re in first grade and who’s paying attention to that lady talking) but they can’t accidentally test in.  So I’m not sure what to make of the preparing for the test. I guess they aren’t doing straight IQ tests, which I don’t think you can really prepare for.

At our school in Gwinnett, every child in the first grade took the CogAT in the fall. If they scored 97 percent or higher then they went on to further gifted testing. The CogAT was how they narrowed the field. The child had to pass three out of four categories of the gifted testing to get into the gifted program.

Now at a friend’s school in metro Atlanta that had a higher income level than our school, all the kids were tested for gifted because otherwise the parents complained that they weren’t even given the chance to test.

So what do you think? Can you get false positives with gifted testing? Can you prep for those tests?

Do you think this is New York City problem? (Say like the guy in the Pace salsa commercial.) Is this type of preparation to beat the test happening in other cities around the country? Are you the dumb one if you don’t prep your kids?

Did you prep your child for gifted testing? Did you send them to any type of tutor service or choose a specific private psychologist to do testing to give your child a greater chance to test in?

70 comments Add your comment

motherjanegoose

February 19th, 2013
7:27 am

No prepping here.

oraclewonder

February 19th, 2013
7:31 am

No, there is no preparation, it should be natural, a child is born with gifted abilities. My child is in gifted program. My child potty trained herself at age 9-10 months, she was talking and walking at age 9 months. There are signs for gifted child at early age for instance advance development, intellectual talent etc.

Michael Allaire

February 19th, 2013
7:32 am

I once read that Asian parents do not believe in gifted kids. They believe in hard work. We have come to believe in the myth that some kids have some magic gene that makes them smarter than others. Also most students spend much of their day on language arts and only one class in math. We should spend much more time on math. We just have to find more qualified math teachers.

jarvis

February 19th, 2013
7:39 am

Give me a well-rounded socially adjusted kid any day of the week.

Hyper-intelligence, just like good looks, superior hand eye coordination or general charisma, is just a natural gift that can be used to get ahead in life. Prep testing to make your kid appear to have a God given gift for parental bragging rights is just sad. Find what your child is actually good at and cultivate that.

jarvis

February 19th, 2013
7:42 am

@Michael Allaire, “magic gene”? Yes intelligence is genetic just like everything else that comes naturally.

bubba

February 19th, 2013
7:45 am

re: “At our school in Gwinnett, …”
– I thought it was determined that Theresa lives in Phoenix. Maybe she meant “our OLD school in Gwinnett”, or maybe this is her lame attempt, goaded by an editor perhaps, to make it appear that she is in Atlanta. Like this deep insight on local issues

“Now at a friend’s school in metro Atlanta …”

UGA journalism at its finest:
“I guess they aren’t doing straight IQ tests, which I don’t think you can really prepare for.”

Michael Allaire

February 19th, 2013
7:58 am

Most kids can do much more in sc hool than what they are doing now. People still work out at the gym even if they are not born Lebron James. Why should kids decide that school is not their thing in the third grade because they scored poorly on a test. That is too young to give up.

motherjanegoose

February 19th, 2013
8:09 am

@ Michael…actually oral language development and vocabulary play a big role in academic success. Children who have large vocabularies are often the brightest students. This is why it is so important for parents to put away their cell phones and talk to their children. Language acquisition occurs in your environment and if no one is talking to your or reading to you, you are at a disadvantage.

MomsRule

February 19th, 2013
8:16 am

No prepping here.

I’ve never heard of the test being used in NY. Anyone else?

DB

February 19th, 2013
8:31 am

One of the comments to the NYT article resonated with me — it seems like a good test for giftedness should be a measure of how quickly a child absorbs new concepts, not how many facts have been stuffed in a kid’s head.

IMO, It doesn’t really matter how gifted they are in Kindergarten — by the time they hit middle school/high school, their work ethic is going to be a major determining factor on how well they do in school. In fact, I wonder if being identified as “gifted” early on might actually be a detriment to a child — it segregates them and presumably exposes them to “enrichment” — but I don’t see where they are actually taught HOW to learn. There are a lot of disaffected “geniuses” who never lived up to their potential — they never learned how to learn. On the other hand, there are a lot of kids who were above average but not “smart” who learned how to work smart and work hard and blew the socks off the geniuses in terms of performance and later success in life.

A

February 19th, 2013
8:37 am

@bubba, please stop your trolling. I think most of us here could not care less where Theresa is located. This is a mom/parenting blog not an Atlanta happenings blog, so it really doesn’t matter where she is.

Former teacher

February 19th, 2013
8:38 am

Too many kids in the gifted program in schools across the country. Standards used to be higher now many average to above average students get into the programs based on good test skills. Being a bright, above average student is not the same as gifted. Parents and educators constantly look for ways to game the system–including test preparation.

My first work with gifted was with students who truly showed skill and talent that truly distinguished them from other students. As my career progressed students who were above average were admitted to the program. Above average is not the same as gifted–no matter what the student, parents and administrators hoping to improve results think.
Gifted programs were designed to challenge those students who really were way above the norm. Now they have become commonplace programs admitting way too many students to satisfy the demands of those who think good grades equal gifted. And this in turn has led to the programs being dumbed down so that the students who do not really belong in such a challenging program will not be failing.

If they game the system to get into the program then it is the obligation of administrators and teachers to keep the high standards and challenging coursework to weed out the students who test well but are not truly gifted in the true sense of the word.

Alberta

February 19th, 2013
8:39 am

Bubba wrote “Like this deep insight on social issues”. I guess s/he graduated with a UGA journalism degree, as well.

One has to be careful. If a kid fails too many tests, serious damage can be done to his/her self- confidence and self-esteem. Then they grow up to be bitter, angry, and extremely judgmental. Sort of like Bubba.

It'sKinderGARTEN Dammit

February 19th, 2013
8:43 am

Yeah…well…my kid was born walking and talking and after a few minutes of bonding she took a sodoku book to the can.

She’s 13 months old and working on her memoirs.

RJ

February 19th, 2013
8:46 am

We are pushed at my school to have more students tested for gifted. On one hand, I understand the desire to ensure we don’t miss a kid, however, on the other hand, some kids are tested from first to fifth grade before they pass the test. Are they really gifted? Parents get so wrapped up in their kid being labeled as “gifted”. I say find what your child’s interests and gifts are and focus on those things, instead of the gifted label.

RJ

February 19th, 2013
8:48 am

@Former Teacher, well said. I agree 100%.

Mother of 2

February 19th, 2013
8:49 am

Schools typically don’t release the tests, which makes prepping difficult. A good test measures critical thinking skills vs knowledge. This is usually done testing in 3 areas – math/spacial, critical reading, and creative skills. If a child doesn’t test in the top 97% in all 3 areas he/she doesn’t get into the gifted program. Many children are strong in one area, but cannot test into the gifted program because they lack skills in another area.

I was happy when my kids tested into the gifted program because it placed them in a classroom with students who wanted to learn and with teachers who thought outside the box. The classes were diverse in culture. The kids had inquisitive natures and were generally very well behaved and attentive. The teachers weren’t harried. It was a great learning environment. This is probably the reason why so many parents want their children in gifted classes.

Gifted classes allow the schools to “track” students. Schools are no longer tracking students for many reasons. But parents like tracking, so getting a child into gifted education is one way to achieve a tracked learning environment.

Teacher

February 19th, 2013
8:50 am

My spouse taught in a foreign language program for gifted high school students for 10 years. When the program started prospective students were required to be fairly fluent in the language as courses such as World History and International Economics were taught in foreign language to juniors and seniors. Classes were coordinated with other classes in the gifted program.

My spouse left the program after 10 years as this particular school continued to admit more and more students to the gifted program. Requirements were reduced, as were the test scores required to enter the program. The language program, which heavily emphasized global awareness, was completely dumbed down. Students with only basic skills in foreign language were admitted to the program and teachers were then prohibited from teaching in a foreign language. Overall achievement fell at a school well respected for its overall academic success. Tutoring often teaches surface knowledge–just enough for a test and then it is gone. It is often a way to get around the sytem without actually having to do any work. And when a student gets into a program and cannot follow the work then the curriculum is often dumbed down to counteract the downward trend in grades.
Basically, parents and kids who game the system often negatively affect the education offered to those who truly belong in the gifted programs at schools.

A reader

February 19th, 2013
8:52 am

At my daughter’s elementary school, the kids with highly involved PTA Moms got into the gifted program in kindergarten. I guess they knew the secret handshake. The school did testing also, but only a few kids got in because the gifted program was already full. I know these kids and most are not gifted. Now that they are in a highly competitive high school, the ones that were told they were so so special back then are not doing well because they are coming to realize that they are not genius and not special.

Decatur Guy

February 19th, 2013
8:57 am

“When are kids gifted or just well prepared for the test?”

UGA offers remedial english classes. You should sign up.

Decatur Guy

February 19th, 2013
8:58 am

“Do you think this is New York City problem?”

New York City is the problem.

Real Life

February 19th, 2013
8:59 am

My friend’s daughter was unable to cut it at one of the challenging private schools here in Atlanta. She made Cs at the most in regular classes. She was not admitted to the gifted program there at all. The parents then sent her to a public school and threw a fit until she was admitted to the gifted program–even though her test scores indicated she was an average student. She was admitted to the program and then began to make A’s with very little effort.

So if the tests are that important why was this student admitted and why did she make such high grades when she was unable to cope with the basic coursework at a more challenging school?

Gifted? No. But being in the program certainly looked good on her admission application to college–which, with the good grades, was all her parents wanted.

homeschooler

February 19th, 2013
9:13 am

A friend of mine and I have talked about this a lot. Gifted should have very little to do with academics. Some of the most gifted kids do not do well on tests nor do they always do well academically.

My friend raised children in Florida in the late seventies and early eighties. Her son was placed in a gifted school. Their teachers were trained to recognized the gifted kids. A lot of times these were the children who misbehaved, couldn’t sit still but were obviously highly intelligent with large vocabularies, intense interests in certain subjects etc.. They might not read or spell well but there was something “different” about them. To get into the school her child had to have a full psychological assessment. He got in.When they moved to Georgia a few years later the kids placed in the Gifted program were just the ones who scored the top ten percent on a certain test.
Her gifted son is now 40 with 2 PhDs and a Law degree and is practicing law at a prestigious firm in Manhattan. She still raves about that Florida gifted program.
I don’t know how they do it in the public schools here but of all my friends A LOT of their kids are in the gifted programs. Maybe I just chose smart friends with smart kids but I suspect that “gifted” in Cobb County Schools is not always “gifted” just smart and willing to learn. If one is gifted he/she should be gifted everywhere. If your child is “gifted” at Riverside Elementary in Mableton and not at Shallowford Falls in East Cobb I suspect your child is not really gifted, just the top of the class. There is a difference.

jarvis

February 19th, 2013
9:19 am

Has anyone ever done “My Baby Can Read”? This looks like parlor tricks to me.

You know, I’ve seen a parrot that could talk, but it didn’t know what the hell it was saying.

catlady

February 19th, 2013
9:23 am

My son was decoding at age 3. In kindergarten, he was reading on 4th grade level. When we moved to Tallahassee, his teacher came to me the second day of second grade to ask if he had been identified as gifted. I signed the papers for his evaluation, but in a whole year’s time it never happened (too many pressing problems, I guess). He spent the year tutoring the other students and reading independently about WW2. So the summer after I paid for his evaluation at FSU. Then I hand-carried the paperwork to the appropriate office of the school system.

They had a great program for gifted–pulled out of the regular classroom 4 days a week and once a week to the FAMU campus for special classes. After a couple of weeks, he came to me and said,
“I don’t want to be in gifted any more.” Shocked, I asked why, and he said, “THERE ARE KIDS WHO ARE SMARTER THAN ME!” A good preparation for the real world!

My daughters were identified by their teachers. I never initiated the testing.

Nowadays it seems like many are identified. They are almost without exception kids with middle class parents. (Funny abou† that) Quite a few of the parents have undertaken the job of getting the kids in. If the parent has to do it, you wonder if the child is really that exceptional.

JMHO

Georgia

February 19th, 2013
9:23 am

I read today where this lady in Ohio gave birth to a baby with a lit cigar in it’s mouth. and when the doctor slapped the baby it swallowed the cigar. Genius is genetic, no doubt. That kid will be the next David Copperfield.

Bubba

February 19th, 2013
9:47 am

I call BS on oraclewonder. No way in HELL can a 9 month old potty train “themselves”. Let alone talk. It’s not possible.

Techmom

February 19th, 2013
9:49 am

As a kid who lived all of the US, I do wish there was some kind of standard. I was tested for gifted in first grade in Nevada. They used the IQ test which really tests critical thinking and problem solving, not knowledge. This of course does nothing for kids who are gifted in say music or art but does work for kids who are intellectually intelligent.

The gifted program in my elementary school there was great even though it was just one teacher for the whole school. She worked with the individual teachers to ensure the gifted kids were being challenged when we weren’t going to the gifted class. I went to a 4th grade math class and reading in a 5th grade class that year. Once in 2nd grade, I was just given an independent study list for reading.

My dad was in the Air Force so we moved to Alabama when I was in 5th grade, they had no gifted program. The next year we moved to Florida and luckily by middle school they used tracking and I was able to move into the advanced track (no gifted program in middle school but it was better than gen pop). I did apply to a magnet school and get accepted for 8th grade. Unfortunately we were forced to move yet again just before 8th grade, this time to South Ga. The middle school there didn’t have a true gifted program either though I was placed in the advanced track & tested again. The high school I went to did have a great gifted program though and gave me what I consider a great high school education even though it’s probably one of the poorest performing schools in the state based on overall test scores. I had great teachers and spent most of my academic classes with the same group of about 45-50 kids (there were usually 2 classes of each gifted class so we all progressed together through HS except for electives).

Techmom

February 19th, 2013
9:57 am

So I totally left off my point of my long post (sorry)…

States have different standards and tests. What may qualify as gifted in one place, doesn’t in another or they simply won’t use the other state’s test scores to qualify a kid. Every time I moved, it took most of the school year to get tested in the new state.

My question though is the gifted test standard across the state or is it up to each district to decide how to determine what gifted means (i.e. same test but different scores depending on the district)?

justmy2cents

February 19th, 2013
10:01 am

My oldest was tested in 3rd??5th?? grade but failed to make it in due to lack of motivation. No shocker there, it is still an ongoing issue years later!!! My youngest was tested in 1st grade and made it in no problem. My oldest said her sister made it in because the testing was easier in 1st. I spoke with the Target teachers and they told me 1st grade was actually the hardest. I agree with some of the other posters; if you have to prep them for the test, how truly gifted are they?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 19th, 2013
10:34 am

Techmom — when we moved they had a list of tests that AZ accepted — Cogat was one they took. The percentage standard was the same. They couldn’t believe how many more tests Georgia had done to admit — AZ doesn’t do all the ones that GA.does. The gifted teacher says she is always leery of kids from other states because they don’t know what the state’s standards were — One of the biggest things we learned with the move is that Gwinnett was more about exploration and thinking outside the box where as AZ is about acceleration — which doesn’t necessarily scratch the gifted itch. Walsh declares it’s just more work. he thought Gwinnett’s program was fun and he enjoyed it. I think that being gifted can be a double-edge sword lots of issues that can come along with high intelligence and asynchronous development –

catlady

February 19th, 2013
10:39 am

Bubba, my mother said I potty trained at 9 months (I know I walked early because there are photos of me). One time too many, when my mother said I potty trained so early, I said, “So THAT is what is wrong with me!” My mother, very verbal, was silent. The one time I got her goat!

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 19th, 2013
10:40 am

just my two cents — the gifted teachers in gwinnett told us that testing in in the first grade was a truer showing of giftedness because later the kids do learn how to “test” better…. but also with first you have the immaturity factor in first– one of my kids only tested into one subject in first but actually ended up being higher in that area — the teacher thought he was just screwing around the first time. I have heard from several friends that they think their kids specifically tried to fail because they did see it as extra work.

catlady

February 19th, 2013
10:46 am

I do not know the test administered to my son, but the woman who gave the test was quite struck by an elicited answer from him “Like drinking a pina colada at Trader Vic’s” and him identifying Hamlet’s soliloquy (sp?) at age 7.

For the girls I don’t think it was the same test(s).

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 19th, 2013
10:46 am

just my two cents — motivation used to be one of the four areas they had to pass in Georgia. They could fail the motivation if they passed the other parts — both of mine failed the motivation part –

catlady

February 19th, 2013
10:57 am

Theresa, my youngest got in in part because of the motivation component! She bugged the gifted teacher on an almost daily schedule to test her, finish the results, and staff her in! He said he had never had a student do that. Her tenacious-ness has been a big benefit to her, although quite often irritating to others. LOL

She is the one with the master’s in astrophysics, BTW.

jarvis

February 19th, 2013
11:14 am

My oldest talked and walked early. She potty trained at about 18 months which I thought was pretty early.

She’s not “gifted” by the way, but she’s smart enough.

jarvis

February 19th, 2013
11:23 am

If only all of the “gifted” children grew up to be “gifted” adults.
What a better world this would be.

Momcat

February 19th, 2013
11:32 am

Over half the kids in my child’s elementary school are in the gifted program. It is like Lake Wobegon. One of my children…never labeled as gifted…was placed in three gifted classes in middle school. And does just fine. My high schooler… gifted or not can take AP classes by choice. So parents, the gifted label does not matter. Maybe psychologically. Your kid most likely isn’t “gifted” and you will realize this when they take the SAT. Also…as I look around at some of the “gifted” elementary school kids… They are more “quirky” and poorly behaved.

I_Teach_Gifted

February 19th, 2013
11:34 am

I teach gifted students, and I am also charged with identifying them.

If I had a dollar for every time a parent contacted me, asking me how to “help” their child qualify, study for, or ‘do better” on the tests, I could retire early.

In Georgia, we have two pathways to eligibility-the first is the psychometric path-high scores (96%ile in mental ability and 90%ile on achievement) and the other is the ‘multiple criteria”-where students have to hit the eligibility scores (90%ile on achievement, creativity, and motivation, and 96%ile in mental ability).

Over the last decade, I’ve seen the number of children who are qualifying drop. Critical thinking is becoming a rarity. Creativity scores-that is creatively thinking, not being “artsy” is sinking like a BOMB. I would expect that in older kids who have had the creativity drained out by the rigid testing and narrow curriculum-but I am seeing it more and more with my littles-

I have only a handful of kids who are gifted in the traditional sense-just flat out high I.Q.-most qualify under the multiple-criteria path.

You cannot teach giftedness. However, in this age of trying to get your not-yet born child into a chi-chi high-end pre-school, who is surprised by this?

I read the article when it came out and could do nothing but shake my head at these parents who are paying to send their four year olds to special tutoring, to practice doing the NNAT until they “get it.”

Insane.

Parents should not be told which tests will be done; I no longer tell my TEACHERS which questions on the motivation checklist are used for scoring-they have a hard time being objective as well.

Helicopter parenting is really over the top-this is a prime example.

Momcat

February 19th, 2013
11:37 am

And one more thing…. There is nothing worse than a child thinking they are gifted. What is the world are we doing to this generation??!

HRK

February 19th, 2013
11:43 am

Gifted is a spectrum just like any other. You have kids ranging from genius all the way down to above average. My second grader tested into gifted. I don’t know if she truly is gifted, just smart or highly motivated. I think most parents motivation is to get their kids out of the regular classroom with the kids who are unmotivated, minimal achievers. Perhaps if they spent more money/time on gifted students, it could be segmented to meet the requirements of multiple levels instead of lumping everyone in together.

oneofeach4me

February 19th, 2013
11:59 am

I am SO over the “I wanted my kids to be in the gifted program so they could be with kids who want to learn”.

NEWS FLASH. Majority of children want to learn.

My son WANTS to learn but due to his disability, he does not learn at the same tempo nor the same way most students do. That does not mean he doesn’t want to learn!! His teacher even made the comment on his observation that stated even though he does not grasp the concept, he does apply himself.

IMO, the children with disabilities and those who have trouble keeping up in the classroom are the ones who need the teachers who “think outside of the box”. The uber-gifted kids, being that they are geniuses, should be able to learn the curriculum no matter how it is taught or who is teaching it correct?? I mean isn’t’ that the whole point?

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 19th, 2013
12:04 pm

I teach gifted –did they change the the percent to 96 cause I think it was 97 like five years ago???

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

February 19th, 2013
12:07 pm

Jarvis — I agree with you on smart enough — My last one is very smart but I’m not sure she is “gifted” and she is the happiest one of all. We will see what life brings her but I think my two gifted kids have had a pretty hard time thanks to being “gifted.” One of the gifted teachers my kids had in Gwinnett told me she prayed for her kids to be born smart and not gifted cause of all the baggage that comes with it.

Techmom

February 19th, 2013
12:19 pm

@onofeach4me to certain extent I agree. Gifted kids can get by in a regular class but it doesn’t mean that it’s any benefit to their academic success. Since most gifted programs do not actually consist of the gifted kids in a classroom all by themselves all day, I’m going to say that most gifted kids have to learn this concept. I certainly did, though it wasn’t always easy and I had plenty of unsatisfactory behavior grades because when I was bored, I talked… I talked A LOT. What these kids are missing out on by sitting in a class that isn’t challenging them however is a disservice not just to them but to the kids sitting around them and America’s advancement as a whole.

Plus, do you really think the kid who struggles wants to sit next to the kid who gets everything without needing any instruction? It’s not normally going to lead the slower kid to suddenly want to try harder when the kid next to him/her doesn’t even need to try; there is no lesson to be taught only frustration.

oneofeach4me

February 19th, 2013
12:35 pm

“Plus, do you really think the kid who struggles wants to sit next to the kid who gets everything without needing any instruction?”

No. Absolutely not. I know for a FACT that is does cause frustration for the “slower” kid. I see it happen with my son EVERYDAY.

My frustration comes from hearing that same line over and over and over again about wanting the gifted kids to be in a classroom with kids who want to learn. It’s one thing to say you want your child to be challenged with more stimulating curriculum and a totally different one to put the idea and notion out there that if a child is not gifted then they don’t want to learn.

I just feel we need to watch our choice of words sometimes or we will just continue to build a generation who is completely fine with allowing their fellow humans to wallow and perish.

Grasshopper

February 19th, 2013
12:40 pm

What kind of robots are we trying to raise today?

Because that is what we are getting. Go to a restaurant and watch the kids — they all sit their with their digits pressed to a cell phone playing some moronic game. They’re gifted, all right.

Mayhem

February 19th, 2013
1:01 pm

@Grasshoper – Although my kids are older and still living at home, cell phones are prohibited at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Anytime we are together as a family, cell phones are turned OFF. This includes movie and/or game night. Even if any of their friends come over, they know to turn their phones off too, or leave them in another room

Cell phones have contributed GREATLY to the rudness of society. A good friend of mine is a waitress, and she is constantly having to wait, while a rude teenager finishes their game, to place their dinner order.

I myself think it’s very sad to see a family sitting down for a meal, and everyone is buried in their cell phone. No one is talking to each other.

Also, the mere beep of a cell phone will end a face to face conversation in a New York minute!!!!

jarvis

February 19th, 2013
1:34 pm

@Grasshopper and Mayhem, the good news is that the young adults are seeing the issue themselves. I keep hearing more about college age and 20 somethings applying a stigma to a person that disassociates themselves from a group at dinner etc. by paying attention to their phone.

I’ve heard it is now commonplace for young people to place their phones in the center of the table at a restaurant. First person that looks at his/her phone gets the whole check. The idea being that when the meal is over, everyone collects their phone and the check is split up accordingly.

We don’t give this generation enough credit.