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‘Holding-Back’ Gifted Students

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A report by a group of experts on gifted education makes an impassioned plea for schools to allow exceptionally bright children to push ahead their learning, writes Education Week Associate Editor Debra Viadero.

4 Comments

What can be done to help gifted students receive the services they need from the school district?

Sherri Meagher

Were there really no comments, or did they just get deleted?
1) Educate the school administrators about what happens to kids when their minds go numb from boredom. The administrators have to understand what's at stake, and the long-term effects of their sometimes thoughtless decisions.
2) MANDATE research-based methods of identification (such as IOWA Acceleration Scale). In MD, districts are free to ignore state recommendations, which are based on a report by Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth.
3) The federal Department of Education details the law which ALLOWS SCHOOLS TO DISCRIMINATE BASED ON AGE. Age is very much *NOT* a reasonable measure of readiness for gifted kids, and school entry and aadvancement should be based on READINESS, not age!
4) Until the schools will do the right thing for gifted kids, give us (parents) vouchers to pay for private schools where kids who are READY to learn are given the opportunity to do so.

I met a 5 year old last month who was reading better than many adults. The school district paid for her to take a ballet class. What will they do for her when she's 10 - send her off to learn underwater basket weaving?

As mentioned above, gifted kids are poorly protected by law. It may be YOU that must assume a crucial role as your child's advocate. Self-educate on the computer. Some states (who actually have gifted programming) may have a state specialist in their Department of Education who can refer you to applicable state publications. Get to know the district gifted program planner. Attend the gifted advisory committee meetings if they exist. Be prepared to
assume this role for your child's school career
until they can self-advocate. The gifted child's
needs are often far from the top of the list during these days of NCLB. INSIST that your child learns new things and accesses a curriculum which benefits him/her. This takes work but I bet your child is worth it! Good luck.

I asked the question in 2005 and now it is 2008. I want to thank both of you for your feedback on my original question.
What can be done to help gifted students receive the services they need from the school district?

Does anyone have feedback?

Thank you.
Sherri Meagher

Comments are now closed for this post.

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Recent Comments

  • Sherri Meagher, MSW: I asked the question in 2005 and now it is read more
  • Diane Hanfmann/Parent Advocate/Teacher: As mentioned above, gifted kids are poorly protected by read more
  • Cheryl/Radar Engineer/Math teacher: Were there really no comments, or did they just get read more
  • Sherri Meagher: What can be done to help gifted students receive the read more

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