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You won’t hear any of these excuses at the future Rochester-area charter school for gifted learners – https://www.facebook.com/groups/NEOgifted/ – but until then, here are some great answers for when you don’t have Jim Delisle on speed dial!
Originally posted on Free Spirit Publishing Blog:
By Jim Delisle, coauthor ofThe Gifted Teen Survival Guide
When it comes to understanding and serving gifted kids, school administrators run the gamut from awful to awesome—and I’ve worked with both types. The awful ones may talk a good game about how every child’s needs are met through individualized instruction, but the follow-through is lacking (or nonexistent), and the commitment to gifted kids as an important subset of learners is given little more than lip service. The awesome school administrators can actually point to specific programs and classes where gifted kids are grouped with each other regularly and tout the fact that only teachers who have professional knowledge of and experience with gifted kids instruct these intellectually able learners.
When you find that your gifted child’s school is being led by an awesome school administrator, your job as a parent is easy: Mention how particular programs or projects benefit…
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Are you a parent concerned that your gifted child is not having his or her needs met in the schools?
Are you an educator interested creating a classroom where high ability students learn at their own pace and level?
Come join other parents and educators as we explore interest in creating a K-8 gifted academy in the Rochester area! This school will use proven methods to educate gifted learners and help them achieve their potential. Through collaboration of educators, parents, and students, we will design a school built to serve the gifted population often overlooked in traditional schools.
This K-8 charter school will provide a free public education with a focus on gifted and twice exceptional students!
Your voice is vital to the creation and development of this school. This is a school for you, by you, involving you!
Join our Facebook group at www.facebook.com/groups/NEOgifted/
Please pass this along to anyone you think would be interested!
This program is neither sponsored nor endorsed by the Rochester Hills Public Library.
Since we believe that all of our children are winners, the need for athletic ability and the competitive “urge to win” will be kept to a minimum.
Is this sentence, found in a flyer regarding Field Day at North Hill Elementary in Rochester Hills, MI, indicative of the reasoning that keeps gifted programs out of most public schools? Have our schools adopted the mantra of “Since we believe that all of our children are gifted, the need for academic ability and the competitive ‘urge to excel’ will be kept to a minimum’? Sadly, this appears to be the case and it is harming all children.
It is understandable how this attitude harms the child who is strong in an area. We remove her chance to shine, explore her strengths, and understand her unique abilities. We teach him that his natural ability doesn’t need to be accompanied by hard work and that succeeding beyond artificial standards is neither expected nor rewarded. We actually rob her of one of the best chances to build self-esteem, because self-esteem is not built from easily succeeding where others struggle, but knowing that with struggle, you are able to overcome difficulty and succeed.
What is more insidious is the harm this attitude causes to all children.
You may be thrilled your state is moving to Common Core. Or you might detest the Common Core State Standards. Either way, if you are a parent of a gifted student or a struggling learner, you have an important reason to want the Smarter Balanced assessment implemented.
The Smarter Balanced assessment can help measure growth.
The Smarter Balanced test will adapt to your child’s academic level as she takes the test. If she is answering correctly, the questions become tougher and rise in grade level. If she is answering incorrectly, the test will pose questions from a lower grade level. At the end, the student is provided two scores. One measures proficiency in that subject. One is the equivalent grade level in that subject. Subtract last year’s equivalent grade level from this year’s and determine how much growth was made.
Your current assessment only provides proficiency and only in a narrow band. A student who far exceeds expectations for that grade cannot be accurately measured as they are above the ceiling for standardized proficiency exams. A student who is far below grade level also cannot be accurately measured as the test isn’t designed for him either. A written standardized test by necessity cannot test outside a narrow band. It is not adaptive. Read more…