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Questionnaire: MI State Representative District #45 – Michael Webber (R)

July 28, 2014

Rochester SAGE sent a questionnaire to each candidate for State Representative District #45. Here are Michael Webber’s responses.
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1) Currently most gifted students in Michigan’s public schools are not being taught at their academic level. As a legislator, what bills would you draft or support to increase gifted education?
Every student needs to feel challenged in school, whether they are gifted or learn at a slower pace. We have to realize that one size does not fit all and that children learn at different levels. We should not hold back the children who are learning at a faster pace. I think some ways that we can address this is is through offering more AP classes and also continuing to partner with colleges and universities to offer college level courses for high school students.
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2) Gifted students make up about 5-7% of the population. Should taking a class in teaching gifted students be part of becoming a Highly Qualified Teacher? Why or why not?

I would leave that up to our colleges and universities who are training teachers at that level. Certainly I would not seek a state mandate for that type of class. I think teachers strive to be ready to teach all students across the spectrum. That would be my expectation.

 

3) Schools often claim lack of funding is the primary reason they can’t provide gifted education. Should the state allocate funds for gifted education? Why or why not?

Certainly the state can and should continue to look at how we fund public education. Currently it is done on a Per Pupil basis. I am open to looking at alternatives, but under the current Per Pupil formula I would not support additional funding towards these programs.

 

4) Should the state mandate identification or services for gifted and talented education in public schools? Why or why not?

I don’t think that the state should mandate identification in that I fear it would be too tied to a particular test and some students test better than others. The service part of it I think the state can work with local schools with regard to what services are being offered like AP courses and partnerships with colleges/universities.

 

5) Many parents of gifted children believe gifted charter schools are the best option for properly educating gifted learners. Would you support gifted charter schools? Why or why not?

I do support charter schools, home schools, online schools, etc. I am a product of our public schools, but again I do not like a one size fits all approach. I am proud to be endorsed by the Great Lakes Education Project who promotes many of these different alternatives along with pushing for rigorous standards in public schools.

 

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Publication of this questionnaire and responses does not imply an endorsement of a candidate.

Thank you for reading Rochester SAGE.  Together we can make a difference for gifted children!

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