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    #124799 - 03/06/12 07:26 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: Bostonian]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    I think you insert left-wing politics in some of your posts.

    In this thread we are discussing why there are not more resources for gifted education. I think it is relevant to point out that a government monopoly staffed by unionized, tenured teachers will not use its resources effectively. Yes, this is a view more popular on the right than the left, but there are some Democrats who support charter schools and other efforts to
    break the government school monopoly.

    That wasn't an invitation to do it more.

    #124800 - 03/06/12 08:04 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    Mark D. Offline

    Registered: 12/31/69
    Posts: 271
    Hello all - please stay on topic in regards to hinotes' original post.


    #124803 - 03/06/12 08:17 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: Dude]
    Austin Offline

    Registered: 06/25/08
    Posts: 1840
    Loc: North Texas
    Originally Posted By: Dude
    Originally Posted By: Austin
    Low ability: welfare
    High ability: high taxes

    Does every thread need your right-wing politics?


    I am pretty left of center. I can remember when that was about something different than it is today.

    A society built on one half not contributing and the other half being demonized is not one that is built on shared, egalitarian community values. After a while everyone is then in it for themselves. Which is exactly the opposite of what was intended.

    #124806 - 03/06/12 08:59 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    ABQMom Offline

    Registered: 08/25/10
    Posts: 868
    I understand the sentiment, hinote. It is tough and frustrating to watch our own child being short-changed no matter how reasonable, right or worthy it is that others are receiving support.

    But when you consider the historical short-changing within our educational system, those on the higher end of the spectrum have always had more tools at hand to overcome the challenges presented than those who used to be institutionalized or completely denied access to an education at all. And the reason the plight of those at the lower end of the spectrum has changed is because of some very passionate, vocal advocates who worked tirelessly for years to change not only the educational opportunities but the laws within the country to provide rights to those individuals.

    I personally don't think it has to be either/or. It will simply take those who are willing to be just as loud, vocal and reasonable in their advocacy for change for the needs of individuals on the high end of the spectrum.

    I was having a chat with two of the high school gifted students who are interning with me this semester, and they were both vocalizing how difficult it is to get or even expect sympathy for their challenges. As one of them said, "Yeah, it's kinda hard to expect sympathy, no matter how true it is, when I say that I need help learning not to hide my intelligence or that I'm bored because I'm just oh-so-smart or that I deserve opportunities nobody else gets to experience because I have more to offer and to gain from the experience (such as the mentoring program that allows them to work for me for class credit)."

    She's right. It's much easier to see the need, feel compelled to help when the need is so apparent and real as it is in the lower spectrum. It is going to take telling stories that the general population can accept, believe and get behind in order to gain mass support for the needs gifted kids face. It's a much more difficult task.

    If we as parents make it an either/or option in our own minds or in our advocacy of our children's needs, we'll never win - and we shouldn't in an either/or scenario. So for me, it's about not comparing but simply advocating and telling stories that make those around us understand what our kids go through, what they need to succeed with their own set of needs.

    #124809 - 03/06/12 09:07 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: Bostonian]
    Val Offline

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3290
    Loc: California
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    ...but there are some Democrats who support charter schools and other efforts to break the government school monopoly.

    Charter schools aren't necessarily the answer. The school I complained about in my geometry/small vent thread is a charter school.

    In California (other states too?), charter schools have no oversight. I've written about how terrible the math instruction is at DS's school (and it advertises itself as specializing in math and science, no less). Plus, so far this year, they've sent letters home twice requiring "donations" of cash or goods. These donations are "homework assignments," and if you don't donate, your child's grade suffers in one class (if you don't believe me, PM me and I'll email you proof). The school's charter promises x school days and y hours of instruction, and it falls way short on both counts. But no one can step in and say, "Fix this" because no one has direct supervisory authority. The superintendent can revoke the charter, but this pretty extreme and I expect it isn't easy. And to be honest, I'm not sure that he cares.

    Charter schools basically get instant tenure. So if you think that a tenured poor teacher is bad, try a tenured poor school.

    #124817 - 03/06/12 10:11 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    Natk Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 10/02/11
    Posts: 14
    My Dad is semi-retired at 70 (was in sales until the last 10 years) and works as an aide teaching Life Skills in HS. The sad thing is he is the aide and he is the only one teaching and mentoring(Dad is college degreed with teacher certification). The two teachers could care less about helping these students out. We have a DD7 who tested into GT and my Dad feels that she should have the same learning oppurtunities as the disabled students. Accomadating GT kids is much cheaper (grade skips, sub acceleration, differentiation, GT only classrooms in larger school districts, etc.) than accommodating disabled students. Definitley, believe disabled students should get every opportunity available to them because after HS most programs stop. I swear my brother was 2E gifted but the school couldn't figure him out since he didnt fit inside a perfectly square box. He refused to do busy work or take notes but would ace tests. Unfortunately, he would fail the class due to not completing assignments. This was all in the 80s when no one had a clue and there were NO options. District wouldn't allow him to take courses at the tech or community college. He finally dropped out as a sophomore and was able to pass the GED on his first try without studying or taking all the HS courses. My brother is now thriving in the mechanical engineering field and is constantly being bombarded with job offers in this economy due to his natural raw talent that public schools could never harness. I just wish public schools could use their resources and energy more wisely and try help all students at all learning levels. My DD7 is bored to tears at school (literally) and is not getting any differentiation in school. GT students are grouped in math with kids that can't make atleast a 70 on their end of unit assessment (CBE). The students who don't pass get 1 hour of free tutoring per week from their teacher so they can try to comprehend the lesson so they might be able to pass the staar testing. There are 6 kids in her GT cluster class that can't pass math CBEs so the pace is ridiculously slow. Would sure be nice if the school would offer th GT students one free hour of challenging math work per week. I am all for tutoring students who are struggling (I struggled in math to say the least) but they are getting challenged my daughter is not. Now DD7 is a math buddy to one of these students so less learning will take place.....Ugghhh!

    #124819 - 03/06/12 10:22 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    hinotes Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/09/12
    Posts: 45
    Natk - Thanks for your insight.

    My daughter was also bored to tears. She developed stomach aches and major anxiety being asked to do work that she easily did two years ago. She said she felt like she didn't belong there. It was all of her classes.

    She is out of school now two months and her stomach aches are completely gone. Anxiety is still there for her but not a daily issue anymore.

    I teach her at the level she needs and she is doing fantastic. Very, very few people understand how hard it is for these kids to be held back so very much. It was truly painful for her. She would escape every chance she could in a book. Thank goodness for the library and that she had a teacher who would let her read any time she finished her work (which was pretty much the majority of the day).

    ~ Christine smile
    Homeschooling DD in PA

    #124829 - 03/06/12 11:46 AM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    DAD22 Offline

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 312
    hinotes, It sounds like public school was your first choice for your daughter, but her reaction to their lack of accommodation made you pull her out, right? Yet they can be very accommodating to those on the other end of the intelligence spectrum, and you witnessed this first hand. It certainly doesn't seem fair. I sure hope that public schools like yours become more accommodating of gifted children in the future.

    It seems to me that the gifted children are the most likely to figure out the things that improve everyone's lives, and it would be in our best interest to help them reach their potential. Ultimately we can't answer the question about what schools should do without answering the question of what schools are for, and that's not the purpose of this thread. In fact, I'm not sure there's a place on this discussion board for that topic.

    At any rate, I wish you and your daughter the best, and I hope that I find my public school accommodating of my kids' needs, whatever they might be.

    #124831 - 03/06/12 12:12 PM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    hinotes Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/09/12
    Posts: 45

    What a lovely way to sum it up for me. Thanks. : )

    I hope that your public school accommodates your childrens' needs as well, in the future.

    I am thrilled to be able to be a part of my daughter's education like I am now, so all things have worked out for us in the end.

    Thank you for making me smile.
    ~ Christine smile
    Homeschooling DD in PA

    #124835 - 03/06/12 12:24 PM Re: A sad realization last week.... [Re: hinotes]
    aculady Offline

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 1040
    It took me a few days to be able to write a semi-rational response to this...

    In my experience, many schools are unwilling to provide appropriate services for anyone unless the parents advocate relentlessly, and often not even then, regardless of where on the intellectual spectrum a child falls. My son is rather dramatically 2E, and we homeschool in large part because it is just easier than having to take the district to court and fight constantly to get any accomodations for his disabilities or appropriate acceleration for his strengths.

    It is a pervasive myth that students with disabilities have huge resources lavished on them and that they are generally getting an appropriate,individualized education.

    It is likely that the parents of those two students went through the wringer to get an appropriate education for their children - and for all that, the education the children are getting still might not be appropriate: ESE programs are notorious for having the children placed in them fall further and further behind their age peers, when the whole point is supposed to be to provide intensive, targeted intruction to help them catch up.

    The only reason many schools provide any ESE services at all to kids with disabilities is that the parents of kids with disabilities fought tooth and nail to get laws like the IDEA passed to force districts to educate their kids to at least a minimum level. While IDEA is the law of the land, it has never been fully funded, so only a fraction of the federal money that is supposed to be available to help districts provide services actually is, although they still have a legal mandate to provide a FAPE for children with disabilities. Full funding of the IDEA mandate would free up state and local education funds that could be used for gifted programs, so encouraging your congresspersons to support full IDEA funding could potentially help your district provide better services to the gifted children it should be serving.

    If this is really something you feel strongly about, I recommend sharing "A Nation Deceived" with your local school board and your state and national senators and representatives, and joining state and national associations for the gifted and encouraging them to support state- or national-level legislation to codify a requirement for appropriate education services for gifted students.

    Edited by aculady (03/06/12 12:25 PM)
    Edit Reason: typo

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