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    #126223 - 03/26/12 11:58 AM Appealing a decision to not place in gifted
    Karenwithsix Offline
    New Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 1
    This is my first post here, but I need some help so I apologize for not doing a introductory post first.

    I would like any advice on appealing a decision to not place my 3rd grade daughter in gifted programs.

    In Georgia, she needs to score 96% or above on an ability test (Otis Lennon or Naglieri), 90% or above on a creativity test, and 90% or above on the total math or total reading of the ITBS. My daughter scored a 97% on the creativity test (PAC?), her NNAT2 score was a 158, and her ITBS score was an 89% for Total math, and somewhere about 80% (can't recall exact) on total reading. She was given the ITBS one-on-one and was not ill or anything. I do know, from the teacher giving the test, that she did all of her math in her head.

    She does well in school with all As and is considered by her teachers to be very highly creative.

    She is the youngest of 6 kids who all had similar ability and achievement profiles in elementary, and had their achievement test scores rise dramatically in middle school. All the others scored in gifted levels on the WISC or Stanford Binet, all far higher in perceptual and quantitative areas than verbal. She has two siblings with Aspergers. She has taken the Cogat in 1st and 3rd grade and her nonverbal is far higher than the verbal and quantitative. This is also similar to several of her siblings.

    I don't think she has Aspergers - she's just too witty. But she has the similar blunt-to-a-fault problem.

    I am appealing her lack of gifted placement based primarily on the 158 on the Naglieri. But if anyone can offer some other ideas or thoughts to argue an appeal for this sort of child, I would truly appreciate it.

    The elementary school gifted program accelerates some kids in math and other subjects. But it's still a pull-out program and my next older daughter had no problem with the gifted program at all -- and I don't think my youngest has any less ability to do the same.


    #126254 - 03/26/12 06:40 PM Re: Appealing a decision to not place in gifted [Re: Karenwithsix]
    kcab Offline

    Registered: 10/02/07
    Posts: 1603
    Loc: Sparta, apparently
    Welcome, Karen! Appealing the decision definitely sounds like a good idea. I think someone who is familiar with Georgia will probably be the most help, if I remember correctly there are a few regular posters who live there and may know something locally relevant.

    In the absence of information on the appeals process in your locale, I think that gathering together a portfolio of her work, in and out of school, and test scores might be useful. It might also be helpful to search for someone who can help you advocate, perhaps the state gifted association knows someone who does that?

    The real question is whether the gifted program is a good match for your daughter, and whether it is worth the fight to get into. Some programs aren't really worth the effort.

    #126269 - 03/26/12 10:27 PM Re: Appealing a decision to not place in gifted [Re: Karenwithsix]
    aculady Offline

    Registered: 12/31/10
    Posts: 1040
    Originally Posted By: Karenwithsix

    I don't think she has Aspergers - she's just too witty. But she has the similar blunt-to-a-fault problem.

    I don't think you can rule out an Asperger's diagnosis in a child with a 158 IQ primarily on the basis that they are witty. High IQ can help you develop strategies to compensate for weak areas. My son with Asperger's is highly verbally gifted and has a wicked sense of humor, much of which is based on puns, word play around the literal meanings of figurative expressions, and around deliberately ambiguous statements, probably because he has to pay so much attention to these aspects of language in order to get them right.

    I think that you can make a case that your child's lack of classroom exposure to the academic material tested on the achievement tests could very well have contributed to performance that did not meet the cut-offs; even gifted children need to have some exposure to math, for example, in order to learn it. It's not like being gifted is some magic property that downloads information out of nothingness into a child's head. You have strong support for excellent reasoning ability from the ability and creativity scores, so I'd advocate on that basis.

    #126276 - 03/27/12 06:46 AM Re: Appealing a decision to not place in gifted [Re: Karenwithsix]
    Dude Offline

    Registered: 10/04/11
    Posts: 2856
    So if I'm parsing the OP correctly, these are the state requirements, and how your DD scored:

    96% NNAT -> 99+%
    90% creativity test -> 97%
    90% ITBS LA or Math -> 89% math

    In other words, if I'm reading this correctly, she has missed the cut-off by one point in math? And the tester said she did it all in her head?

    This suggests two options to me. First, I'd appeal the decision to exclude her from GT services, emphasizing both the extraordinary NNAT score and the tester's statement that she did all the math in her head. If that doesn't get any headway, the next option would be to insist on an ITBS re-test, and review test-taking strategies with DD before she begins.

    #126279 - 03/27/12 07:38 AM Re: Appealing a decision to not place in gifted [Re: Karenwithsix]
    jack'smom Offline

    Registered: 01/02/10
    Posts: 757
    Can you get private IQ testing? In our district, you can't appeal the decision- if your child missed the cutoff, they missed the cutoff. Maybe try more complete testing with the WISC. The NNAT is a spatial, non-verbal kind of test only.

    #126296 - 03/27/12 09:24 AM Re: Appealing a decision to not place in gifted [Re: Karenwithsix]
    Beckee Offline

    Registered: 07/19/11
    Posts: 332
    Loc: Hawaii
    If the school followed this approach to making educational decisions when they were deciding if students were eligible for Special Education, they would be in all kinds of hot water!

    Three suggestions for approaches.

    My favorite: appeal on the grounds that she clearly does need gifted services in reading. In Special Education, you wouldn't be denied services because you were proficient in math and well below in reading. In fact, a Specific Learning Disability is how about half the US students receiving special education services qualify for services under IDEA.

    The math geek way: Look for 95% confidence intervals in the report. If they aren't in there, ask for them. A 95% confidence interval is the statistical way to account for the fact that students perform differently on different days, for all kinds of reasons. The tests are designed and normed so that assessors can come up with a range of scores in which the student is likely to fall on 95% of attempts to test.

    The 3-Ring Renzulli Way: google Three ring and Renzulli. Argue that your daughter's combination of ability and task commitment make her a natural candidate for gifted services.


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