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    #136190 - 08/23/12 10:08 AM The Gifted: Left Behind?
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    http://www.bethesdamagazine.com/Bethesda...ehind/index.php
    The Gifted: Left Behind?
    With a new curriculum aimed at meeting the needs of more students, parents of advanced learners fear their kids are getting short shrift
    BY JULIE RASICOT
    Bethesda Magazine
    September-October 2012

    ...

    For years, the national debate in education has centered on No Child Left Behind. But in Montgomery County, a place where more than a third of all public school students are deemed gifted, the debate has been given a different spin.

    Last year, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) introduced Curriculum 2.0, which calls for elementary school students of all skill levels to solve problems—math problems, in particular—together in a single classroom, rather than being segregated according to ability.

    It’s a shift in priority that has parents of gifted students steamed.

    ...

    “Why should only kids who struggle get their needs met?” asks Nancy Green of Bethesda, an MCPS parent who is executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children. “That doesn’t sound like America to me, at the most basic level.”

    MCPS officials counter that dramatic shifts in Montgomery County’s demographics have created a greater need: Minorities have become the majority, and increasing numbers of low-income and immigrant students require more ser­​vices from schools. Because of that, Superintendent Joshua Starr says, MCPS has more kids who need help “getting to standard than we do kids who need to be pushed beyond grade level.”

    ...

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    #136194 - 08/23/12 11:07 AM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Bostonian]
    CCN Offline
    Member

    Registered: 06/25/12
    Posts: 978
    Loc: BC, Canada
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian

    “Why should only kids who struggle get their needs met?” asks Nancy Green of Bethesda, an MCPS parent who is executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children.


    (sigh) That won't work.

    Gifted kids struggle too, and the uninitiated need to know this.

    It's not about better or worse, smarter or less smart. It's about a cognitively and socially appropriate environment. Gifted kids who don't have their intellectual and emotional sensitivities understood and supported suffer just as much as the remedial learners who can't learn mainstream curriculum.

    We're outnumbered, unfortunately, and I think it may be a losing battle.


    Edited by CCN (08/23/12 11:10 AM)

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    #136205 - 08/23/12 12:45 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Bostonian]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    I agree, that kind of rhetoric will never fly.

    The larger question in my mind is always this; why, exactly, are we assuming that the GOALS should be identical for each child?

    Even if the goals are/should be similar for all children, why are we assuming that the methods of gaining those milestones must be?

    What, fundamentally, is public education obliging itself to do for each individual child? Is this furthering those goals? Why/why not?

    The answers then become self-evident. wink

    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #136212 - 08/23/12 02:11 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: HowlerKarma]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Even if the goals are/should be similar for all children, why are we assuming that the methods of gaining those milestones must be?


    Because uniform goals and uniform methods enable very high quality production methods to be developed and allows potential problems to be effectively addressed.

    Look at McDonalds, for an example.

    When you eat a a McDonalds in NYC you are eating the *exact same* type of McHeartAttack as you eat in LA.

    The public *loves* this uniformity, which is reflected in the earnings from the McDonalds corporate entity.

    Think of the problems that are encountered if you start using *different* goals and *different* methods for each McDonalds restaurant. How could you *know* what you were really ordering when you traveled to another area? How could you *know* that the money you were spending would be virtually guaranteed to provide a satisfying sensory and gastronomical experience? You simply wouldn't know!

    Do you want to live in that kind of world? Make a picture in your mind? What do you see?

    It's a profoundly confusing, chaotic, and deeply unsatisfying world, isn't it?


    Edited by JonLaw (08/23/12 02:11 PM)

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    #136214 - 08/23/12 02:49 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Bostonian]
    HowlerKarma Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/05/11
    Posts: 5181
    Originally Posted By: JonLaw
    Originally Posted By: HowlerKarma
    Even if the goals are/should be similar for all children, why are we assuming that the methods of gaining those milestones must be?


    Because uniform goals and uniform methods enable very high quality production methods to be developed and allows potential problems to be effectively addressed.

    Look at McDonalds, for an example.

    When you eat a a McDonalds in NYC you are eating the *exact same* type of McHeartAttack as you eat in LA.

    The public *loves* this uniformity, which is reflected in the earnings from the McDonalds corporate entity.

    Think of the problems that are encountered if you start using *different* goals and *different* methods for each McDonalds restaurant. How could you *know* what you were really ordering when you traveled to another area? How could you *know* that the money you were spending would be virtually guaranteed to provide a satisfying sensory and gastronomical experience? You simply wouldn't know!

    Do you want to live in that kind of world? Make a picture in your mind? What do you see?

    It's a profoundly confusing, chaotic, and deeply unsatisfying world, isn't it?


    {laughing} Oh--ohh-- STOP.... grin must-- breathe--

    yes, I see.

    I guess, then, the question becomes; is the world a better place if McDonald's is the sole (or even "major") arbiter of... er... food?



    At what point does differentiation in education become obviously necessary, though? Is it fifth grade? 12th grade? Graduate education?

    After all, McDonalds is unlikely to begin offering fine food-and-wine pairings anytime soon, no matter how many assemly-line lattes and salads they can sell in addition to burgers. The world does need wedding receptions and romantic celebration dinners in places with white tablecloths. Well, maybe it doesn't, but you catch my drift.

    There is a reason why ordering superb salmon or Dungeness crab is problematic in Omaha, NE. Seems wrong to say that those of us in the Pacific NW ought not have widespread access to them either, though...

    Taking JonLaw's post seriously just for a moment, this Dewey-esque set of assumptions is probably not that far off the mark, however. The problem with that view of an 'industrialized' model of education is that children are less like frozen hamburger and more like Dungeness crab, really great hush-puppies, and Carolina BBQ. Regional specialties got that way for a reason, and their uniqueness or narrow availability doesn't devalue them in the least.

    Which would people rather drink-- Gallo red? Or a remarkable Willamette Valley Pinot Noir? (Or insert other favorite varietal wine.) Hey, Night Train has great quality control, too... (ick)

    I'm actually okay in a world without McDonald's, but I know why many people are not. wink

    ___________________________________________________________________

    And in all seriousness, MoN's points are good ones.
    _________________________
    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.

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    #136215 - 08/23/12 03:38 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Bostonian]
    ultramarina Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    I've been meaning to look at the studies on tracking for a while (for work). Maybe I'll get around to it sooner rather than later.

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    #136217 - 08/23/12 04:43 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Bostonian]
    ABQMom Offline
    Member

    Registered: 08/25/10
    Posts: 868
    Would love to know what you find, ultramarina. If only I'd known since my kids were gifted that they weren't supposed to struggle, school would have been so much easier from the start. Sigh. I cannot believe that kind of comment came out of someone with National Director in her title.

    What I learned in college when I was studying for a degree to teach special ed is that special ed is for any child whose needs are not met by the traditional classroom setting to such a severe degree as to be debilitating and in such a way that the possibility for an adequate education was not possible. That was not limited to kids on only one end of the IQ spectrum but covered kids throughout the spectrum. There are plenty of kids with a severe learning disability and a "normal" IQ. IQ is simply one measuring tool that is used to determine level of need.

    But that was the 80's.
    _________________________
    ~Lisa
    http://www.lisaabeyta.wordpress.com/

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    #136218 - 08/23/12 05:00 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: ultramarina]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    I've been meaning to look at the studies on tracking for a while (for work). Maybe I'll get around to it sooner rather than later.


    There is the thread (that ultramarina has posted in)
    http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...earch_on_a.html
    Meta-analysis of research on ability grouping

    The paper

    http://www.vanderbilt.edu/Peabody/SMPY/InequityInEquity.pdf
    Inequity in equity: How "equity" can lead to inequity for high-potential students.
    Benbow, Camilla Persson; Stanley, Julian C.
    Psychology, Public Policy, and Law, Vol 2(2), Jun 1996, 249-292
    Abstract
    Over the past three decades, the achievement of waves of American students with high intellectual potential has declined as a result of inequity in educational treatment. This inequity is the result of an extreme form of egalitarianism within American society and schools, which involves the pitting of equity against excellence rather than promoting both equity and excellence, anti-intellectualism, the "dumbing down" of the curriculum, equating aptitude and achievement testing with elitism, the attraction to fads by schools, and the insistence of schools to teach all students from the same curriculum at the same level. In this article we provide recommendations for creating positive change--recommendations that emphasize excellence for all, that call for responsiveness to individual differences, and that suggest basing educational policies on well-grounded research findings in psychology and education. Educational policies that fail to take into account the vast range of individual differences among students--as do many that are currently in us--are doomed to be ineffective.

    discusses the research on "detracking" , starting on p16 of the PDF.

    A simple way to find more recent research is to search in Google Scholar for papers that cite the relevant papers in this article.
    _________________________
    "To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle." - George Orwell

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    #136222 - 08/23/12 07:04 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Bostonian]
    Zen Scanner Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    I've noticed a trend of people using "high achievement" when promoting a particular pov. Statistically the Z2+ gifted are only noise in the sorts of studies that talk about the benefits of heterogenous. The other thing I find deceptive is talking about an achievement gap. Because rates of learning are different, a rounded successful program will increase gaps. The relevant discussion is if the rates themselves are improving.

    From the first article: "On its face, it would appear to be an exercise in students working together to solve a problem. But a proponent of gifted segregation might view it differently: One child readily overcomes a group challenge while others watch." I remember that, it made Biology more fun to have my own two personal lab assistants.

    With enough effort, and a hop in Mr. Peabody's Curriculum 2.0, they can all work together at McDonald's.


    Edited by Zen Scanner (08/23/12 07:04 PM)

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    #136224 - 08/23/12 07:13 PM Re: The Gifted: Left Behind? [Re: Zen Scanner]
    JonLaw Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/29/11
    Posts: 2007
    Loc: The Sub-Tropics
    Originally Posted By: Zen Scanner
    The other thing I find deceptive is talking about an achievement gap. Because rates of learning are different, a rounded successful program will increase gaps.


    Bingo.

    A good program means that the faster learners will *increase* the performance gap.

    So a good program will show increasing *divergence* between the students.

    Which in bureaucratic world means Epic Fail.

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