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    #185065 - 03/17/14 05:17 AM The poor neglected gifted child
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2595
    Loc: MA
    The poor neglected gifted child
    By Amy Crawford
    Boston Globe
    MARCH 16, 2014


    GIVEN ALL THE PRESSURES our education system faces, it seems almost indecent to worry about the travails of a small minority of very smart children. Understandably, federal and state education policy has long focused on more obvious problems that education can help address—problems such as the yawning gaps between the test scores of rich and poor students and between different racial groups. Tax dollars disproportionately go to help kids with learning disabilities and other disadvantages, because society generally agrees that they are most in need of help.

    In 2002, President George W. Bush signed the No Child Left Behind Act, which penalizes public schools that don’t bring the lowest-performing students up to grade level. The federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act regulates special education and provides schools with more than $11 billion annually. A provision of federal education law called Title I allocates some $14 billion to schools that have a higher proportion of students from low-income families, to pay for programs designed to keep them from falling behind.

    The smartest kid in class, by contrast, is not an expensive problem. A boy or girl who finishes an assignment early can be handed a book and told to read quietly while the teacher works on getting other children caught up. What would clearly be neglect if it happened to a special-needs child tends to look different if the child is gifted: Being left alone might even feel like a reward, an acknowledgment of being a fast learner.

    Not surprisingly, programs oriented toward gifted children get barely any federal funding. The Javits Act, the only federal law aimed at gifted students, pays for research and pilot education programs and is currently funded at $5 million, down from a peak of $11 million several years ago.


    #185066 - 03/17/14 06:06 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    luvedu Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 02/26/14
    Posts: 31

    Thank you for the lovely Article and the cartoon is hilarious!

    Yes in this country it is a crime to be rich and a punishment to be intelligent !

    #185069 - 03/17/14 06:50 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Thank you for sharing this thought provoking article.

    Trying to digest this thought: "Lubinski’s unusually successful cohort was also a lucky group from the start—they participated in the study in the first place because their parents or teachers encouraged them to take the SAT at age 12. Previous research into gifted children has shown that many, or even most of them, aren’t so lucky: They aren’t identified early, and they don’t necessarily get special attention from their schools."

    Familiar with children who took out-of-level academic talent search tests, specifically to help encourage teachers/schools/districts to provide appropriate curriculum and pacing... these kiddos, from a broad range of SES, at 12 years old had spent a range of 5-7 years in the public and/or private school systems... years which were largely characterized by benign neglect and no special attention from schools, whether "identified" or not. Some may even go so far as to say that children were "identified" to determine who not to teach. sick

    There may be great danger in presuming that a child having taken the SAT at age 12 (or any other out-of-level academic talent search test at any age) is an earmark of the child having been the beneficiary of support, challenge, special attention, or appropriate curriculum placement/pacing from their school.

    More from the article: "Politically, it raises the fraught question of whether our education system should be in the business of identifying and segregating elite students—an idea that has been tried and rejected before, for good reasons."More from real life: Kiddos may have long been identified and segregated, not for appropriate curriculum and pacing (as the article seems to imply) but rather "identified" and segregated to be recipients of benign neglect in the classroom. Several forum posts discuss gifted children receiving no instruction. sick

    The article referring to students with a rare and extremely high intellectual profile as "elite" students may seem to imply wealth or high SES amongst these students, as the definition of "elite" is somewhat ambiguous as to indicating a high amount of talent, power, or wealth.

    #185074 - 03/17/14 07:37 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    I thought this was a good article on a topic that rarely receives any coverage that looks anything close to balanced. Of course I support helping gifted children, but educational justice is also very important to me.

    #185075 - 03/17/14 07:54 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    DeeDee Offline

    Registered: 04/16/10
    Posts: 2498
    "talent war." Ugh.

    #185076 - 03/17/14 08:05 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: ultramarina]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4293
    Of course I support helping gifted children, but educational justice is also very important to me.
    In seeming to balance these statements as being opposed to one another by use of the fulcrum word "but"... how do you define educational justice in this context if it is other than helping gifted children by providing opportunity to meet the educational needs of students requiring the support/challenge of advanced academic placement and pacing due to their readiness and ability to learn at that level?

    I support helping gifted children because educational justice is very important to me.

    #185077 - 03/17/14 08:13 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: DeeDee]
    La Texican Offline

    Registered: 07/10/10
    Posts: 1777
    Loc: South Texas
    Originally Posted By: article
    Other education researchers propose gearing the entire curriculum toward the highest-achieving students, with extra time outside of class for their less-talented peers to catch up. It’s an idea that Adam Gamoran, president of the youth-focused William T. Grant Foundation and a former University of Wisconsin sociologist, says could address the issue of inequality without holding back high achievers.

    Ooh, I like this idea, so very much. It's just so reasonable.
    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar

    #185081 - 03/17/14 08:31 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    Zen Scanner Offline

    Registered: 07/13/12
    Posts: 1478
    Loc: NC
    Justice seems complicated because you can look at intent or outcomes or opportunities or resources or?.

    If only one student learns at twice the pace, should twice as much course material be purchased for just them?

    What if there are two students moving at twice the pace, one has tutors and works three hours a day at home on their education, the other only does school work at school. Should they get the same school resources?

    24 students in a classroom, 18 moving at the same pace and can receive the same instruction, three moving faster and three moving slower need additional instruction to support where they are at. If the teacher has time each week for 24 hours of instruction for the classroom, should 18 of those go to the middle level, 3 to fast, and 3 to slow? Or should it be 8 hours to each group.

    It's a pretty muddled sort of moral/ethical mix that can leave me feeling a bit uncertain about just where the line of "fair" exists.

    #185082 - 03/17/14 08:34 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    Sweetie Offline

    Registered: 06/05/11
    Posts: 669
    I think fair starts with dropping strictly age based groupings.
    ...reading is pleasure, not just something teachers make you do in school.~B. Cleary

    #185083 - 03/17/14 08:45 AM Re: The poor neglected gifted child [Re: Bostonian]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    Indigo, I'm specifically concerned with this:

    Lucas warns that any such effort will be gamed by more well-to-do parents, angling to get their children in, then fighting to ensure the gifted group gets better teachers, newer technology, and other advantages. Great care would be required, he says, so as not to “end up with another system for those at the top to reinforce that they belong there.”

    and this:

    Those who were groomed to be followers, he notes, consistently wound up with worse teachers, scarcer supplies, and a weaker curriculum than their more advanced peers.

    Unintended consequences, of course. But very real phenoms in my experience--and those they hurt are those who can least afford it. Of course, this doesn't mean we should throw the gifted under the bus. But it's very complicated. My DD's school contains a GT magnet housed in a Title 1 school and yes, there are issues.

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