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    #208065 - 12/20/14 10:12 AM Grade skipping trade offs
    VR00 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/16/12
    Posts: 181
    There has been a lot of discussion around pushing for grade skipping but less so on the actual trade offs and timelines. So here goes.

    My SO and I are torn If we should look at grade skipping or not. On a pure test scores point of view it is a clear picture. Testing 3 to 5 grade levels above grade across the board on most standard indicators (WISC, WJIII, MAPS etc ). So a few questions:

    1. How did you make the decision on pushing for acceleration vs just trying to create accommodation or accelerate through other means. Note while their teachers strongly discourage grade skipping they are more than happy to work on IEPs.

    2. have heard that kids who grade skip in most cases end up repeating grades in senior years of school anyway since they hit a wall academically or socially. Has this been accurate in your case? If so would you repeating a senior grade a better option compared to staying with

    3. In retrospect any other trade offs ?

    4. Finally if we do go ahead I am assuming the best time to do so is at the beginning of the new school year. Have folks typically done that? If so when have folks started discussion on this with the school? Jan timeframe for next academic year?


    Thanks.

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    #208068 - 12/20/14 11:32 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: VR00]
    Cookie Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/28/14
    Posts: 599
    1. I just wanted math acceleration but they couldn't figure out how to do it. When they finally figured out I wasn't going to drop it they offered whole grade (I know bizarre turn of events but he was a good candidate for that too...I just wasn't asking for it). We thought about it for about an hour and went for it. He moved the next day to the next grade up.

    2. He won't be repeating a grade later on. It is possible he might even skip again or compact two grades during middle school. We have discussed that this will give him time to have a year as an exchange student in high school if he wants... But I wouldn't count that as repeating a year.

    3. Trade offs...hmmm none that I know.

    4. My son's skip took place about 4 weeks into the new school year, but it was out of the blue. We didn't plan it, it just happened.

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    #208069 - 12/20/14 11:43 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: VR00]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    Originally Posted By: VR00
    My SO and I are torn If we should look at grade skipping or not.
    A great place to start may be reading up on the Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS). Hoagies has a page on the IAS, and Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA) has information on both IAS and " A Nation Deceived".

    Quote:
    1. How did you make the decision on pushing for acceleration vs just trying to create accommodation or accelerate through other means.
    The IAS is a helpful tool.

    Quote:
    Note while their teachers strongly discourage grade skipping they are more than happy to work on IEPs.
    Some teachers/schools/districts may oppose acceleration for a variety of reasons, including:
    - loss of tuition (private schools) and/or state funding (public schools) for the year by which the child's time at that school is shortened by whole-grade acceleration.
    - teacher may be evaluated on student performance, therefore desire to keep the top students. The DoE factsheet requires statewide longitudinal datasystems to include "7.A way to identify teachers and to match teachers to their students".
    - teacher/school/district may be evaluated in part on maintaining statistical quotas by demographic (gender, ethnicity).
    - desire to have top students raise the average grade-level score on standardized tests.
    Note that the above reasoning does not consider what is best for the child, but rather considers that which may be most beneficial to the teacher/school/district.

    Quote:
    2. have heard that kids who grade skip in most cases end up repeating grades in senior years of school anyway since they hit a wall academically or socially.
    I'm not familiar with this, which would essentially be a 5th year of high school.

    Quote:
    3. In retrospect any other trade offs ?
    An accelerated child may be driving later than grade mates. This may matter to some, and not matter to others.
    More examples in this article from the Davidson Database, Tips for Parents: Acceleration.
    More discussion in this recent thread, Radical acceleration....

    Quote:
    4. Finally if we do go ahead I am assuming the best time to do so is at the beginning of the new school year.
    The best time may be when the child's needs may be better met with acceleration. The end of any grade-reporting period can work.

    Does your child want acceleration? The IAS places importance on the child's desire to accelerate or not.

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    #208121 - 12/21/14 07:36 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: VR00]
    VR00 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/16/12
    Posts: 181
    Thanks for the pointers. The IAS scale seems very useful. Will try to get hold of it.

    For me the main trade off seems to be in time available outside of school for other activities. when you grade skipped did you not find increased amount of time required for HW etc which curtailed other activities?

    Also given the flexibility one has with online programs (CTY, EPGY etc) would that not be good alternate option? In the regrets thread their seem to be a bunch of social options to consider especially for girls.

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    #208130 - 12/21/14 09:30 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: VR00]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    A downside to a grade skip may be the willingness of some people to deny accelerated children their earned awards.

    One example may be the presidential physical fitness award. This program has been around for decades, a mainstay of gym classes, and was recently revamped. In both the old program and the new version, scoring performance tables are provided BY AGE.

    I'm aware of children who exceeded published AGE criteria and were looking forward to award day with great anticipation to receive their earned awards, subsequently feeling stung when they were not acknowledged/awarded along with their friends and classmates. Upon exercising great composure in self-advocacy, being told that the school chose to acknowledge/award only those students exceeding the standards for average age for the grade level. This favored red-shirted kids, was fair for grade-level kids, and was punitive for accelerated kids. At least one child was told that since the school assembly and ceremony had passed, it was a moot point and therefore the student was being perceived as petty for inquiring.

    Parents may wish to be prepared to obtain their child/ren's scores and advocate for them to receive their legitimately earned awards. Parents may also choose to expose those who strive to "shame" a child into silence.

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    #208132 - 12/21/14 09:43 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: VR00]
    Questions202 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/20/13
    Posts: 95
    I'm not sure who I am to have opinions. I have one child, a first grader, so I have no idea how our decisions will play out in the future. All kids are different, of course, but I do see some disadvantages. I was born three months before the cutoff and always did best socially with kids two grades younger than me. I spent an extra year in college on purpose. (My parents had no idea what I was doing.) I stayed for the social experience and so I could take more classes that I didn't need.

    I think that social experience is a really important aspect of education for a lot of kids. I'd rather that my child get that from the start, rather than "flunk" herself in college (with my money) so she could spend more time in the cocoon.

    My kid has poor motor/coordination, is in that perfect highly successful zone with math, has to work at spelling and some grammar type skills (not much, but some), and is way, way ahead in reading and the knowledge acquisition that comes with reading and being interested in things. She doesn't crave math on her own, so she does what the school tells her to do. If they told her to do more, she'd do more, and that would be nice, but it would take more work. And if she really had to struggle with writing and spend more time with math, spelling, and grammar, would she still have time to follow her interests, the areas in which she might have true talent?

    I can see how there might be a lot of advantages in moving up a globally gifted kid or a mathematically gifted kid. But my child's science, reading, and history interests wouldn't be met by moving her up a grade or two or maybe three--and she'd be way out of her league in the writing and social areas.

    A few minutes ago my husband texted me from the bookstore. They have been there for almost three hours. He says she's reading all the books about Hanukkah and doesn't want to leave until she's memorized the Hebrew alphabet. If we moved her up, making her less socially successful and giving her a challenge in math, would she lose time to explore her own interests that still wouldn't be met in school? For me, that would be the major disadvantage in moving her up.

    We're trying to achieve the growth mindset that gifted kids don't usually get to experience through music lessons, and we never use the word "gifted," downplay "smart" and talk a lot about hard work. But in many ways, I think the fact that she needs to work less at school does allow her more time to persue interests.

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    #208134 - 12/21/14 10:02 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: Questions202]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4299
    Originally Posted By: Questions202
    I spent an extra year in college on purpose... I stayed for the social experience and so I could take more classes that I didn't need... I'd rather that my child get that from the start, rather than "flunk" herself in college (with my money) so she could spend more time in the cocoon.
    Some may say that taking additional courses is not the same as "flunking" which typically implies a failing grade and therefore a need to take replacement credits. Often, with careful planning, taking extra courses can add up to an additional major, minor, or concentration. Alternatively, it can be a means to complete requisite courses for a higher degree in a different discipline. There are many great reasons to extend by an additional semester or more one's college experience.

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    #208136 - 12/21/14 10:34 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: indigo]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    I would be perfectly happy for my kids to skip a couple of years in primary and do a couple of extra years in high school. The way our school system is set up you only do 5 or 6 subjects for exams. By the time you have done chemistry, physics, biology, maths and English you have limited choices. Having 2 years at each of the final 2 years would allow a greater breadth of subjects. It is also sometimes possible to do extra-mural university papers or work experience.

    This seems much more useful than an extra year doing basics already mastered.

    The main downsides to skipping seem to be that every problem is blamed on the skip and dome teachers try and sabotage the child.


    Edited by puffin (12/21/14 10:35 AM)

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    #208137 - 12/21/14 10:35 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: VR00]
    MegMeg Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/10
    Posts: 615
    Questions202 raises some good points, and a lot depends on whether the kid is "succeeding" socially with their age mates or not. Myself, I was MISERABLE with my age mates. I can't know how I would have done if I'd been placed with older kids, but it very likely would have been better.

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    #208138 - 12/21/14 10:36 AM Re: Grade skipping trade offs [Re: MegMeg]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Originally Posted By: MegMeg
    Questions202 raises some good points, and a lot depends on whether the kid is "succeeding" socially with their age mates or not. Myself, I was MISERABLE with my age mates. I can't know how I would have done if I'd been placed with older kids, but it very likely would have been better.


    Well it couldn't have been much worse.

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