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    #238248 - 05/09/17 09:51 AM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: HoosierMommy]
    ashley Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/26/12
    Posts: 639
    Originally Posted By: HoosierMommy


    The other teacher we've been in conversation with is the math curriculum leader for the district. He originally told us DD8 has a good conceptual understanding of 3rd grade math, then a month later told me DD needs to be re-evaluted on 3rd grade concepts to make sure she understands. What?!


    BTDT. I typed up a long reply on what the conversation between the Math Curriculum Leader and the Administrator might have been in order to make this person change his mind - and then, because sarcasm, stinging critiques etc might offend forum rules, I deleted it.
    Paraphrasing politely, this math curriculum leader will keep stalling for a long time because he has been told to re-evaluate his opinion of your daughter.
    Our local school district talks nicely to parents (they are public servants and are obligated to look friendly to me, after all), tests kids and then makes fake promises that they never deliver on. Later, we found out that many parents whose kids did not qualify for gifted services hired lawyers to sue the school district and claimed in the suit that the testing itself could be challenged as it was neither an accurate measure of IQ nor was the testing environment fair. I am told that the outcome was not favorable to the district. So, the district decided to offer "in-class differentiation" based on teacher's observations, which never really worked out for anyone in my child's elementary school (there were 4 PG kids in my son's class). Needless to say, my child is not educated in that system anymore.
    You are better off getting outside validation of her math proficiency (Talent Search, competition wins etc) and then re-advocating. After schooling in math is a good option until this is resolved.

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    #238255 - 05/09/17 11:52 AM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: ashley]
    HoosierMommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/06/08
    Posts: 174
    Loc: Cincinnati, OH
    Originally Posted By: ashley


    BTDT. I typed up a long reply on what the conversation between the Math Curriculum Leader and the Administrator might have been in order to make this person change his mind - and then, because sarcasm, stinging critiques etc might offend forum rules, I deleted it.


    That would have been entertaining.

    Quote:
    Paraphrasing politely, this math curriculum leader will keep stalling for a long time because he has been told to re-evaluate his opinion of your daughter.


    He told me he wants to see data that she has done the work and understands the 4th grade math concepts. DD has done a little 4th grade math at school and some at home (trying not to do a ton at home because I want her to have plenty of time to play and be a kid), but the math curriculum leader doesn't understand that DD doesn't necessarily need classroom instruction to pass his test. It's hard to explain that to someone who doesn't share that ability.

    Quote:
    Our local school district talks nicely to parents (they are public servants and are obligated to look friendly to me, after all), tests kids and then makes fake promises that they never deliver on.


    I'm starting to get that feeling from our district. However, the principle was all-for acceleration, and our problems didn't start until he handed off duties to other less-evolved educators. By the time we talked to the principle last Dec., he had already skipped around 5 kids up to 4th grade. He said 5 years ago he would never had done that, but he's read the research and understands it's better for them.

    Our district is supposed to be good with GT kids; it's the main reason we came here. It's a high socioeconomic town with a lot of identified GT kids. Maybe that makes me even more amazed that the teacher and administrator don't get it.

    Quote:
    You are better off getting outside validation of her math proficiency (Talent Search, competition wins etc) and then re-advocating. After schooling in math is a good option until this is resolved.


    We are considering an individual assessment/IQ testing. I'm on the fence about it: is it really worth it? Will it help us advocate? Any experience with that?

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    #238256 - 05/09/17 12:08 PM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: HoosierMommy]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    What's your relationship with the principal like? If it is really good, it might be worth requesting another meeting and talking through the presented options. (I'm basing this on your comment that he's read the research and acted accordingly.)

    We found that having outside data helped us. YMMV. In your case, it sounds as though it might be really helpful to have test results showing where your daughter is at in math. (Objective tests, not the one that she might be given again at the school.) Also, be aware that some educators think a passing score to move on needs to be 100% in these circumstances. We were fortunate that the educator who gave end-of-year tests to our DS thought that 80% was the bar. (DS scored higher than that, but the tester said if it was in the 80s, we would discuss a plan to accelerate while we would fill in "gaps" at home.)

    You may also find that test results could qualify your child for gifted programs (weekend camps, etc.) outside the school district.

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    #238257 - 05/09/17 12:12 PM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: HoosierMommy]
    ConnectingDots Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/06/13
    Posts: 848
    BTW, we are also in a school district which is highly regarded and where many of the children are "above average." Our conversations there indicated that it made them reluctant to move outside their primarily differentiation in the classroom + pullout model, because other parents would ask for the same... Also, they only wanted to make acceleration-type changes in the summer, when they were less visible to other parents. When you are the parents trying to meet your child's needs, it is sometimes hard to believe that other parents see acceleration as some sort of prize. But those parents are out there, wreaking havoc.

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    #238265 - 05/09/17 01:46 PM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: ConnectingDots]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4956
    I was thinking along the same lines as ConnectingDots... wondering whether it might prove helpful to consult once again with the Principal on a possible acceleration (full-grade acceleration or subject acceleration).

    The Iowa Acceleration Scale (IAS) can be very helpful when considering the PROs and CONs of a potential grade skip. As an added benefit, using the IAS process can also diplomatically assist with parents who might like to entertain the idea of a grade skip for their child... when the child would not be a strong candidate for acceleration at this time.

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    #238266 - 05/09/17 01:51 PM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: HoosierMommy]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4956
    Originally Posted By: HoosierMommy
    ... amazed that the teacher and administrator don't get it.
    They may get it, but their incentivized priority may be staying employed and having a positive performance review, when assessed and held accountable for "closing gaps" and creating "equal outcomes".

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    #238270 - 05/09/17 03:42 PM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: polarbear]
    knute974 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/22/09
    Posts: 683
    Loc: controlled chaos
    Originally Posted By: polarbear
    Originally Posted By: spaghetti
    Because they believe what they are teaching is hard stuff. Especially in math. And they've heard that if you skip over anything, the child will not have a good understanding of basic concepts and will fail algebra. The teachers have this drilled into them that kids get math phobia, that kids can appear to understand, but not really understand. This makes them worried about advancing kids unless they are really really sure. And they hear stories about teachers that got it wrong and the kid struggled later. And they don't want to be that teacher. There is nothing that they can confidently look at to say this child has mastered this because there is always a reason in the back of their head why they may not be seeing things clearly.


    One thing I'd add to spaghetti's insight above.... we found that most of the teachers we dealt with in elementary school (at my ds' first school) weren't people who had a core strength in math themselves; they were often people who'd found math challenging when they were students, and they didn't really understand that math is easy for some people.

    polarbear


    I'd like to add that it's probably worse because you have a girl instead of a boy that is gifted in math. I have two girls who are very gifted in math. We fought the perception that "gifted boys do well in math and gifted girls do well in language arts" for YEARS. We did not find a teacher who truly understood our girls until high school. BTW, that teacher is male and I am so thankful for him.

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    #238271 - 05/09/17 04:00 PM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: HoosierMommy]
    dreamsbig Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/19/14
    Posts: 66
    Originally Posted By: HoosierMommy
    [quote=ashley]

    We are considering an individual assessment/IQ testing. I'm on the fence about it: is it really worth it? Will it help us advocate? Any experience with that?



    I had DS tested with the WISC-V and am very glad that I did. What I found most helpful, was that it gave me confidence to advocate for my child. Before the testing, I was wondering if I wasn't being objective because it was "my child" or some wishful thinking on my part. Also, I if didn't have DS's WISC scores, I would have been much more inclined to accept/believe whatever the school told me.

    If you do get testing done, be prepared that schools are often resistant to outside testing. Both the school principal and the director of gifted services at our district, insisted that they don't accept outside evaluations. However, to make a long story short, I was able to get them to accept the WISC-V and did get DS accelerated in math and reading but it took a lot of work and persistance on my part.

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    #238275 - 05/10/17 07:00 AM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: dreamsbig]
    marigold82076 Offline
    Junior Member

    Registered: 04/07/17
    Posts: 30
    Originally Posted By: dreamsbig
    Originally Posted By: HoosierMommy
    [quote=ashley]

    We are considering an individual assessment/IQ testing. I'm on the fence about it: is it really worth it? Will it help us advocate? Any experience with that?



    I had DS tested with the WISC-V and am very glad that I did. What I found most helpful, was that it gave me confidence to advocate for my child. Before the testing, I was wondering if I wasn't being objective because it was "my child" or some wishful thinking on my part. Also, I if didn't have DS's WISC scores, I would have been much more inclined to accept/believe whatever the school told me.

    If you do get testing done, be prepared that schools are often resistant to outside testing. Both the school principal and the director of gifted services at our district, insisted that they don't accept outside evaluations. However, to make a long story short, I was able to get them to accept the WISC-V and did get DS accelerated in math and reading but it took a lot of work and persistance on my part.


    Same experience here! I was resistant to testing at first but I was so glad we did it. It really put things in perspective.

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    #238281 - 05/10/17 09:02 AM Re: Why is advocating so hard?? [Re: HoosierMommy]
    HoosierMommy Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/06/08
    Posts: 174
    Loc: Cincinnati, OH
    Thanks for the perspectives on testing.

    I'm more for it, but DH is not. When the teachers keep shooting me down, I start to doubt whether I'm crazy or if DD is more gifted than what they see. We all get a little starry-eyed when it's our own kids, and I don't want to be "that parent" who thinks the sun rises and sets in her daughter. Having concrete numbers would settle a lot of doubts for me.

    But DH doesn't have those doubts; somehow he possesses an unshakable firm position even in the face of opposition. So he's reluctant to spend the money, time, and energy in testing.

    Any other anecdotes about testing would be appreciated!!

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