How are gifted identified in your schools?

Posted by: BlessedMommy

How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 12:47 PM

I attended the local school board meeting on Monday night to hear an update on gifted education in my children's district (K-8 only). Our gifted programs start in 3rd grade with a pull-out for math and LA. I, along with board members, was surprised to hear from the director of gifted ed that there is a huge discrepancy in the number of boys vs girls in gifted math across the district -- 75% boys vs 25% girls. There is not a large difference for gifted LA, although girls outweigh boys. I feel like there must be some flaw in their math identification as the girls aren't being recognized. Currently they use a combination of CoGAT administered in 2nd grade (60% weighting), MAP scores (30% weighting) and Renzulli scale completed by the child's teacher (10% weighting).

The director of gifted ed did say that the version of the CoGAT that was used in the past was biased toward boys. Hopefully the new version will not be.

What do your schools use to identify who should be in these classes?
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 12:56 PM

I am curious, if they have the kids taking the MAP then why doesn't that have the higher weighting given that the Cogat is a test that real gifties appear to do consistently less well on?
Posted by: Mk13

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 12:59 PM

My experience is from 25 years ago and not in this country but I went to math / science school from 5th-8th grade and there were 6 of us girls and there were 9 of us girls and 21 boys. Huge difference too and we all got into the program based purely on results of math entrance exam. They took in the top 30 kids and that was it. From all our friends kids, I can see how boys are a lot more mathy than the girls, though I'm generalizing here. Math might not be as interesting for a lot of girls so they do not put as much effort into it, perhaps?
Posted by: Mk13

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 01:01 PM

as for the original "how are gifted identified" ... I believe our school district uses MAP scores but I might be wrong. At least that's what they used when our oldest was still in elementary.
Posted by: madeinuk

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 01:03 PM

I also see elementary (majority female) school teachers actively encouraging boys not girls to the point where it makes me sick. More so given the amount of women that act as though women doing worse/having less confidence in Maths in part of some sinister male conspiracy.

I am putting my money on something (Oedipal) that makes the female elementary teachers treat the girls differently which a lot of girls see as disproval for being good at Maths and once this is internalized it is hard to turn around.
Posted by: ultramarina

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 01:09 PM

In our district they use IQ testing. I don't know if there are any gender differences in #s IDed. DD's magnet started out with equal #s of boys and girls, but now that she is almost aging out, there are significantly more boys than girls. Girls have moved or dropped out and boys have been the ones to replace them. I don't know why.
Posted by: Dude

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 01:34 PM

Our school district uses the RIAS for cognitive, and the OLSAT for achievement in language arts and math. The state leaves the choice of assessment tools to the individual school districts, but it does declare how those assessments are to be used to qualify students for gifted services. These three scores are fed into a matrix as follows:

1.0 - <1.5 SD: 1 point
1.5 - <2.0 SD: 2 points
2.0+ SD: 3 points

ANY of these results will qualify your child for services (1st - 12th grade):

1) 3 points on the RIAS
2) 7 points total combined RIAS/OLSAT Reading/OLSAT Math
3) 6 points as above with further evaluation, to include info from tester on child's attitude related to performance during testing, parental interviews, child interviews, teacher input.

Either way, the services offered are not a one-size variety. They have a program for "cognitively gifted" which amounts to short pull-outs twice a week for enrichment purposes. There are also longer, daily pull-outs for "gifted achievement" in language arts and math.

These services are offered beginning in 1st grade. My DD was also offered some enrichment in K. We opted not to screen her in K, on account of this is what the requirements look like for pre-K to K, and if your child doesn't make the cut, they can't test again for an entire calendar year:

ALL of the below are required:

1) 4 points on the RIAS (2.5+ SDs)
2) 3 points each on math/reading
3) 10 points total
Posted by: Dude

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 01:41 PM

As for the gender breakdown, in my limited interactions with the gifted classes it appears that girls are slightly better represented than boys, at something like 8:7, which lines up nicely with overall population ratios. If I had to guess why they seem to be breaking stereotypes, especially in the gifted math class, I'd suggest that the district is getting to girls before they've experienced enough gender pressure in general classes.

If there's anything to my entirely unscientific observation, it could become a strong argument for pushing services to well before 3rd grade (as if there weren't a ton of good arguments for that already).
Posted by: Dude

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 01:47 PM

Originally Posted By: madeinuk
I also see elementary (majority female) school teachers actively encouraging boys not girls to the point where it makes me sick. More so given the amount of women that act as though women doing worse/having less confidence in Maths in part of some sinister male conspiracy.

I am putting my money on something (Oedipal) that makes the female elementary teachers treat the girls differently which a lot of girls see as disproval for being good at Maths and once this is internalized it is hard to turn around.


My DD9's gifted math teacher is a woman. One project the kids were assigned this year was to research a famous mathematician, and write a report on who they were, and what they did to advance our knowledge. When I heard about it, I immediately started to think about the ancient Greeks and Arabs, but a couple days later DD had been assigned to Mary Pensworth Reagor. I took this as a subtle declaration to DD that, "You WILL have positive female role models."

In another thread I recently said DD has had a couple of awesome teachers... this lady is one of them.
Posted by: Bostonian

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 02:35 PM

Originally Posted By: BlessedMommy
I attended the local school board meeting on Monday night to hear an update on gifted education in my children's district (K-8 only). Our gifted programs start in 3rd grade with a pull-out for math and LA. I, along with board members, was surprised to hear from the director of gifted ed that there is a huge discrepancy in the number of boys vs girls in gifted math across the district -- 75% boys vs 25% girls. There is not a large difference for gifted LA, although girls outweigh boys. I feel like there must be some flaw in their math identification as the girls aren't being recognized.

A property of normal distributions is that even small differences in the means of two different normal distributions can produce large differences in the tails. A 3-to-1 sex ratio is not implausible if the gifted math program is very selective. What fraction of students are selected for the gifted math program? Where I live the middle school math team is closest thing to a gifted math program, and the sex ratio of students selected for math meets based on their scores in tryouts exceeds 3 to 1.
Posted by: puffin

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 02:48 PM

All the kids I know of identified gifted were identified because their parents paid to have them tested. There are apparently some extension things as the kids get older that they are tested in to but we are not there yet. Of course by the time they do test them for that they have had 3 years to beat them down.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 03:29 PM

Quote:
... gifted math across the district -- 75% boys vs 25% girls. There is not a large difference for gifted LA, although girls outweigh boys. I feel like there must be some flaw in their math identification as the girls aren't being recognized... The director of gifted ed did say that the version of the CoGAT that was used in the past was biased toward boys.
How is "biased" to be understood in this context?

- Simply that more boys were identified?

- That the sets of tasks to perform, while the same for boys and girls, were inherently more appealing to "stereotypical" boys and/or especially off-putting for "stereotypical" girls?

- That girls were assigned a relatively more difficult form of the test (required to perform more steps, and/or at a higher level, and/or in less time, etc)?


If one expects the number of pupils identified to resemble a statistical representation of the population, one must be careful not to apply this wrongly by expecting the data points of each individual class to match this statistic (such as by applying quotas).

An analogy to the weather: A thermometer is the tool used to measure the daily high/low temperature. This yields a set of data from which statistical averages for each season, month, and day are calculated for comparison to each prior year's measurements. There is no inclination to cap daily high temperature measurement readings or make them match the statistical daily high average. There is no inclination to cease recording record low temperatures or make them match the statistical nightly low average. If the temperatures for a season, month, or day do not match the statistical average, there is no inclination to declare the measurement tool broken; The tool is broken when it always measures the same and does not respond to differences. By taking consistent measurements over time, meaningful trends may emerge: Are daily highs moderating? Are nightly lows fluctuating more widely? Are seasonal temps varying in roughly a 4 year cycle? If one were to force temperature readings to match statistical averages one would miss measuring the trends as they occur.

If a teacher/school/district were to force gifted identification to match statistics, one would miss measuring the trends as they occur.
Posted by: BlessedMommy

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 05:31 PM

To answer a few questions...

About bias: The director of gifted ed didn't go into detail, but what I interpreted it to mean is that the questions on that version of the CoGAT were skewed so as to be answered more correctly by boys than girls.

Is there a trend?: This 75/25 split was not just for one year's data, but a trend over time. What points to me that something is amiss is that neighboring districts that have a similar population of people (and thus I would expect a similar profile of students) have more of an equal number of boys and girls in their gifted math class.

Outside testing: Our district will not use outside testing to determine placement. However, we were able to use my DD10's EXPLORE test results to get her retested on the CoGAT to see if she would now qualify for the gifted math. They did not have the MAP test when my daughter was in 2nd grade and testing for gifted math, so I suspect they gave even more weight to the CoGAT then.

Middle school girls: They also said that they see the trend as girls get older they tend to drop out of the gifted math classes which is probably partially due to peer pressure as someone else stated. That is definitely another problem to tackle, but I think it is separate than the initial identifying in 2nd grade.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 06:22 PM

Quote:
... About bias... I interpreted it to mean is that the questions on that version of the CoGAT were skewed so as to be answered more correctly by boys than girls.
As in... the sets of tasks to perform, while the same for boys and girls, were inherently more appealing to "stereotypical" boys and/or especially off-putting for "stereotypical" girls? Personally, I would explore this topic with the director of gifted ed who originally mentioned the test's gender bias to you, so you may clarify this understanding/interpretation.

Quote:
... 75/25 split was not just for one year's data, but a trend over time.
Combining this with "across the district" as mentioned in the original post... if this 75/25 split is the trend for the relatively same population of students as they advance through the grades (about 80% of students being the same gifted math class rising one grade each year, while about 20% of the gifted math population is replaced annually as identified incoming 3rd graders replace 8th graders)... the relative stability of the statistical split may be expected from year to year.

Quote:
What points to me that something is amiss is that neighboring districts that have a similar population of people (and thus I would expect a similar profile of students) have more of an equal number of boys and girls in their gifted math class.
You may wish to make an inquiry of the gifted programs at the neighboring districts you are referring to, and learn whether they are utilizing quotas, as well as what their identification/qualification criteria are. It is often much better to be guided by facts than a series of hunches.

Quote:
Our district will not use outside testing to determine placement. However, we were able to use my DD10's EXPLORE test results to get her retested on the CoGAT to see if she would now qualify for the gifted math. They did not have the MAP test when my daughter was in 2nd grade and testing for gifted math, so I suspect they gave even more weight to the CoGAT then.
You may wish to inquire of your director of gifted ed to learn whether the CogAT was weighed more heavily than 60% under the prior identification criteria. Again, best to have the facts as you prepare for any advocacy.

Quote:
They also said that they see the trend as girls get older they tend to drop out of the gifted math classes which is probably partially due to peer pressure as someone else stated.
A survey of the parent(s) of the child leaving the gifted math class, and of the child leaving the gifted math class may help gather facts about the gifted math class and the reasons why students choose to leave it.

Quote:
That is definitely another problem to tackle, but I think it is separate than the initial identifying in 2nd grade.
Agreed!

Good luck with this... there is some good detective work and fact-gathering to be done here. Many may benefit.
Posted by: Nautigal

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 06:31 PM

I don't actually know what the usual method might be. DS was so far out there that the school just saw him coming in preschool and they gave him the WJIII to see where he was and document it for having him skip kindergarten.

It wasn't until DD was in first grade that we first heard them say they usually don't do any identifying for gifted until third grade! They just have the sense to recognize the real outliers before that. DD isn't one of those, so she's just on normal track so far.
Posted by: chay

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/12/14 07:13 PM

We have 4 public school boards to pick from where I live - English Catholic, English Public, French Catholic, and French Public. You have to have at least one francophone parent to get into the French schoolboards. The English boards both do French Immersion for those that want French but don't speak it at home.

English Catholic screen nominated kids in grade 3 with the CCAT (Canadian Cognitive Abilities Test). Teachers or parents can nominate students. You can also submit private test results (WISC or SB). Qualified kids get a one day a week pull out.

English Public screen nominated kids in SK (and I think in grade 4) with the CCAT. Teachers or parents can nominate and you can also test privately (WISC or SB). Qualified kids have the option of full time congregated.

The two French boards don't have gifted programs and don't test AFAIK.

In a system where it is up to parents to test it wouldn't shock me that more boys get tested privately. I know 4 identified gifted kids my DS7's age and all were "discovered" the same way, they were all urged to do ADHD evaluations privately and they came out gifted instead. Of the 4, 3 are boys. We haven't tested our DD5 yet but I suspect she will also qualify. So far she's surviving kindergarten without the same drama we had with DS. We'll find out soon if she meets the criteria.
Posted by: Sweetie

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 06:23 AM

For one child his fourth grade teacher nominated him for testing (he had been homeschooled before that). Testing was IQ testing plus achievement scores. Placed gifted.

For 2nd child I nominated him in K - he didn't pass. I nominated him again in first. IQ plus achievement. He was placed middle of 2nd grade.

Neither child gets pullout classes. Younger son gets in classroom differentiation, one of his two teachers is gifted endorsed and is supposed to be meeting his needs. They also skipped him a grade this year. Have no idea if the id more girls than boys because don't know who is gifted.

Older son is in a special program at middle school that is one class big (one of these classes per grade levels) 22 or so kids...rather than mixing it up every period randomly like most of the kids do they go from class to class together as a unit (other than electives). Each teacher that this group goes to is gifted endorsed and most of the class is staffed gifted and get in automatically, but they fill the remaining spots by high test scores (achievement) and a selection process including teacher recs, essay, interview, etc. middle school program is 75% girls.
Posted by: 2GiftedKids

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 06:40 AM

Our school uses an OLSAT screener at the end of 2nd grade to select kids for further testing in 3rd via a Stanford 10. So for our son, the school initiated the testing. No pull-outs right now as they are doing differentiation only.

Our daughter somehow didn't pass or didn't get given (no clear paperwork in her file denoting which happenstance), and we found out that we could nominate her for testing. She's in 7th grade. They gave her the Stanford 10 and then a slimmed down Woodcock-Johnson. She got identified based on her uberhigh math scores on the Stanford 10. She just got moved from 7th grade math to a 9th grade algebra class this semester.

We have a very small student population though --- only about 575 kids K-12 in our lil burg. They try to accommodate the best they can.
Posted by: momoftwins

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 06:50 AM

Our school gives the OLSAT to all first graders as a screener, and then students selected for further testing are given an IQ test plus achievement testing. Parents can also request testing directly for their children, and teachers can nominate students for testing as well.

Students are then given GIEPs.

A pull-out program begins in 2nd grade.

My children do get differentiated instruction in several subjects because of their GIEPs, but I don't know what the "typical" GIEP has in it.
Posted by: Diamondblue

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 07:06 AM

Our district uses the RIAS to identify gifted kids. Students have to get 130 or greater to qualify for one-day-a-week gifted pull out.

To be able to be placed in a full-time gifted classroom, students must have four of the following five things:
1. 125 or higher on the RIAS (huh?)
2. Grade of A in all core subjects for the past semester
3. 97th percentile (I think) on SAT-10 or a certain score on the FCAT
4. A "very superior" rating on their "portfolio"(I've asked what the "portfolio" is comprised of and if it is an actual physical thing, but I've been unable to get a good answer from any of the four people I've asked).
5. A certain ranking on a gifted characteristics checklist. (Said checklist weighs heavily on qualities of extroverted leadership and students have to have 125 out of 135 possible points if I remember correctly).

All items for full time gifted placement are equally weighted.
Posted by: SFrog

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 10:17 AM

Originally Posted By: Diamondblue

To be able to be placed in a full-time gifted classroom, students must have four of the following five things:
1. 125 or higher on the RIAS (huh?)
2. Grade of A in all core subjects for the past semester
3. 97th percentile (I think) on SAT-10 or a certain score on the FCAT
4. A "very superior" rating on their "portfolio"(I've asked what the "portfolio" is comprised of and if it is an actual physical thing, but I've been unable to get a good answer from any of the four people I've asked).
5. A certain ranking on a gifted characteristics checklist. (Said checklist weighs heavily on qualities of extroverted leadership and students have to have 125 out of 135 possible points if I remember correctly).


I think a moderately gifted kid with pushy parents would get into this easier than a bored HG/PG kid. If you're gifted, but not dialed-in, you could easily miss #s 2 and 5, and very likely 4 as well.

--S.F.
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 10:38 AM

Quote:
I, along with board members, was surprised to hear from the director of gifted ed that there is a huge discrepancy in the number of boys vs girls in gifted math across the district -- 75% boys vs 25% girls.


If they are testing in the third grade and have a higher cut off, like 99th percentile, then by that time, I think that sounds plausible, particularly if you live in an area where boys and girls are held strongly to traditional gender roles.

The thing is, boys are playing more sports with balls (spatial knowledge), boys are given tens more sets of legos (girls get dollies), and they have already had three to four years of implicit bias from teachers to get to the girls.

Not to mention, however we strive to close this gap, at the top .05% of performers in math, the difference between male and female scores is one of the most persistent found in education, across countries, cultures. It's not getting smaller, unlike the differences between average people, for which there are no statistically significant differences if you take multi-nation surveys. Note that among average learners, that difference should be easier to find and more significant due to much higher populations.

There is something about those kids at the far end of the math spectrum. Either boys are truly genetically predisposed to math, or, just as likely based on my experience, we get to those girls very early and they are smart enough to start questioning whether a girl can really do this.

Some experiments in which girls were prepped to think that "this is a test girls do well on", when boys were told that "this kind of math is female-oriented", showed that with such preparation, girls outperformed boys. (The math was from standard assessment tests.) So that self-assessment bias can play a huge role.

Source: I do analytics on education and other social work for a living. I am a woman in a math field and believe me it kills me to say it but it's there. I hate that girls do worse but you cannot explain it away at those high performing levels. It is something that's being looked into. Still, when your three-year-old daughter comes home and asks why she's the only girl in the lego club, and how the boys didn't let her do anything, so she doesn't want to go anymore, and this is in one of the richest, most liberal parts of the world, well... you can kind of believe it just MIGHT be bias against high-performing girls. They can sense our doubt, they can sense that it's not "their" turf.

Incidentally, boys likewise perform much worse than girls verbally. I've always wondered if low verbal IQ helps you do well on math tests, because I've noticed that the questions are very vague, but if you ignore the words and just try to solve every problem like a puzzle, you can do much better. (I did this as a child, and did score with the top boys.)

What if the bias is against boys verbally, because of how their parents relate to them, but that helps them in math tests, which are written by other people with poor verbal IQs?

Fascinating stuff but there are no easy answers.
Posted by: SFrog

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 10:38 AM

To the original post:

In my DD13's current school district, I'm not sure what the actual criteria are for elementary or middle school. My DD came into the district fresh off skipping 6th grade and was put right into the gifted program. No one seemed to question that she should/would be in the program, so we didn't worry about how high or low the bar was. Looking at the website, it seems the CogAT (one of the seemingly few tests my DD did not take) is used along with staff observations of students and achievement testing (almost certainly the ITBS and/or Iowa Assessments).

To qualify to take 2-3 high school classes while still in 8th grade, a student needed to have earned a national percentile rank of 90 or higher in math and reading on the ITBS/Iowa Assessments. There is also a separate algebra readiness test for those wanting to take algebra.

In practice, it seemed the cut-off for the HS classes was a little low as some students did struggle. In my DDs observation, it seemed there were more girls than boys in this program. My DD also noted that, even though she was in one of the more diverse middle schools in the area, there were very few minority students in the program.

--S.F.
Posted by: Aufilia

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 11:30 AM

In our district they administer the CogAT and the ITBS. If they don't score in the 98th% on the CotAT they don't take the ITBS.

To get into the full time program, they must score at the 99th% on the CogAT, 99th% on ITBS math, and 98th% for ITBS reading.

Otherwise, if they score at least in the 98th% for all 3 but don't meet those standards, they are get into the once-a-week pull-out program.

If they're in 2nd or above, they also have to have received grades averaging at least 3.5 (out of 4) on last year's report card before they can even test.

If they don't score at least in the 98th% on all 3, then they are out of luck. No re-testing in the current year or alternate tests accepted, you can only wait and try again the next year.
Posted by: Diamondblue

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/13/14 12:18 PM

Originally Posted By: SFrog
Originally Posted By: Diamondblue

To be able to be placed in a full-time gifted classroom, students must have four of the following five things:
1. 125 or higher on the RIAS (huh?)
2. Grade of A in all core subjects for the past semester
3. 97th percentile (I think) on SAT-10 or a certain score on the FCAT
4. A "very superior" rating on their "portfolio"(I've asked what the "portfolio" is comprised of and if it is an actual physical thing, but I've been unable to get a good answer from any of the four people I've asked).
5. A certain ranking on a gifted characteristics checklist. (Said checklist weighs heavily on qualities of extroverted leadership and students have to have 125 out of 135 possible points if I remember correctly).


I think a moderately gifted kid with pushy parents would get into this easier than a bored HG/PG kid. If you're gifted, but not dialed-in, you could easily miss #s 2 and 5, and very likely 3 as well.

--S.F.


You hit the nail on the head. Our introverted HG+ son blew 1-3 out of the water but missed #4 and #5 and until he gets those, he's held out of full time gifted. It's ABSOLUTELY what he needs, but he's not going to be the automatic outgoing leader and he's not going to give them more/better work that they're asking for. . . sigh. . .
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/14/14 12:01 PM

"he's not going to be the automatic outgoing leader and he's not going to give them more/better work that they're asking for. . . sigh. . ."

Ohhhh, this is my daughter. She can meet any challenge, but she's not going to go beyond that, because she's got drawing to do.

One wonders what they do in a class composed entirely of leaders. Who is going to follow?
Posted by: jack'smom

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 09:19 AM

Our district still has distinct gifted classrooms that start in 4th grade; they accelerate math by a year and language arts by up to 2 years. They require a 96th% or above on the OLSAT in third grade OR a test like WISC. This year they threw in a lottery to the mix, but fortunately, my child got in!
Posted by: Loy58

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 10:03 AM

Our schools screen everyone starting in 2nd grade, but the G&T program doesn't start until 3rd grade.

To move on to the next stage of testing, a student needs to meet 3 of 4 criteria: 1) & 2) MAP test suggests, 3) teacher/parent questionnaire results; and 4) CogAT scores. The next phase involves: 1) abbreviated IQ test by school (required minimum score) and 2) either a high score on the additional achievement test OR their creativity test.

Boys, by far, outnumber the girls in DD's G&T class. I was a bit surprised. At the end, about 3% of students were "identified," but I think this can vary depending on how many students meet the criteria.
Posted by: jack'smom

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 05:06 PM

Thanks so much for your kind words! I was worried what to do with him if he didn't get in. I don't understand why our district moved to a lottery, of all the crazy things, once the child meets the required score! Whew...
Although our district is working hard to get rid of our gifted program, plus I think Common Core is going to destroy the accelerated math sequence they have in junior high and senior high school!
Posted by: blackcat

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 05:16 PM

Originally Posted By: jack'smom
Thanks so much for your kind words! I was worried what to do with him if he didn't get in. I don't understand why our district moved to a lottery, of all the crazy things, once the child meets the required score! Whew...
Although our district is working hard to get rid of our gifted program, plus I think Common Core is going to destroy the accelerated math sequence they have in junior high and senior high school!


Here they basically put the kids in order from top to bottom based on ability and achievement test scores, but I don't think anyone really understands how this is done, including the people who are doing it. A lottery system seems crazy.
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 06:15 PM

"I think Common Core is going to destroy the accelerated math sequence they have in junior high and senior high school!"

I know some people disagree with certain parts of Common Core, but it's not a ceiling--it's a floor.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 06:34 PM

Quote:
I know some people disagree with certain parts of Common Core, but it's not a ceiling--it's a floor.
What is your source for this information?
Posted by: Thomas Percy

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/16/14 06:58 PM

Originally Posted By: binip
"I think Common Core is going to destroy the accelerated math sequence they have in junior high and senior high school!"

I know some people disagree with certain parts of Common Core, but it's not a ceiling--it's a floor.


Even if being the floor is the intention, the implementation in many places have treated as the ceiling. A very unfortunate development.

Also the common core authors claim that the standards are pedagogically neutral. The implementation has been mostly reformist or constructivist. Another very unfortunate development.
Posted by: 1frugalmom

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 08:58 AM

I actually don't know how our school district identifies gifted students. I don't know what they would need to see to initiate their own testing. After all we have been through, I'm still not sure anyone there has a clue.

They do a kindergarten screening, MAP testing, STAR testing, DIBELS testing, State assessments, etc., but either none of that counts for anything other than school having a score recorded in their chart or they don't understand if a student is years ahead on every assessment they take maybe the school needs to look into that.

We had both of our daughters privately tested (for different reasons) then presented those results to the school. Luckily, they accepted our testing! Even with the testing and the recommendations stating they both needed additional services, the school still had to show there was a "need" in order to give us a GIEP.

Both girls topped out the kindergarten screening, have always received top scores in school, and have always been well above level on MAP and STAR testing. We repeatedly heard how advanced they were at parent/teacher conferences, but no one ever mentioned anything about the possibility of them being more than just advanced. DD10 showed definite, classic signs of academic boredom in 1st grade that led to school saying she was ADD/ADHD or ODD, which led to us getting her tested to rule out those things. That was how we found out she was gifted. If we hadn't done the testing I know DD10 would never have been identified. DD8 might not have ever been identified either since she is such a pleaser, she doesn't rock the boat, and is very good at blending in socially.

I've said it before - one would think educators would know the signs and be able to at least have a clue about what is going on. In our situations, I don't know what more the school needed to see.
Posted by: Sweetie

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 09:47 AM

I know that here in my district a gifted child has to be seen by a teacher endorsed with gifted certification at least once a day...or in some circumstances less and then that person consults with the regular teacher. So what they did was say at every grade level you need teachers endorsed gifted and then they cluster the identified gifted kids in that teachers class...if the kids rotate classes (at one elementary school they do that starting in 4th grade) just one teacher on the team has to be.

Well once you get that number of gifted endorsed teachers in one school (at least 6 in a k-5 school). You started having a staff who have a basic understanding about gifted and start nominating those they come into contact with and start helping with differentiating ideas for other teachers and become resources and suggest...hey nominate that child for gifted testing.

I don't think nominating for gifted is top of the teachers priority list and it was a teacher who nominated my older yet I nominated my younger son...so 50/50.
Posted by: Ivy

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 12:53 PM

Originally Posted By: Thomas Percy

Even if being the floor is the intention, the implementation in many places have treated as the ceiling. A very unfortunate development.


In our district, I know of one K - 8 that reduced from two years possible acceleration to one and another that reduced from one to zero. The rationale in both cases was that the standards are tougher and will require more time and effort to teach and learn. That this implies that for typical schools there should be a similar negative one year hit, indicating that in these school students will end up a year behind, seems to be lost on the administration.
Posted by: Sweetie

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 02:02 PM

I know that here in my district a gifted child has to be seen by a teacher endorsed with gifted certification at least once a day...or in some circumstances less and then that person consults with the regular teacher. So what they did was say at every grade level you need teachers endorsed gifted and then they cluster the identified gifted kids in that teachers class...if the kids rotate classes (at one elementary school they do that starting in 4th grade) just one teacher on the team has to be.

Well once you get that number of gifted endorsed teachers in one school (at least 6 in a k-5 school). You started having a staff who have a basic understanding about gifted and start nominating those they come into contact with and start helping with differentiating ideas for other teachers and become resources and suggest...hey nominate that child for gifted testing.

I don't think nominating for gifted is top of the teachers priority list and it was a teacher who nominated my older yet I nominated my younger son...so 50/50.
Posted by: Quantum2003

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 02:30 PM

Having herded three kids through the GT program in our school district, I still can't say for sure. On the one hand, there is so much info available; on the other hand, it is as clear as mud. There is also a difference between identified as GT and placement in GT classes. Things have changed this year with implementation of Common Core, but in the past there was one class out of 6 to 7 in each grade starting in 3rd officially designated as GT. It is also possible for a couple of students to be in the GT reading/language arts block but not in the GT math/science block and vice versa. However, unofficially the stand-alone GT classrooms actually start with first grade but there is movement in and out over the next couple of years since some kids who seem ahead at 6 or 7 do not develop as fast as other kids who weren't so obviously ahead at 6 or 7 so the district will not apply the GT label until 3rd grade. It is not truly a "gifted" program as about 10% of elementary children in the district are in at least one GT class(reading/language arts or math/science) with or without the GT label and that number is closer to 15%-18% at our school.
Posted by: chris1234

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 03:40 PM

Our county has a rubric that includes testing, which they administer, achievement in school, teacher write up, parent write up, including achievement out of school. So it is pretty thorough.
It does seem to take some wrangling to have a school focus on achievement outside of school, especially if it is info coming from a parent, but they do seem to take all that into account if one is willing to keep bringing it to their attention. The time frame for identification is glacial.
Posted by: Melessa

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/17/14 05:34 PM

Our district usesCogat- for mental ability, MAP- for achievement, teacher recommendation, test for creativity.

Though our ds scored highly on Wisc, score would not accept score. He did not meet requirement forCogat score (though ds is highly verbal with vision issues), had map and teacher recommendation, not so good in creativity. Somewhat sad about public school refusing to help ds in gt or vision.

Makes my dh ill, I'm but hopeful for new opportunities.

I'll learned that public school (atleast ours) can't accommodate/ help hg+ kids esp ones who are 2 e. our district is really for high achieving/ mg kids with pushy tiger parents. Sad, but reality.
Posted by: bluemagic

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/18/14 09:19 PM

I didn't read all the replies, I'm late to this topic.

In order to get into GATE there are 3 options. 1) Score above 95% on the OLSAT. Optional, a student can take it once a year starting in 3rd grade, outside of the school day but district administers. 2) Score above a certain level on both math & english versions of the state testing. 3) Get a private report from a list of approved psychologist. Parent pays the cost of the evaluation and I'm not 100% sure of what test would be administered.

GATE doesn't start till 4th grade, before that advance work is by discretion of the teacher/principal. Once you are 'labeled' gifted you keep the label but it doesn't affect anything after 8th grade. What GATE involves varies from school to school, and sometimes differs by teacher. In junior high it guarantees admission to the honors humanities track. Advanced junior high math, is by a math 'pre-algebra' test administered at the end of 6th or 7th grade and one of the only ways to get into the honors high school math.

My district also has a dedicated classes for the gifted/highly motivated 4-6th graders. Enrollment is based on primary on a 3rd grade teacher recommendation & various test scores/grades, supposedly not OLSAT but they do see the score. GATE identification not necessary but few kids get into it who aren't already identified. Competition is stiff and done behind closed doors.
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/18/14 09:31 PM

The government website dedicated to it gives this information. It's what most people are supposed to learn at a minimum.
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/18/14 09:45 PM

"The rationale in both cases was that the standards are tougher and will require more time and effort to teach and learn."

So... let me get this straight. They need more resources to hold general education children to a higher standard than previously. They do not have resources to accelerate some children and bring others to task. So, they have to reduce acceleration.

This is a problem of a tax base that is lazy and under-funded, NOT a problem of minimum standards.

By blaming Common Core, you might as well suggest that we eliminate public education period, so that we can reach high achievers. After all, the high achievers NEED education, whereas the plebes can just go on trailing the plebes of the rest of the OECD, so we can have Algebra in 5th grade for 2%. There's sustainable public policy for you, not alienating the majority of your tax base at all! (Not.)

The problem is NOT standards.

It is a lack of resources coming from a low tax base which comes from low salaries, hoarding, and a myriad of other issues.

But let's suppose someone is willing to defend to the death their child's right to receive a personalized education, at the expense of 30 other children receiving a decent education. This is America, after all, and such a thing would not shock me in the least.

Even so, if Common Core is raising the district standards by a year, then keeping the gifted program at the same place will by definition reduce the advancement by one year. The other kids are catching up. Your kid isn't falling behind. They are being asked to do more. This is good, because your little genius will have more talent to work with when he tries to start a company here. He won't have to deal with visa applications for 15 Finns or something.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/19/14 06:29 AM

Originally Posted By: binip
The government website dedicated to it gives this information. It's what most people are supposed to learn at a minimum.
Would you please share the link, page, paragraph, quote, indicating where you found information to indicate that "Common Core...it's not a ceiling--it's a floor"?

Lived experience of the standards comes from implementation of the standards; the idea of implementing Common Core as a minimum seems to counter your post here (#185256) in which you seem to defend not teaching above the standards? (Specifically: implementation of standards leading to claims "They do not have resources to accelerate some children and bring others to task. So, they have to reduce acceleration.") *

Lived experience of the standards may impact gifted identification.

* in regard to resources... Multi-age flexible cluster grouping has been discussed on several threads over time as providing a means of acceleration without incurring additional cost. Many believe it is not a budgetary issue, but an issue of attitude toward gifted pupils.
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/20/14 10:34 AM

The link you give sends me to the post above, so I'd be interested to see what post you're referring to.

I think it is consistent to say:

-Standards are minimums, not maximums, in every case, including NCLB.

-We should hold schools accountable to minimum standards for every child.

-We should also encourage schools to find ways to help every child who can, exceed the standards.

-We are not doing this because we lack the most important resource: the political will required to make really hard choices, like keeping children back, moving kids ahead, firing teachers, etc.

-Inability to exceed standards results from lack of resources (including political will, which is the real problem in the US) and inequality coming in and going out of the system, not from the fact that we have standards. Otherwise, countries with standards and national curricula would invariably do worse. But they almost always do much better.

I agree that lived experience may impact the curriculum, but if that is the case, it is only because the school previously was not providing high enough standards for the general education population in the first place. In other words, this will only impact you if your child was receiving too much in comparison to the other kids in the first place. They don't have to take anything away if they were already meeting the standards.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/20/14 11:08 AM

Quote:
... Standards are minimums, not maximums, in every case
Some may say that in several professional disciplines, there are specified quality control tolerances for an item being +/- the "standard".

Different words and phrases can mean very different things to various individuals depending upon their knowledge base and lived experience. Whereas the Common Core standards do not seem to articulate plainly that they are a floor or minimum, for which there is no suggested corresponding maximum, many do not assume that to be the case. To alleviate any concerns, CCSS could simply add a sentence or two to clarify. Although this has been mentioned over time, they have failed to do so. To some minds, this speaks volumes.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/20/14 11:14 AM

Quote:
I agree that lived experience may impact the curriculum
I did not say this; rather this represents a tossed salad of my words. Some may say the result is patching words together to Frankenstein a new meaning?
Quote:
Lived experience of the standards comes from implementation of the standards... Lived experience of the standards may impact gifted identification.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/20/14 11:18 AM

Originally Posted By: binip
In other words, this will only impact you if your child was receiving too much in comparison to the other kids in the first place. (Statement excerpted from post #185375)
Would you please kindly explain what you mean by this?
Posted by: binip

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/20/14 12:23 PM

Quote:
Would you please kindly explain what you mean by this?


I mean, every child in the public school system is entitled to resources that help him or her achieve, theoretically, his or her potential to contribute to society. Whether or not this is possible, is up for debate, but certainly, we cannot say that your entering talent level should keep you from getting an education, even if you're in the boring 50th%. Right now, our public schools on average do not do that. So they established higher standards.

The Common Core is set such that all students are prepared to contribute to society by joining the workforce, a trade school, a college, or university upon graduation.

The only reason that a school would need to divert resources from existing accelerated programs to fund Common Core standards, would be if it were not currently meeting Common Core standards.

If it were not currently meeting Common Core standards (or higher), that suggests it was failing the majority of students passing through.

If your child, at the same time as around 80% of the population is being abjectly failed by the public school system, is receiving enriched college prep, I would say that he or she is receiving a disproportionate piece of the pie.

It's public school, for everyone.

Re: standards: Okay, pardon me, I was speaking in terms of education. Definitely, ph balance would be somewhere you wouldn't want to go to far from the standard either way. I live in a bubble, apparently, because here it would be unheard of to take a national standard and claim that we ought not exceed it. People try very hard to exceed standards.

Quote:
Multi-age flexible cluster grouping has been discussed on several threads over time as providing a means of acceleration without incurring additional cost. Many believe it is not a budgetary issue, but an issue of attitude toward gifted pupils.


While I like the idea of cluster grouping, it only works for some students, and it is naive to think that there are no budgetary issues with changing teaching methods.

Quote:
Some may say the result is patching words together to Frankenstein a new meaning?


Sorry about that-- I did get words switched around while copying and pasting.

Regarding the wording of CCSS, I am willing to bet they don't put that it is a floor explicitly because they do not want to highlight the existing inequality and insufficient effort among certain school districts. They have put the floors of the highest-achieving districts and international OECD benchmarks into the standards. That's all--whether these are taken as a minimum for now or as a goal (in the case of districts which are far from meeting them) is beside the point. The point is, we need to get everyone up to speed.

Do you really think your district is looking at these and thinking, "Hah. We knew it. Children should be banned from Calculus in high school." Ours certainly isn't.
Posted by: indigo

Re: How are gifted identified in your schools? - 03/20/14 01:33 PM

Some may say it is a false premise that implementation of common core standards will only negatively impact families of children who were "receiving too much" (from their school) "in comparison to the other kids in the first place."

Originally Posted By: binip
The only reason that a school would need to divert resources from existing accelerated programs to fund Common Core standards, would be if it were not currently meeting Common Core standards.

...

If your child, at the same time as around 80% of the population is being abjectly failed by the public school system, is receiving enriched college prep, I would say that he or she is receiving a disproportionate piece of the pie.

It's public school, for everyone.

Re: standards: Okay, pardon me, I was speaking in terms of education. Definitely, ph balance would be somewhere you wouldn't want to go to far from the standard either way. I live in a bubble, apparently, because here it would be unheard of to take a national standard and claim that we ought not exceed it. People try very hard to exceed standards.

...

While I like the idea of cluster grouping, it only works for some students, and it is naive to think that there are no budgetary issues with changing teaching methods.

...

Regarding the wording of CCSS, I am willing to bet they don't put that it is a floor explicitly because they do not want to highlight the existing inequality and insufficient effort among certain school districts. They have put the floors of the highest-achieving districts and international OECD benchmarks into the standards. That's all--whether these are taken as a minimum for now or as a goal (in the case of districts which are far from meeting them) is beside the point. The point is, we need to get everyone up to speed.

Do you really think your district is looking at these and thinking, "Hah. We knew it. Children should be banned from Calculus in high school." Ours certainly isn't.


Some may say the explanation quoted above is filled with the myths which families of gifted students and institutions advocating for the gifted have tried to overcome for several decades by raising awareness of the legitimate educational needs of gifted children. Rather than marginalizing gifted children, consider the following...

Students entering a grade knowing most (or all) of the material for the year still need to be learning something new every day. Some would say this does not indicate giving them a bigger share of the pie.


Being a "public school, for everyone" indicates that it ought to also be a learning environment for kids who are gifted/ahead. The opposite of that would be presuming that gifted/ahead kids come from families who could easily afford private educational options. Some may say that forcing gifted/ahead students out of public schools in droves would present another set of victimization issues.

Students not meeting standards is not necessarily indicative of schools failing them; Other threads have discussed familial issues including the neuro benefits of simply talking to babies from birth.

Flexible, multi-age cluster grouping by readiness and ability is not a "teaching method" per se, it is a means to populate a classroom with a less-stratified group of students essentially requiring less differentiation: Some may say it represents a cost efficiency.

Might some schools forsake high school calculus while diverting funds to implementing common core standards? While you challenge the notion here "Do you really think your district is looking at these and thinking, "Hah. We knew it. Children should be banned from Calculus in high school." Ours certainly isn't.", you seem to support it here: "If your child, at the same time as around 80% of the population is being abjectly failed by the public school system, is receiving enriched college prep, I would say that he or she is receiving a disproportionate piece of the pie."

By means of analogy, do schools tell their varsity teams they are receiving a disproportionate piece of the pie? That the varsity team will be benched until the JV team performs better? Specifically until every kid on the JV team performs at varsity level? Not every kid is able to do that; ALL kids... varsity, JV, and non-athletic kids... deserve acceptance, encouragement, and assistance to explore options which are available to them as they sacrifice, sweat, and improve their skills, talents, and abilities. If we can see that in regard to sports/athletics, why not in regard to academics?