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    Joined: May 2009
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    I just saw that 60 Minutes will have a piece on academic redshirting on tonight:

    60 Minutes website

    Last edited by Cricket2; 03/04/12 11:06 AM. Reason: fix link
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    Like they said, the kids they do this for already have the nature and nurture going in their favor. They don't need it. I'm not saying "it's not fair". I guess if everyone in an area does it then six is the new five, well, they're just networking and working it out in their own community. I'm going to be immature and vote "yes", they're bucking standardization and carving an individualized educational community that works for them. The one lady that put her kid in on time, well, he's doing fine too.

    The lady in Chicago who wanted to redshirt in her area neighborhood where it wasn't routine I sympathize with. If she was worried that he would start to have problems in fifth or sixth grade then she probably knew something about a family trait that wasn't obvious. She wanted the best fit for her kid, but they want to wait until there's a problem.

    I'm trying to understand the bigger picture, how these choices cause inequity or inefficiency in the system but I can't see it unless a parent was insisting their kid stay in a class when they fit in another class better. I could see that being awkward. I don't see the bigger picture where one town that redshirts creates inequity if another town doesn't. The cut off dates and course of study are different anyway. One school's cut off is in August and another's in December. I missed U.S. Geography because one state taught it in fifth grade and one State taught it in six. I guess that's what the common core standards effort is about. I guess if they get up in arms against redshirting they'll make a common age initiative next.
    I kind of want to go the opposite way, where communities have more creative liberties to make it a redshirting district, for example.


    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar
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    Do you ever read anything by Sir Ken Robinson? He gave an amazing talk about changing education paradigms. In it, he talks about how students are grouped in schools and suggests that age is not the best way to group them. If you have a few minutes, this video is amazing.


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    Eek!  I was just thinking about my already advanced late birthday and the early birthday guy he plays chase with and how different academically they will be when school starts this fall, thinking I really wish schools could teach more at individual readiness levels, which would mean like you read about here school wide block scheduling and subject acceleration (it only makes sense).  I had to wonder if the redshirters  from the interview would reschedule their efforts to help their kid get ahead and become leaders if the schools restructured in favor of ability placement staggered across subjects?  or campaign to block ?


    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar
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    This issue drives me crazy. I think it's ridiculous that (most) schools allow parents to make this decision, but won't even listen to a parental request for acceleration. We know our kids well enough to say that they can't handle school, but not well enough to know that they can handle even more? Alrighty.

    And the hypercompetitive parenting is insane! I think the schools should have a policy that says that any child held back by their parents will be prohibited from participating in GT/pullout/what have you in elementary school and forbid them from participating in sports their senior years if they are 18 prior to the start of that year. Perhaps then those twits like the blonde in this piece would back the heck off.

    Of course, the schools like the older students because they can inflate test scores (which is also a reason so many are against acceleration).

    I don't want children pushed to school before they are ready, but I don't know if competitive parents or test score greedy school personnel are the right people to make that decision.

    Sorry for the rant. smile

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    Originally Posted by La Texican
    Eek!  I was just thinking about my already advanced late birthday and the early birthday guy he plays chase with and how different academically they will be when school starts this fall, thinking I really wish schools could teach more at individual readiness levels, which would mean like you read about here school wide block scheduling and subject acceleration (it only makes sense).  I had to wonder if the redshirters  from the interview would reschedule their efforts to help their kid get ahead and become leaders if the schools restructured in favor of ability placement staggered across subjects?  or campaign to block ?

    They would campaign to block such a program since it would cancel any perceived benefit they hoped to gain for their child by redshirting. How great does their "reading very well" 6.5 year old really look if they are in the same class with "reading very well" 4 year olds? Can't have someone else's child outperforming The Little Prince.

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    My biggest issue with parents choosing to "red-shirt" their kindergarteners is that it increases the gap between those who have and those who do not. For example, we previously lived in a middle to upper-middle class suburban neighborhood where all the moms stayed home and almost all parents of boys with birthdays from May on "red shirted". In the very rural area we are in now, with many single-parent families and low income families, only a few can afford to stay home with their children and those who work cannot afford another year of childcare. How can these children compete with the boy who was red-shirted just because -- with a June birthday and a mid-October cut-off?


    Last edited by revmom; 03/04/12 08:02 PM.
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    I wouldn't begrudge her kids the right to join GT a year behind their grade, because that's what redshirting to join a gt program is like.  You only get one chance to raise your kids, you should be able to do it how you see best.

    Hmm., it seems like there's a conflict of interest then if they're dependent on keeping the system in aged-based tracking mode.  Funny, because it's like the article said their kids already have the nature and the nurture advantage.  Leadership edge seemed to matter more than competitiveness.  She wanted to make a little pond for her big fish, but without moving.  We'd have to think of a paradigm where they began to see more leadership development and networking opportunities increased for the savvy families if the classes became mixed-age and they had different peers in social studies than in math class.


    Youth lives by personality, age lives by calculation. -- Aristotle on a calendar
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    I'm against gaming the system by using redshirting to elevate a child past the cutoff of a GT program. Resources are few and far between already for those programs in most places, and I agree with revmom that this works in favor of the "haves" in an unfair way. It's up to the program administrators to avoid this, though; I don't blame any parents for doing what they think is in their children's best interests.

    Redshirting is extremely counterintuitive to me. I don't understand how people expect their children to excel if their academic progress is retarded. The redshirted children will be going through material that's a year behind what they'd normally be learning (keeping in mind that most PS programs are already pretty dumbed down in the primary grades), and at a pace appropriate for younger children. Can anyone say "dulled edge"? It would be worst for the true high-ability children.


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    Originally Posted by MonetFan
    Sorry for the rant. smile

    Aww, you're okay. smile

    The problem is that gifted kids aren't the focus of the vast majority of US public (and many private) schools.

    From an outside perspective, it seems reasonable to think that people who are good at school should be recognized and mentored. It happens in sports, right? Why not school? Isn't that supposed to be the whole idea of school?

    But by and large, that's not how American schools work. Their official mandate in the lower grades is to produce kids who pass high-stakes tests. In the higher grades, they have the same mandate and an extra unofficial one to send lots of kids to college.

    So the schools have to focus on kids who can't pass the tests. If they don't, they could lose federal funding and their jobs. And colleges have entry and graduation requirements that are too demanding for many kids, so the system has to water down the courses. All this leaves out the bright kids. They're not the problem! They pass the tests and get into college.

    Wow, I sound glum. frown

    Last edited by Val; 03/04/12 08:16 PM.
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