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    Val Offline
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    Originally Posted by indigo
    Please consider not accepting things as they are: a limited number of seats for advanced academics, combined with a competitive, divide-and-conquer, winner-take-all mentality.

    We are all smart people here, and we can agree that there is market stability when supply=demand.

    Instead of playing into the game, parents can unite and request more seats for advanced academics. Increase the supply of advanced academic seats to meet the demand. (Here next to the word "demand" I will also add NEED, an important concept discussed earlier on this thread. Hat tip to HK for identifying that. Great contribution, as always.)

    I agree, especially with the winner-take-all mentality. I also see huge barriers to implementation. I'm sorry to say that many educators I've met aren't knowledgeable at all about the needs or capabilities of gifted students.

    For example, I can claim that my DD needs advanced academics, but the school might not believe me, because the teachers and administrators are either clueless about giftedness or have a rigid, exaggerated definition of it (e.g. "That article in Time said that Janie was writing symphonies when she was 3 and yours wasn't, ergo, she's not gifted). Or maybe they acknowledge that she's smart, but they might assume that a bit of pre-algebra used as spice on a 5th grade curriculum is advanced. Well, it is...but not advanced enough for DD9.

    On top of that in the public school system are the demands of NCLB and its forced focus on the bottom performers. This is huge.




    Last edited by Val; 09/26/13 12:17 PM.
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    I don't either, UM. I just know that the situation as it stands has so much prestige attached to the label-- and such emotional investment because it's a parenting issue-- that I'm not even sure that it can be modeled effectively with a simple market approach.


    That's what has gotten us to this pass with college-entry frenzy, after all.


    Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.
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    Originally Posted by Val
    ... in the public school system are the demands of NCLB and its forced focus on the bottom performers. This is huge.

    Agreed! Consider that creating more seats for advanced academics provides access and removes barriers.

    This may provide an appropriate education for some, sustain and nurture internal motivation to do well in others, while also removing an inclination to blame the system for trapping well qualified students without educational opportunities... as this would no longer be the case.

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    But what do you do, functionally, to limit the phenomenon of parents who insist that Janey/Johnny be in the "top group" (whatever that means), but then complain bitterly until teachers/administrators water down content to make it "more accessible" to those students?

    The Cuckoo effect, as I like to think of it, is actually quite a problem here. It's the basis of that entire industry; the majority of parents pushing their kids through expensive and time-consuming prep prior to late high school are not parenting HG children, and in many cases not even MG ones.

    But they want those seats (labels) for their kids either way.





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    Originally Posted by HowlerKarma
    But what do you do, functionally, to limit the phenomenon of parents who insist that Janey/Johnny be in the "top group" (whatever that means), but then complain bitterly until teachers/administrators water down content to make it "more accessible" to those students?

    The Cuckoo effect, as I like to think of it, is actually quite a problem here. It's the basis of that entire industry; the majority of parents pushing their kids through expensive and time-consuming prep prior to late high school are not parenting HG children, and in many cases not even MG ones.

    But they want those seats (labels) for their kids either way.

    And if the parents of just one in five of the kids in the 85th-95th percentiles behave in this manner, each school administrator will have dealt with at least two of these hothoused children for every one of the truly HG children they encounter. That does justify a certain amount of healthy skepticism on their part.

    Of course, this forum is full of examples where skepticism was indulged in unhealthy levels of excess...

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    Quote
    But what do you do, functionally, to limit the phenomenon of parents who insist that Janey/Johnny be in the "top group" (whatever that means), but then complain bitterly until teachers/administrators water down content to make it "more accessible" to those students?
    A great question, and one that many may have. There may also be many answers. What I'm aware of occurring is...

    1) based on believing these students are indeed cheetahs who've been contained and not previously able to run, they receive a bit of help before being released into the wild to run. This may be in the form of educational supports, an extra class for organizational skills, note-taking, study strategies. The support class, being held on the side, allows the rigorous academic class to continue on pace. Parents may also be required to sign an agreement which details duties of their role in supporting their student and attending progress meetings (things which other parents may have learned by observing what their own parents did a generation ago). Some students will benefit from this and really exert themselves, expending energy to learn every morsel, and dig deep within themselves to meet the challenge. Others will attend with a sense of entitlement to an easy grade.

    2) based on believing it is mutually beneficial to cater to parents wanting extra credentials for their child, often especially those who are able to make donations to the school/district in support of various causes, an additional number of children may be enrolled in educational support classes. Some of these students may have a history of being hothoused. Again some students may rise to the challenge of earning their credential, while others may attend with a sense of entitlement to an easy grade.

    How these scenarios may play out... ? In some cases, the students in an educational support program may have access to the redo opportunity, raising their grades. Meanwhile other students in the rigorous course (for example, possibly the gifted and hard-working middle students) may not have access to the redo opportunity. In the end, with support, the top GPAs may belong to the students having support to complete their rigorous course. This may not correspond to their scores on the AP exams. In the eyes of some, this helps to spread the credentials around to a broader bunch of students... some have their AP scores, others may have higher GPAs. Therefore some districts have no desire to limit this. It all depends upon what the district is trying to accomplish.

    On a recent thread I have shared my personal view that a redo opportunity ought to be offered to all, or to none.

    Quote
    The Cuckoo effect, as I like to think of it, is actually quite a problem here. It's the basis of that entire industry; the majority of parents pushing their kids through expensive and time-consuming prep prior to late high school are not parenting HG children, and in many cases not even MG ones.

    But they want those seats (labels) for their kids either way.
    Agreed! When supply=demand, there will be no prestige to the seat/label. That's when the gifted kids can soar.

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    Originally Posted by ultramarina
    ... I think some posters here would not agree that those 5000 kids are all deserving of gifted ed.
    The point made was that market stability occurs when supply=demand. That being said, every kid is deserving of the best possible education. Each child needs the most supportive, academically challenging education for which they have the readiness and ability.

    It's quite likely that in keeping with the general flow of the conversation you meant to indicate that not all children for whom qualifying scores were presented may actually benefit from a curriculum of advanced academics? That some may have been hothoused or coached, creating a temporary boost which resulted in qualifying scores?

    Yet I'd gently caution that to any parent whose child qualified but did not get a seat... and to any parent whose child did not win an educational lottery in their own city, the concept of "deserving/undeserving" may open deep wounds.

    I think it is a sad commentary on our society that we remain relatively silent while 5000 children (in one city alone) suffer the withholding of advanced academics for which they present themselves as prepared.

    Quote
    ... the situation as it stands has so much prestige attached to the label-- and such emotional investment because it's a parenting issue--
    IMHO, prestige is a nemesis of gifted education. Prestige may perpetuate the myth of exclusivity which is a huge impediment to gaining broad-based support. Giftedness (and aptitude for advanced academics) occurs in every ethnic and SES demographic. Looking at the statistics provided by another poster, if I understand correctly 300/5000 qualifying kids in NYC receive seats for advanced academics, 4700/5000 qualifying kids receive seats for general ed? This means only 6% may get an education appropriate to their readiness and ability, leaving some 94% unserved or underserved.

    The numbers are huge, the stories behind those numbers... heart-rending, I'm sure. This is supposed to be the land of opportunity, where every person can work hard and get ahead. Rationing education is simply not philosophically consistent with this.

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    I see this issue, from the administrators' perspective, as being the intersection of two concerns: resourcing and needs identification.

    On the first front, at the risk of sounding simplistic, with a theoretical population of ~5k students, NYC has a scalable opportunity to provide HG+ programming at cost parity to general ed programming. To my thinking, this is just a matter of districts doing their operations due diligence before implementing a reallocation of general resources to gifted ones. Note I didn't say "expansion" of gifted resourcing, as that connotes more total resources being required, which isn't the case.

    Regarding separating the truly HG+ from those who only appear to be, incentive compatibility could be achieved by actually implementing HG+ curricula. Make the course content so challenging that failure is all but inevitable for those students not targeted by the program. After a few years, parents pushing for non-HG+ gifted enrolment would have the reasonable expectation that their children would be failed. You might never get the non-HG+ contingent down to zero, but you could be successful directionally.





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    indigo, what I meant was that not everyone here believes that kids below the 99th% should be in full-time gifted programs. (I didn't say I was personally among them.) There are some feelings that high achievers/MG/hothoused kids dilute the programs and make it impossible for HG+ kids to get what they need.

    Quote
    Looking at the statistics provided by another poster, if I understand correctly 300/5000 qualifying kids in NYC receive seats for advanced academics, 4700/5000 qualifying kids receive seats for general ed?

    I think the article indicated that kids who qualify but do not get into the special schools would still receive programming in their regular schools.

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    Originally Posted by ultramarina
    high achievers/MG/hothoused kids dilute the programs
    Agreed!

    Originally Posted by ultramarina
    ... and make it impossible for HG+ kids to get what they need.
    Gifted ed is not one-size-fits-all, and cluster grouping among gifted students helps accurately assess the readiness, ability, needs, and performance/achievement of each student thereby helping students to be with their LOG in each subject (among the HG+, still all are not globally gifted, some may have asynchronous development or be in a plateau phase... they are still cheetahs).

    Some have found it much easier to form effective cluster groups when the whole pool of students is gifted, and the range of abilities is not as wide as typically found in a general ed classroom.

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