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    #20549 07/18/08 04:35 PM
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    RPM9 Offline OP
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    How would y'all feel if your school grouped the 24 highest scoring students in one class then the next highest 24 in another class and so on ... down to the lowest scoring kids? 3rd-6th grade.

    Just curious. Our school is doing this. I'm looking forward to seeing how it will go for high scoring DS going into 5th grade this fall.

    RPM9 #20553 07/18/08 05:37 PM
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    Grouped by achievement test scores, then, right?

    Since not all GT kids are high achievers, this isn't going to be my personally preferred method. And it sort of depends on what they do with the kids once they have them grouped. If they all take the same curriculum at the same speed, it makes virtually no difference. If they use these tracks to give the more capable kids a greater challenge and give the kids who need more help the time and attention they need, then it could be a step in the right direction, at least. But I'm wary.

    If I'm reading Karen Rogers' original metastudy correctly, "Enriched classes ability grouped" gives a GT child .33 of a year gain over a GT child not ability grouped. (In other words, the child in this situation makes and additional .33 of a year's progress, which is a positive and statistically relevant correlation.) "Separate classes for GT" also gains .33.

    I thought she compared ability vs. achievement grouping, and my memory (faulty!) held that abiilty grouping was better than achievement grouping. But I don't see achievement grouping in the original report. Can anyone help? Here's the link I'm using: http://www.gifted.uconn.edu/nrcgt/reports/rbdm9102/rbdm9102.pdf (The table is on page 12 of the .pdf file.)

    BTW, I don't have online access to Rogers' updated numbers from 1990/1-now that have just been released, but we got a preview at the DYS Summit, and my notes (also faulty, though less so than my memory) says that the 1990/1-now metastudy shows that clustering kids by IQ gained .59, whereas clustering by performance gained .44.

    So I guess I'd say that tracking makes me nervous--I'd prefer more flexible grouping with the ability to shuffle individuals around as needed to ensure that underperforming GT kids don't get missed and the hard workers who aren't as GT don't wind up killing themselves to keep up. I'd probably also prefer *ability* grouping instead of achievement grouping. I'd also want to know what they plan to do with the kids once they're tracked.

    But with that said, I think there are worse things than trying to ensure a peer group for kids. I just hope this doesn't fall flat and become evidence for why grouping can't work. I'm not sure this attempt is a fair trial.

    I'm surprised any school is doing this. Tracking went out of vogue some 20-30 years ago and gets a terrible rap now. The tracking bashing has even slopped over onto the much more preferable and useful grouping of kids. I'm surprised.

    Oh, and I'd also want to know how they're handling LDs. 2E kids could get really hosed in this sort of scenario.


    Kriston
    RPM9 #20555 07/18/08 05:52 PM
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    Personally, I think it would be wonderful for my DS8. My PS does not do tracking in the elementary, although they do start to offer advanced classes in 7th grade. I would hope that the teacher could move the higher class through the easier material at a greater speed, thus spending time going into the material at greater depth. It would be great to challenge the kids who were more advanced. Our principle has agreed to unofficially cluster several of the academically gifted boys in DS8's class, in order to give him some peers. But I got the impression that she was doing so very quietly.

    However, the politics of such a plan seem horrific. All of the parents would demand that their little prince or princess should be in the top class. And then you begin to discuss how they measure such giftedness, and if it has any socioeconomic bias to it. (We live in a community that does not have a whole lot of kids who are learning english as a second language, and other such problems.) And the kids who are in the "dumb" class would feel awful. So, again, personally it would be great... but I understand why some school administrators would cringe at the thought.

    On a personal note, I really did not like school growing up. I was terribly bored. My teacher in sixth realized that I understood everything in the math textbook and allowed me work all the way up to geometry completely on my own. (Of course, I invented my own rules for geometry, which worked about 90% of the time and failed spectacularly the other 10%. blush I therefore was rather confused when I reached real geometry. The perils of allowing a child to teach themselves!) But I digress... I moved at the beginning of 7th grade to a school which had tracking for gifted kids. From 7th grade on, I was completely grouped for all subjects with other gifted kids. It was heaven, and for the first time, I fell in love with school.

    Tough call.. I can see both sides of the issue. A clever school administrator should invent a title for each of the sections... gifted kids, kids who excel in art or drama, kids who excel in spitballs... grin


    Mom to DS12 and DD3
    Dottie #20557 07/18/08 06:04 PM
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    Originally Posted by Dottie
    FWIW, I have to somewhat disagree with this statement..."If they all take the same curriculum at the same speed, it makes virtually no difference."

    To some extent that's true, but just by grouping bright kids, there are benefits, even if nothing else is changed. They truly feed of each other, and will be more inspired if they are not the "only one".


    Well, that's why I have the "virtually" in there. If the teacher won't let the kids feed off one another in order to keep the class on track with a rigid curriculum, then the benefits of the peer group could/would be undermined to the point of virtually not mattering.

    The freer the teacher could be with the curriculum, the greater the benefits, but I was stressing the worst-case scenario. And I could envision a rigid case that minimized the positive effects of the peer group down to "virtually" nothing.


    Kriston
    ebeth #20559 07/18/08 06:55 PM
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    Good points. I remember reading that fact on ability grouping in Karen Roger's book. But alas, I returned the book to the library. I would also be concerned in a school setting about what happens to the high ability kids if they make such gains each year. Can the next year's teacher pick up where they left off, and allow the kids to continue their increases? From what I've seen of my son's school, they would not be too happy with the thought that, several years down the road, one class might be a grade level or so above the other classes. That would never fly in my DS's school. So I agree that they would probably end up inspiring each other (intellectually and socially) without the dramatic gains of 0.33 of a year. But just having a group of peers in a class sounds heavenly to me for my son.

    I wonder if they have different groupings for math and for LA?

    Dottie: The only problem that I have with clustering is that the cluster of 5 gifted kids in a normal classroom still has to sit through all of the repeated lectures and drills that the other kids need to master a subject. Since those 5 kids are in the minority, they can not dictate the speed of the class. Sure, they can go and sit in the hallway occasionally with harder problems and the teacher can claim that they are differentiating the material... but it seems like, in DS8's case, he is following the class's speed in over 90% of the time, with at best only 10% differentiated material. (maybe not even that high!) 10% (or less) not very challenging. In the case of tracking, you don't have this issue.

    Kriston: Yeah... Thanks for pointing out that my tracking experience was over 30 years ago!! Sheshh!! cry


    Mom to DS12 and DD3
    ebeth #20560 07/18/08 07:07 PM
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    Originally Posted by ebeth
    Yeah... Thanks for pointing out that my tracking experience was over 30 years ago!! Sheshh!! cry


    LOL! I feel for you, ebeth! laugh

    I think you make a good point about gains being lost each year. Any advancement that is not formally recognized by the system is in danger of being lost the next year. If the system formally recognizes that the kids in the fastest track are covering more material and gives them credit for it, then it is a workable system in that regard. If not, then the kids are effectively held back the next year--not merely "not advanced again," but *held back* to cover material a second year in a row. That's a serious problem.

    It's the same problem I have with informal differentiation, BTW.

    I assumed the tracking was by whole class, not by subject, since it's elementary school. However, that was an assumption. I'd be interested to know if I'm in error there...


    Kriston
    ebeth #20561 07/18/08 07:13 PM
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    And, from a teacher's point of view (although I'm not one), who would take the "lower ability" kids if teachers' bonuses and raises are tied to student achievement (NCLB testing)?

    squirt #20562 07/18/08 07:46 PM
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    For the record, tracking was done in the 70's and the main reason it was considered evil was because a kid was assigned a track and it never changed. So if you had a bad day and ended up in the low track, but were really smart, too bad, so sad.
    In true ability grouping the kids are supposed to be periodically assessed(at least once per year) and move groups accordingly.
    And by the way, all schools age track. The kids are assigned a grade track when they enter K according to their age. No Child can be Left Behind and No Child may Leap Beyond.

    Thanks go out to whoever first posted No child leaps beyond. My faulty memory cannot recall who the credit goes to.

    incogneato #20563 07/18/08 07:49 PM
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    True about the age tracking, 'Neato. Good point. That's just publicly accepted tracking.

    I like how you think! smile


    Kriston
    Kriston #20564 07/18/08 07:53 PM
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    Well actually, I'm pretty sure I picked that up from another post around here too. I'm really not all that original!

    incogneato #20565 07/18/08 09:28 PM
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    The tracking that I participated in, and yes... that was in the '70... cry ... allowed the gifted kids to go into greater depth and tackle more challenging problems. For example, our writing assignments were held to a different standard than the regular class. But we still had a year of Biology while the other kids were having a year of Biology. We were just getting college prep Biology, I guess. So we didn't really ever get ahead. We did take a year of calculus and a year of physics senior year that the average kids didn't take.

    It was also allowed that a non-gifted kid could take up to two gifted classes per year if they were recommended by a teacher. So if you were advanced in math, but were not in the gifted tracking, you could still take the gifted math.

    1) Maybe they started tracking at a later age, middle school, so that kids could switch in and out of classes each 60 minutes, and not stay with the same group of kids all day if necessary. In middle school, a kid also has a semester of American History or Algebra 1... so the content is self-contained, so to speak. You don't have to worry about another teacher picking up where the first teacher left off.
    2) I believe that they allowed anyone to take the assessment test, which I think was the ACT, for entrance to the gifted program each fall, for as many times as they wanted to try. So it was not necessarily based on one test on one day.

    Not too bad a system. It labeled the top 20 kids as gifted, but it did not distinguish between the other 100 kids or so as being average or below average. There was never a group of kids that were labeled as "dumb". I serious wished my son's school had tracking. It is like having a small gifted school imbedded in the public school system.

    Good point, squirt, about teacher bonuses. Teachers didn't have to worry about that back in the good ole ancient days. Teachers were just paid for showing up and teaching.

    Starting to ramble, so it must be time to shut off the computer for the night.
    <zonk> tired


    Mom to DS12 and DD3
    ebeth #20568 07/18/08 10:04 PM
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    I believe that the latest research indicates that tracking only benefits the students at the highest level. In simplest terms that would mean self-contained gifted classrooms, but I believe the latest recommendation is to mix the classrooms with the GT & average kids then high achievers & average/low students. Interestingly, by taking the highest level students out of the regular classroom the high achieving students below them experienced more opportunities for leadership growth and had improved self-esteem.

    Last year we had some parents recommend doing a pilot program at one of our schools in which students would be sorted GT/ave and HA/ave/low. The principal decided to sort them using the traditional tracking method. I haven't heard how things turned out.

    I personally do not think it is beneficial for slow learners to be in class with the gifted students because the slow learners become discouraged. When my dd was in preschool I had another parent tell me that her son cried at night because he felt that he would never be able to read like dd.

    I still have not figured out why it is socially acceptable to separate the advanced students into honors and pre-AP/AP classes in jr. & sr. high but it is unacceptable to separate them in elementary school.

    Last edited by Texas Summer; 07/18/08 10:07 PM.
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    RPM9 Offline OP
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    Thanks for the responses everyone.

    I was told that the higher class would explore subjects much more in depth and the top of the top kids would also have pull out for advanced math and language a few times a week.

    This seems to be the result of spending the better part of last year complaining [nicely] to upper admin that DS10 craves like minded peers. We've spent 6 years running clubs and activities to gather the brightest little hot-shots together. Now, I want the school to step up and DO something, anything.

    I met with the Super, Prin & TAG Reps last week where they offered the aforementioned plan. Hey, at least it's something. Time will tell.



    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    Dottie #20578 07/19/08 04:49 AM
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    [quote=Dottie]I don't think from your perspective it can be a bad thing RP, but you might want to hide a bit from Parent #25 just in case, wink .

    Yes, for the top kid [my DS] I think it'll be great. HOWEVER, I dread running into certain pushy parents who will demand that their little angel [#75] be included. The angel in question becomes a HUGE disruption in class when he doesn't get what's going on. Then he targets the smart kids for "not being cool" [being smart or talented in any way is not cool]. Then the Intervention Specialist gets called into class to handle this kid...[unsuccessfully]. This was our life last year. <sigh>

    There's a link on my profile to videos of DS playing guitar at various venues with adults. We just put one up from this past Wednesday night, actually. DS was teased so much last year by the kid above that DS stopped playing guitar completely for several months. Broke my heart. He's back on track now but that was a very sad time last year. We just let him work his way back to music. I think it's too much a part of him for him to completely let go.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20581 07/19/08 05:12 AM
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    I'm definitely interested to see how this turns out. I have reservations. From my reading on grouping/tracking, this doesn't sound like the optimal plan. It is good to get the top of the top segregated in self-contained classes. Then the top in their class (maybe that's your 130-140 group). After that, group heterogeneously. The high achievers will rise to the top now that the top of the top is gone. Perhaps you need a class for the lowest kids who would likely have LD issues and need special attention and accommodations. That leaves a good chunk in the middle.

    Then there are other questions. What if parent questions placement? Is there a method in place such as portfolio review? What if the child is a poor tester? HOw often will they test? Can a teacher over-ride a test score and recommend class placement?

    What test will they be using? Achievement tests? Nonverbal tests such as Naglieri or CoGAT? I think the issue w/ tracking in the past is that with achievement tests, you can get culture bias so you're classes will end up culturally-segregated which most often ends up being segregated by race. If your district is racially homogeneous then you won't have that problem. Then it might be based on economics. If your district is more economically homogeneous then that won't be a problem. I think I read in "Re-forming Gifted Education" that low-SES kids will be hurt on achievement tests for example, by not knowing that a schooner is a type of boat.


    What about kids that are 2-4yrs advanced in math but more average in other areas such that they test in the middle of the pack? Will that kid have to suffer through grade level math? What about kids that are 2e?

    I think a better system would be subject-based grouping. Have all subjects taught at the same time. Let kids move from teacher to teacher based on where they are in that subject. Kids are tested more than once per year and grouping is fluid.

    This will definitely be an interesting experiment and I look forward to reading about how it goes.

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    RPM9 Offline OP
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    We can't make a separate class for only the top so this is a backhanded way to do something for the top 2%. It just has to trickle down to all, in this case.

    I'll let you guys know how it goes.

    There are 80 kids in DS's grade level. I have a feeling the parents of class #3 will soon figure out what's up. Hopefully, they'll see the benefit of having much more staff support and behavioral support for the lowest class.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20590 07/19/08 06:59 AM
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    RPM - your DS is amazing! He is very cute. It's very sad he felt he couldn't do guitar for a while. I'm glad he came back to it. My DS7 would LOVE to learn guitar.

    On tracking, that would never work at our school. Any differentiating they do has to be done very quietly. There is such an involved parent base at our school, every parent would come in demanding that every kid be placed in the highest class. Over 40% of the kids are IDed as gifted. But the vast majority of this really are working at grade level. When I start talking about DS when someone mentions their child being GT or needing more at school, their eyes generally glaze over like they have no idea what I'm talking about.

    As someone who was probably MG-HG but an extreme underachiever in elementary school just to survive, I'm sure I would have never been appropriately placed if placement was based solely on achievement. I liked Kriston's comments on ability placement.

    But it sounds like it might work to your benefit RPM! You'll have to let us know how it goes.

    kimck #20593 07/19/08 08:06 AM
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    Thanks for the comment. Kid has what we think is perfect pitch. There's an old video on our YouTube of him playing Green Onions at age 8. The song starts yet he won't begin because he hears that the other guitar player [the CFO where I work/good grief] is in the wrong key. He hears it as SOON as the CFO starts to play at about 6 sec. I see his little head snap around and look at the person playing the offending note[s]. He then corrects my boss, the man who kindly signs my paychecks, and they go forward with the song as designed.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    kimck #20599 07/19/08 09:23 AM
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    [quote=kimck] My DS7 would LOVE to learn guitar.

    Get a cheap little kid's guitar; could be acoustic altho electric is easier for beginners. Tune it to "open tuning". Have kiddo strum along with songs that he likes in open tuning. He can barre across frets to try to noodle along with the tune. The MAIN focus should be the timing and the rhythm. From there you can switch to standard tuning and work on chords and simple riffs.

    Timing and rhythm is everything in the beginning. IMO if you don't get it early on - very early on, you'll never get it.

    Remember to tune the guitar frequently to encourage the beginner's ear to stay tight - to be discriminating and critical.

    Well, that's how DS learned when he was 6-ish anyway.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    Dottie #20604 07/19/08 09:58 AM
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    It gets a little weird when a kid who has only been playing for 1-2 years is correcting adults who have been playing for 20 - 30 years. he's a really good kid and cute as heck so he gets away with it, for now.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
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    [quote=Dazed&Confuzed]

    Then there are other questions. What if parent questions placement? Is there a method in place such as portfolio review? What if the child is a poor tester? HOw often will they test? Can a teacher over-ride a test score and recommend class placement?

    What test will they be using? Achievement tests? Nonverbal tests such as Naglieri or CoGAT? I think the issue w/ tracking in the past is that with achievement tests, you can get culture bias so you're classes will end up culturally-segregated which most often ends up being segregated by race. If your district is racially homogeneous then you won't have that problem. Then it might be based on economics. If your district is more economically homogeneous then that won't be a problem.

    Our little school is racially and economically homogeneous, pretty much. Tests like SAGES2 are used but that only weeds out 1-2% of kids for the top class. Then State Tests are used from that point. Parents and teachers have no say as far as what I've been told.

    I'm not going to say it's a perfect system but at least they're trying something/anything plus it benefits DS. For some reason he's the only tested and certified SNAP kid in his grade level.

    I've read here that 20-40% of kids test as gifted. [?] Boy, that sure is NOT our experience in our District!



    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20641 07/20/08 04:49 AM
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    Originally Posted by RPM9
    [quote=Dazed&Confuzed]

    Then there are other questions. What if parent questions placement? Is there a method in place such as portfolio review? What if the child is a poor tester? HOw often will they test? Can a teacher over-ride a test score and recommend class placement?

    What test will they be using? Achievement tests? Nonverbal tests such as Naglieri or CoGAT? I think the issue w/ tracking in the past is that with achievement tests, you can get culture bias so you're classes will end up culturally-segregated which most often ends up being segregated by race. If your district is racially homogeneous then you won't have that problem. Then it might be based on economics. If your district is more economically homogeneous then that won't be a problem.

    [end quote]

    Our little school is racially and economically homogeneous, pretty much. Tests like SAGES2 are used but that only weeds out 1-2% of kids for the top class. Then State Tests are used from that point. Parents and teachers have no say as far as what I've been told.

    I'm not going to say it's a perfect system but at least they're trying something/anything plus it benefits DS. For some reason he's the only tested and certified SNAP kid in his grade level.

    I've read here that 20-40% of kids test as gifted. [?] Boy, that sure is NOT our experience in our District!

    RPM9


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20642 07/20/08 04:58 AM
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    20-40% of kids test as gifted as gifted in your district?

    In a friend's district, it's very high b/c of the demographics. Near a very large university center so most of the kids are sons/daughters of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and other Ph.D.s. Obviously in a place like that, the teachers have to differentiate in class to a much greater extent. They have methods I only dream about....math is taught at the same time so kids go to the classroom which is at his/her level, multiage classes etc.

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    Originally Posted by Dazed&Confuzed
    20-40% of kids test as gifted as gifted in your district?

    In a friend's district, it's very high b/c of the demographics. Near a very large university center so most of the kids are sons/daughters of scientists, engineers, mathematicians and other Ph.D.s. Obviously in a place like that, the teachers have to differentiate in class to a much greater extent. They have methods I only dream about....math is taught at the same time so kids go to the classroom which is at his/her level, multiage classes etc.


    No, no. I'm sorry. NOT in my District. No way. More like 1%.

    I've read posts here saying 20-40%. I'd have to go searching for posts...

    I could see 20-40% would be "Talented" in some way but full on tested as Gifted? I dunno. The avg is 1-2%, iirc.


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    Just to clarify, because that 20-40% number could be confusing to some...

    Allegedly 40% of the kids in my particular district test as GT (top 2% of the population). Frankly, I am not sold on our district's numbers. I think ebeth's district claims similar figures, and maybe someone else (can't recall...???). But our districts are unusual, and such high numbers can actually work to the detriment of HG+ kids, since schools don't tend to have a good understanding of LOGs, so they tend to say "All our kids are GT, why should yours get special treatment?"

    But obviously the national average of GT kids in any given district is...2%! YMMV.

    Oh, and some districts define services for a larger "chunk" at the top: 5% or 10% or even 15%. If they define GTness based on who they serve, then that might inflate figures, too. That's not the case in our school. They use the 130 cutoff that supposedly defines the top 2%. We do live in a well-educated suburban environment with lots of graduate degrees. I'm sure the number of GT kids is higher than average, but 38% higher? I'm skeptical!

    Oh, and they take math and verbal scores for IQ and/or achievement, not just full scale IQ, like some places. That probably boosts numbers, too.

    Last edited by Kriston; 07/20/08 05:31 AM. Reason: Added last two paragraphs.

    Kriston
    Kriston #20647 07/20/08 05:35 AM
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    [quote=Kriston]Just to clarify, because that 20-40% number could be confusing to some...

    Allegedly 40% of the kids in my particular district test as GT
    [end quote]

    40% with 130 IQ or above, yes?

    How many children in your District?

    Public school?


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20648 07/20/08 05:46 AM
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    Yes, the public school district. They claim 40% of their population tests as GT, or 130 or above on *either* achievement or IQ tests in *either* math or verbal. (I think. I'm not an expert about what they accept, so take some of this with a grain of salt. I'm not sure how the achievement tests factor in exactly, but I know they give them and use them, as that's how they do the state-mandated GT IDing in 3rd grade.)

    I AM sure of that 40% figure because the school official in charge of the GT ID process spoke to our parents' group. She was questioned long and hard about it, as you might imagine!

    I think some districts use only full scale IQ to determine GTness, and that would miss a large chunk of kids. The non-GAI scores often pull down the FSIQ. Also accepting achievement test scores and not just IQ probably changes things...although maybe this is how most districts ID? I don't imagine they give out IQ tests, do they? Dunno.

    Our public school district serves nearly 8000 students according to their webpage.

    And in case it matters, DS7 went to K and about 6 weeks of 1st grade there before we ran into serious problems and pulled him out for homeschooling. He will be HSd again this year, so we're not currently in the district.


    Kriston
    Kriston #20651 07/20/08 05:50 AM
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    I agree Kriston - 40% sounds high!!! Especially if they are taking 130 cutoff. But as you say, if they are only using VCI or PRI or achievement, that would increase the numbers. You could have many kids w/ FSIQ of 125 and VCI or PRI of 131 right?

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    Sure, Dazey.

    And if you take achievement scores, too, without IQ scores, you add in even more kids. Some of those could be hothoused or "overachievers" (meaning goal-oriented kids who work much MUCH harder than the average kid--I hate that word, but I don't know a better term for that sort of insanely hard and driven worker), not truly GT according to the definition. I suspect there are a lot of these, frankly. We're in that sort of area.

    Add in extra MG kids based on demographics, too, and the numbers are bound to be higher than average. But THAT much higher? Hmmm...


    Kriston
    Dottie #20655 07/20/08 06:06 AM
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    I agree. I have no problem with including those 131 PRI or VCI kids.

    I don't really even have any heartburn about including the achievers. I suspect the GT pullout is just what those kids need...not to mention the fact that the program isn't good enough to warrant being terribly protective about, frankly.

    But I don't like that they use those high numbers to claim that they don't need to do anything special for HG+ kids. That is NOT okay with me! If you claim 40% GT, then I think you HAVE to recognize LOGs!


    Kriston
    Dottie #20658 07/20/08 06:11 AM
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    It's good that they were willing to give more to him, even if you had to twist a few arms at the start to get it. I'm not sure even arm-twisting would have worked in our district. They're really resistant.


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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    Yes, the public school district. They claim 40% of their population tests as GT, or 130 or above on *either* achievement or IQ tests in *either* math or verbal. (I think. I'm not an expert about what they accept, so take some of this with a grain of salt. I'm not sure how the achievement tests factor in exactly, but I know they give them and use them, as that's how they do the state-mandated GT IDing in 3rd grade.)

    I AM sure of that 40% figure because the school official in charge of the GT ID process spoke to our parents' group. She was questioned long and hard about it, as you might imagine!

    I think some districts use only full scale IQ to determine GTness, and that would miss a large chunk of kids. The non-GAI scores often pull down the FSIQ. Also accepting achievement test scores and not just IQ probably changes things...although maybe this is how most districts ID? I don't imagine they give out IQ tests, do they? Dunno.

    Our public school district serves nearly 8000 students according to their webpage.

    And in case it matters, DS7 went to K and about 6 weeks of 1st grade there before we ran into serious problems and pulled him out for homeschooling. He will be HSd again this year, so we're not currently in the district.

    Just as well, I should think. If you can afford to HS go for it! I wish I could...

    The District is just padding their nest. That's fine if it helps them sleep better at night and if it keeps parents off their backs. grin

    That 8,000 population would need to have +/- 3,200 kids with a FSIQ of 130+.

    Missing a "large chunk of kids" is the whole point, lest Giftedness be leveled downward. It shouldn't be Special Olympics where everyone gets a medal.

    Oh, they're lucky I'm not in the District. <evil grin>



    Harrison Bergeron
    by Kurt Vonnegut (1961)

    I'd like you to read this famous story and think about whether Nietzsche wasn't on to something when he criticized the naive idea of human equality.

    THE YEAR WAS 2081, and everybody was finally equal. They weren�t only equal before God and the law. They were equal every which way. Nobody was smarter than anybody else. Nobody was better looking than anybody else. Nobody was stronger or quicker than anybody else. All this equality was due to the 211th, 212th, and 213th Amendments to the Constitution, and to the unceasing vigilance of agents of the United States Handicapper General.

    Some things about living still weren�t quite right, though. April, for instance, still drove people crazy by not being springtime. And it was in that clammy month that the H-G men took George and Hazel Bergeron�s fourteen-year-old son, Harrison, away.

    It was tragic, all right, but George and Hazel couldn�t think about it very hard. Hazel had a perfectly average intelligence, which meant she couldn�t think about anything except in short bursts. And George, while his intelligence was way above normal, had a little mental handicap radio in his ear. He was required by law to wear it at all times. It was tuned to a government transmitter. Every twenty seconds or so, the transmitter would send out some sharp noise to keep people like George from taking unfair advantage of their brains.

    George and Hazel were watching television. There were tears on Hazel�s cheeks, but she�d forgotten for the moment what they were about.

    On the television screen were ballerinas.

    A buzzer sounded in George�s head. His thoughts fled in panic, like bandits from a burglar alarm.

    �That was a real pretty dance, that dance they just did,� said Hazel.

    �Huh?� said George.

    �That dance � it was nice,� said Hazel.

    �Yup,� said George. He tried to think a little about the ballerinas. They weren�t really very good � no better than anybody else would have been, anyway. They were burdened with sashweights and bags of birdshot, and their faces were masked, so that no one, seeing a free and graceful gesture or a pretty face, would feel like something the cat drug in. George was toying with the vague notion that maybe dancers shouldn�t be handicapped. But he didn�t get very far with it before another noise in his ear radio scattered his thoughts.

    George winced. So did two out of the eight ballerinas.

    Hazel saw him wince. Having no mental handicap herself she had to ask George what the latest sound had been.

    �Sounded like somebody hitting a milk bottle with a ball peen hammer,� said George.

    �I�d think it would be real interesting, hearing all the different sounds,� said Hazel, a little envious. �All the things they think up.�

    �Um,� said George.

    �Only, if I was Handicapper General, you know what I would do?� said Hazel. Hazel, as a matter of fact, bore a strong resemblance to the Handicapper General, a woman named Diana Moon Glampers. �If I was Diana Moon Glampers,� said Hazel, �I�d have chimes on Sunday � just chimes. Kind of in honor of religion.�

    �I could think, if it was just chimes,� said George.

    �Well � maybe make �em real loud,� said Hazel. �I think I�d make a good Handicapper General.�

    �Good as anybody else,� said George.

    �Who knows better�n I do what normal is?� said Hazel.

    �Right,� said George. He began to think glimmeringly about his abnormal son who was now in jail, about Harrison, but a twenty-one-gun salute in his head stopped that.

    �Boy!� said Hazel, �that was a doozy, wasn�t it?�

    It was such a doozy that George was white and trembling and tears stood on the rims of his red eyes. Two of the eight ballerinas had collapsed to the studio floor, were holding their temples.

    �All of a sudden you look so tired,� said Hazel. �Why don�t you stretch out on the sofa, so�s you can rest your handicap bag on the pillows, honeybunch.� She was referring to the forty-seven pounds of birdshot in canvas bag, which was padlocked around George�s neck. �Go on and rest the bag for a little while,� she said. �I don�t care if you�re not equal to me for a while.�

    George weighed the bag with his hands. �I don�t mind it,� he said. �I don�t notice it any more. It�s just a part of me.

    �You been so tired lately � kind of wore out,� said Hazel. �If there was just some way we could make a little hole in the bottom of the bag, and just take out a few of them lead balls. Just a few.�

    �Two years in prison and two thousand dollars fine for every ball I took out,� said George. �I don�t call that a bargain.�

    �If you could just take a few out when you came home from work,� said Hazel. �I mean � you don�t compete with anybody around here. You just set around.�

    �If I tried to get away with it,� said George, �then other people�d get away with it and pretty soon we�d be right back to the dark ages again, with everybody competing against everybody else. You wouldn�t like that, would you?�

    �I�d hate it,� said Hazel.

    �There you are,� said George. �The minute people start cheating on laws, what do you think happens to society?�

    If Hazel hadn�t been able to come up with an answer to this question, George couldn�t have supplied one. A siren was going off in his head.

    �Reckon it�d fall all apart,� said Hazel.

    �What would?� said George blankly.

    �Society,� said Hazel uncertainly. �Wasn�t that what you just said?�

    �Who knows?� said George.

    The television program was suddenly interrupted for a news bulletin. It wasn�t clear at first as to what the bulletin was about, since the announcer, like all announcers, had a serious speech impediment. For about half a minute, and in a state of high excitement, the announcer tried to say, �Ladies and gentlemen � �

    He finally gave up, handed the bulletin to a ballerina to read.

    �That�s all right �� Hazel said of the announcer, �he tried. That�s the big thing. He tried to do the best he could with what God gave him. He should get a nice raise for trying so hard.�

    �Ladies and gentlemen� said the ballerina, reading the bulletin. She must have been extraordinarily beautiful, because the mask she wore was hideous. And it was easy to see that she was the strongest and most graceful of all the dancers, for her handicap bags were as big as those worn by two-hundred-pound men.

    And she had to apologize at once for her voice, which was a very unfair voice for a woman to use. Her voice was a warm, luminous, timeless melody. �Excuse me � � she said, and she began again, making her voice absolutely uncompetitive.

    �Harrison Bergeron, age fourteen,� she said in a grackle squawk, �has just escaped from jail, where he was held on suspicion of plotting to overthrow the government. He is a genius and an athlete, is under�handicapped, and should be regarded as extremely dangerous.�

    A police photograph of Harrison Bergeron was flashed on the screen � upside down, then sideways, upside down again, then right side up. The picture showed the full length of Harrison against a background calibrated in feet and inches. He was exactly seven feet tall.

    The rest of Harrison�s appearance was Halloween and hardware. Nobody had ever worn heavier handicaps. He had outgrown hindrances faster than the H�G men could think them up. Instead of a little ear radio for a mental handicap, he wore a tremendous pair of earphones, and spectacles with thick wavy lenses. The spectacles were intended to make him not only half blind, but to give him whanging headaches besides.

    Scrap metal was hung all over him. Ordinarily, there was a certain symmetry, a military neatness to the handicaps issued to strong people, but Harrison looked like a walking junkyard. In the race of life, Harrison carried three hundred pounds.

    And to offset his good looks, the H�G men required that he wear at all times a red rubber ball for a nose, keep his eyebrows shaved off, and cover his even white teeth with black caps at snaggle�tooth random.

    �If you see this boy,� said the ballerina, �do not � I repeat, do not � try to reason with him.�

    There was the shriek of a door being torn from its hinges.

    Screams and barking cries of consternation came from the television set. The photograph of Harrison Bergeron on the screen jumped again and again, as though dancing to the tune of an earthquake.

    George Bergeron correctly identified the earthquake, and well he might have � for many was the time his own home had danced to the same crashing tune. �My God �� said George, �that must be Harrison!�

    The realization was blasted from his mind instantly by the sound of an automobile collision in his head.

    When George could open his eyes again, the photograph of Harrison was gone. A living, breathing Harrison filled the screen.

    Clanking, clownish, and huge, Harrison stood in the center of the studio. The knob of the uprooted studio door was still in his hand. Ballerinas, technicians, musicians, and announcers cowered on their knees before him, expecting to die.

    �I am the Emperor!� cried Harrison. �Do you hear? I am the Emperor! Everybody must do what I say at once!� He stamped his foot and the studio shook.

    �Even as I stand here �� he bellowed, �crippled, hobbled, sickened � I am a greater ruler than any man who ever lived! Now watch me become what I can become!�

    Harrison tore the straps of his handicap harness like wet tissue paper, tore straps guaranteed to support five thousand pounds.

    Harrison�s scrap�iron handicaps crashed to the floor.

    Harrison thrust his thumbs under the bar of the padlock that secured his head harness. The bar snapped like celery. Harrison smashed his headphones and spectacles against the wall.

    He flung away his rubber�ball nose, revealed a man that would have awed Thor, the god of thunder.

    �I shall now select my Empress!� he said, looking down on the cowering people. �Let the first woman who dares rise to her feet claim her mate and her throne!�

    A moment passed, and then a ballerina arose, swaying like a willow.

    Harrison plucked the mental handicap from her ear, snapped off her physical handicaps with marvelous delicacy. Last of all, he removed her mask.

    She was blindingly beautiful.

    �Now� said Harrison, taking her hand, �shall we show the people the meaning of the word dance? Music!� he commanded.

    The musicians scrambled back into their chairs, and Harrison stripped them of their handicaps, too. �Play your best,� he told them, �and I�ll make you barons and dukes and earls.�

    The music began. It was normal at first � cheap, silly, false. But Harrison snatched two musicians from their chairs, waved them like batons as he sang the music as he wanted it played. He slammed them back into their chairs.

    The music began again and was much improved.

    Harrison and his Empress merely listened to the music for a while � listened gravely, as though synchronizing their heartbeats with it.

    They shifted their weights to their toes.

    Harrison placed his big hands on the girl�s tiny waist, letting her sense the weightlessness that would soon be hers.

    And then, in an explosion of joy and grace, into the air they sprang!

    Not only were the laws of the land abandoned, but the law of gravity and the laws of motion as well.


    They reeled, whirled, swiveled, flounced, capered, gamboled, and spun.

    They leaped like deer on the moon.

    The studio ceiling was thirty feet high, but each leap brought the dancers nearer to it. It became their obvious intention to kiss the ceiling.

    They kissed it.

    And then, neutralizing gravity with love and pure will, they remained suspended in air inches below the ceiling, and they kissed each other for a long, long time.

    It was then that Diana Moon Glampers, the Handicapper General, came into the studio with a double-barreled ten-gauge shotgun. She fired twice, and the Emperor and the Empress were dead before they hit the floor.

    Diana Moon Glampers loaded the gun again. She aimed it at the musicians and told them they had ten seconds to get their handicaps back on.

    It was then that the Bergerons� television tube burned out.

    Hazel turned to comment about the blackout to George.

    But George had gone out into the kitchen for a can of beer.

    George came back in with the beer, paused while a handicap signal shook him up. And then he sat down again. �You been crying?� he said to Hazel.

    �Yup,� she said,

    �What about?� he said.

    �I forget,� she said. �Something real sad on television.�

    �What was it?� he said.

    �It�s all kind of mixed up in my mind,� said Hazel.

    �Forget sad things,� said George.

    �I always do,� said Hazel.

    �That�s my girl,� said George. He winced. There was the sound of a riveting gun in his head.

    �Gee � I could tell that one was a doozy,� said Hazel.

    �You can say that again,� said George.

    �Gee �� said Hazel, �I could tell that one was a doozy.�









    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    Dottie #20661 07/20/08 06:35 AM
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    Originally Posted by Dottie
    I see a lot of local data, and while I rarely see achievement scores over 130 for "ND",

    Well, that's because Kriston's District took 'em all!

    Sorry, couldn't resist. smile


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20663 07/20/08 06:49 AM
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    Originally Posted by RPM9
    Missing a "large chunk of kids" is the whole point, lest Giftedness be leveled downward. It shouldn't be Special Olympics where everyone gets a medal.


    Well, agreed to the second sentence, but not the first. I think kids who score a 130 on PRI or VCI ARE GT! I was saying that that schools who don't ID these kids miss a large chunk of GT kids who need services. (I think that's possibly what Dottie was getting at, too, with her statement that ND kids only very rarely score in the 130 range on achievement testing, though I don't claim to speak for her.) I think these 130 PRI or VCI kids are MG, they generally need more from school than ND kids do, and they should be served by GT programs.

    I just think that if they are served, then there needs to be recognition that HG+ kids need even more!


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    Originally Posted by RPM9
    Missing a "large chunk of kids" is the whole point, lest Giftedness be leveled downward. It shouldn't be Special Olympics where everyone gets a medal.


    Well, agreed to the second sentence, but not the first. I think kids who score a 130 on PRI or VCI ARE GT! I was saying that that schools who don't ID these kids miss a large chunk of GT kids who need services. (I think that's possibly what Dottie was getting at, too, with her statement that ND kids only very rarely score in the 130 range on achievement testing, though I don't claim to speak for her.) I think these 130 PRI or VCI kids are MG, they generally need more from school than ND kids do, and they should be served by GT programs.

    I just think that if they are served, then there needs to be recognition that HG+ kids need even more!


    Our District differentiates between "Talented" [the bright kids - the 20-40%] and "Gifted" [top 1-2%]. They are VERY firm with the two separate and distinct terms.

    Talented kids get "Enrichment". Full-blown Gifted kids, should they test and qualify as such, are then part of the Student Needs Assessment Process [SNAP]. They receive a personalized SLP [Student Learning Plan] document which is developed and overseen by SNAP Coordinators and Upper District Administration.




    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20668 07/20/08 07:21 AM
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    That is the problem with our district. They do this 40-50% identification (that's at our school - not every school has these percentanges) and once you're identified your that's it. There's no LOG identification. I actually think kids that are id-ed GT at schools with a lower percentage sometimes fare better becauase of the individual treatment. But if your a MG child in our school, you are most likely very happy.

    Even our gifted magnet doesn't even to seem to use LOG as much as I was hoping. It's very much a MG school and you have to push hard if your child is more than MG.

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    Our school does NOT lump T with G. They are two VERY separate and clearly defined beasts. It's a good thing for the District because the Gifted percentage stays correct and manageable.

    If you allow the line to blur then services for the top kids suffer or become meaningless and you end up with, essentially, nothing or perhaps just some District self-back patting.

    This is the "Gifted Issues Discussion Forum". I wasn't looking for the "Lets Smudge the Lines so Everyone Can be Included and Get Services Forum".


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20673 07/20/08 08:22 AM
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    Originally Posted by RPM9
    Our school does NOT lump T with G. They are two VERY separate and clearly defined beasts. It's a good thing for the District because the Gifted percentage stays correct and manageable.


    I'm not sure I'm clear on the distinction you're making here. What constitutes T? What constitutes G? How are these distnguished? Are you saying IQ=G and achievement=T?

    I'm not saying I disagree, I just don't understand the distinction as you're using it. Could you clarify?

    Originally Posted by RPM9
    This is the "Gifted Issues Discussion Forum". I wasn't looking for the "Lets Smudge the Lines so Everyone Can be Included and Get Services Forum".

    I don't think this is a fair statement. I certainly never said this, nor would I agree with it even a little. It doesn't reflect what I've seen of posts on this forum either. (The typical criticism is that we aren't sensitive enough to MG kids because so many of us who post a lot have HG+ kids!)

    But I do think that MG kids ARE GT kids, and they need services, too. Not as extensive as the services required by HG+ kids, obviously, but services nonetheless. Do you disagree with this statement?

    In fact, I would argue that our schools are generally much better equipped to handle MG kids, TRULY serving their needs through the typical pull-out and enrichment programs. Whereas I would claim that these same typical GT programs are utterly, woefully inadequate for HG+ kids. But as these kids are in the top .5% of the population, I do have some sympathy for the schools. It's a lot easier to serve the MG kids than it is to do what's needed for that tippy top.

    That's why we're homeschooling, frankly. I saw how hard the fight was going to be to get the services DS7 needed, and it just wasn't worth it to me. There aren't enough kids like him in the schools, and the resistance was just going to be too strenuous. Would I like him to be served? YES! (I'm tempted to put a "Duh!" there, but I'll refrain. wink ) But I had to weigh the likelihood of getting his needs met against the effort I'd have to make to get that accomplished. HSing is easier.


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    [quote=RPM9]Our school does NOT lump T with G. They are two VERY separate and clearly defined beasts. It's a good thing for the District because the Gifted percentage stays correct and manageable.


    I'm not sure I'm clear on the distinction you're making here. What constitutes T? What constitutes G? How are these distnguished? Are you saying IQ=G and achievement=T?

    Gifted is IQ based.

    Talent is, well, talent.

    DS can play guitar. He would qualify as talented. Talent can also be sports skill or artistic ability ...



    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20675 07/20/08 08:40 AM
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    Well, sure. But that's a generic definition of talent that doesn't seem relevant to your point or our discussion. I assumed you were talking about *academic* talent, no? I mean, we're not testing for athletic or music talent, and they're not usually included in GT programs.

    So please correct me if I'm understanding wrong: you think schools have to IQ test all kids in order to ID GTness, and only IQ test?

    You know, when they do that, they usually have to use group IQ tests for the sake of fiscal responsibility and convenience, and those group tests like the CogAT tend to miss LOTS of truly GT kids, even some HG+ kids. DS7 took one of them and just squeaked in as GT, though he's a DYS kid. Group IQ tests are not very good tests. Achievement tests help catch some of the truly GT kids that those lousy group IQ tests might miss. I think that's a good thing, as the problem is with the instrument, not with the kid.


    Kriston
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    [quote=Kriston]

    So please correct me if I'm understanding wrong: you think schools have to IQ test all kids in order to ID GTness, and only IQ test?
    [end quote]

    IQ, yes.

    ALL kids? no.

    Kids are flagged to be tested and they either test in or they don't. That's your 1-2%. And, yes, parents can flag their own kid.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20677 07/20/08 08:51 AM
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    In our state, kids are required to be tested. By law. All kids.


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    In our state, kids are required to be tested. By law. All kids.


    I'm missing your point.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20681 07/20/08 08:58 AM
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    Kids AREN'T "flagged to be tested." ALL kids are tested for GT in 3rd grade. Every last one of them. The state law requires it.

    It's a basic difference in method between your state and mine, and it is mandated by law. Your state can pick and choose which kids are tested. Mine can't.

    Services for GT kids aren't mandated, but GT ID is.


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    All kids are tested, in the time frame that the school dictates, but if a parent has a kid coming into K she can request the testing be done early for whatever reason.

    Our school flagged DS to be tested in 2nd grade. It all depends on the kid. Some roll along and test when general testing is done. Others need testing much earlier.

    My point is that a teacher or parent can flag a kid apart from what the system dictates.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20685 07/20/08 09:23 AM
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    Okay, I woke up late today!

    Just wanted to throw this in: Our district gifted coordinator is likely to tell you that the average IQ for all children in the district is 120.
    I haven't heard 40% gifted but I wouldn't be surprised to hear that claim in this community.
    It is an affluent community that is hard to get into because it is cost prohibitive. We purchased a very modest house 5 years ago because we heard the schools were very good and even though we hadn't had formal testing yet, we know the girls were very intelligent because they did some unusual things as babies.
    People move here not just from the area but from states far away, my pediatrician tells me, for the services. Especially the gifted services.
    Luckily for us, it's not rare to run into other HG kids which has been nice.
    Because they seem to think so many kids are gifted and have an excellent program which they think is all locked up, they do not offer individualized curriculum for kids because they don't understand kids who can complete all elementary requirements within a year or two like my daughters.


    RPM9 #20689 07/20/08 09:59 AM
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    Originally Posted by RPM9
    All kids are tested, in the time frame that the school dictates, but if a parent has a kid coming into K she can request the testing be done early for whatever reason.


    So your system *IQ* tests all kids at some point--regardless of whether anyone suspects GTness? Or only the ones flagged by parents or teachers? This post sounds different than your other one, so I'm trying to clarify.

    I don't mean to beat a dead horse, but I'm still not sure you're following me. Every last child in our system is tested for GTness in 3rd grade. 100% testing. All kids in the system. That's why your statement that "not all kids should be tested, only those flagged" doesn't work in my state. All kids MUST be tested.

    Teachers and parents can also request earlier testing in our system. DS7 was IDd by his K teacher for testing, so he was IDd early. So that's no different than your situation.

    Our mass testing might explain some of our high GT numbers, now that I think of it. Our system will presumably catch more of the borderline or underachieving cases...assuming the group IQ test isn't too lousy.

    Thanks for the pitch-in there, kcab. That's sort of how I think about talent, too, but it seemed like RPM9 was going another direction, making some clear, strictly demarcated distinction between G and T that I didn't get. I'm just trying to follow along! Meanwhile, we'll look forward to your return! smile


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    Kriston and I are in the same state and I know that our community has very high levels of kids who are identified as gifted. The last report from our gifted teacher (to a parent conference) claimed that 50% of the total number of kids had been identified as gifted. (If you have x number of kids in the district and y number of gifted kids then y/x is 50%.) But careful... That does not means that half of all of the kids are gifted. It means that if my kid is gifted in math and receives a math pull-out class, and a reading pull-out class, and he is in a High IQ cluster, then he is counted three times. So that inflates the numbers quite a bit. (good for the back-patting aspect of the district!)

    And so yes, all kids are tested by generic tests like the CogAt and IBST in third grade. I believe that you have to be in the top 95% in either math, or reading, or have scored a 130 or above on the IQ test to be in the gifted program. So they count kids who are good at math or reading along.

    I found out that the average IQ of our students is just under 120. So you only have about a 10 pt. IQ difference between the normal kids and the gifted kids in the High IQ group. Our neighborhood seems to match fairly well to 'Neato's in that people move here because of the schools. And the community prides itself on the quality of the schools. But... They design their classroom instruction and pace to be quite challenging for the 120 IQ kids, and they have pull-out classes for the kids who are labeled gifted. (If you can call spending 8 weeks planning a birthday party for a centennial at a local senior citizen center as a cluster pull-out class... <fume, fume, fume!>
    (Can you tell that I'm not happy with our pull-out classes?)

    But they make no differentiation between LOG. I keep trying to point out to someone (anyone!!) that if 10 pt. separate the ND kids from the GT kids (and they should get extra instruction), then what do you do with kids who are 10 pt and beyond the gifted kids!!! mad

    Okay, that is my very first time (I think!) of using the mad icon. But I really get infuriated with the blank stares that follow that statement.


    Mom to DS12 and DD3
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    Originally Posted by ebeth
    Kriston and I are in the same state and I know that our community has very high levels of kids who are identified as gifted. The last report from our gifted teacher (to a parent conference) claimed that 50% of the total number of kids had been identified as gifted. (If you have x number of kids in the district and y number of gifted kids then y/x is 50%.) But careful... That does not means that half of all of the kids are gifted. It means that if my kid is gifted in math and receives a math pull-out class, and a reading pull-out class, and he is in a High IQ cluster, then he is counted three times. So that inflates the numbers quite a bit. (good for the back-patting aspect of the district!)


    Interesting. I'm not sure if this multiple-counting of the same kid is what's going on in our district or not. Hmmm... Must do some research, as that does change things significantly!


    Kriston
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    "Figures often beguile me," Twain wrote, "particularly when I have the arranging of them myself; in which case the remark attributed to Disraeli would often apply with justice and force: 'There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.'" [1]

    Mark Twain (1906-09-07). "Chapters from My Autobiography". North American Review 186. Project Gutenberg.

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    I think a lot of us agree that a child's score on an IQ test can be an underestimate based on a variety of reasons.
    Not likely a child can test artificially high on the new IQ tests unless he/she is given answers or coached, which, hopefully is not an issue currently due to the newness of the tests.

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    Kriston typed:
    "High GT numbers"

    Maybe this is the issue...Do you know the numbers of JUST the G students?

    Our District does not lump T with G. They are very snarky about the terms and how they are used. I remember being swiftly corrected by Admin for lumping both together; big no-no.

    I see it done here all of the time tho. It makes me see District's point about maintaining, I don't know, purity [for lack of a better word right now] in the terms.

    We have a TAG meeting where we discuss enhancement for the Talented kids and then we have a Gifted Meeting [SNAP] where we discuss programs specifically for Gifted kids. Now, a G student can be part of T but a T student can't be a part of G unless they test into the group. Does that make sense?



    Last edited by RPM9; 07/20/08 11:05 AM.

    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
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    RPM9,
    I like the way your district seperates the definitions. I think it may allow for more and better programs for more kids. Please keep us posted on your opinion on how it all works, I find the concept very intriguing.

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    Originally Posted by Dottie
    Hmm, might we have a semantics problem? I typically use "GT" for "gifted"...our school actually uses "talent" in their labeling, but we rely on IQ scores for entrance. I am not making any reference to "G" as "gifted" vs "T" as "talented" in using GT, and I suspect Kriston is using it in a similar manner?


    Ahhhhh, I think you're on to something. Curious to know from Kriston now.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20706 07/20/08 11:18 AM
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    Originally Posted by RPM9
    Kriston typed:
    "High GT numbers"

    Maybe this is the issue...Do you know the numbers of JUST the G students?

    Our District does not lump T with G. They are very snarky about the terms and how they are used. I remember being swiftly corrected by Admin for lumping both together; big no-no.

    I see it done here all of the time tho. It makes me see District's point about maintaining, I don't know, purity [for lack of a better word right now] in the terms.

    We have a TAG meeting where we discuss enhancement for the Talented kids and then we have a Gifted Meeting [SNAP] where we discuss programs specifically for Gifted kids. Now, a G student can be part of T but a T student can't be a part of G unless they test into the group. Does that make sense?


    Not really. Not to me. Sorry. Am I just dense? I'm not trying to be!

    What I do not understand is how the district delineates between gifted and talented. I get the gifted testing, I think. IQ only, right? So is there a second test for talent? Is the achievement test used to define talent and IQ used to define giftedness? I just don't understand the difference or how it is demarcated as it pertains to the school and the programs.

    And yes, Dottie, thanks for the clarification: I do use "GT" as a standard abbreviation for "gifted." I don't really think about "talent" at all, I guess. I don't think our schools do either, for what it's worth. (Not much, at this point!)


    Kriston
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    Originally Posted by incogneato
    RPM9,
    I like the way your district seperates the definitions. I think it may allow for more and better programs for more kids. Please keep us posted on your opinion on how it all works, I find the concept very intriguing.


    I think they're on the right track by keeping things very tight. I've been witness to shady dealings because this parent knows that PTO President or that parent threatens this Administrator and then you end up with kids in a program and you're scratching your head as to HOW it happened as they are clearly out of place AND, worse, taking a slot away from a truly deserving Gifted kid. Grrr!

    Keeping Giftedness as close to a black and white, clear cut score keeps things simple. It's "Just the facts, ma'am" now stop jumping up and down. You're not going to get your way.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20709 07/20/08 11:23 AM
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    Devil's advocate alert:

    I've been witness to shady dealings because this parent knows that PTO President or that parent threatens this Administrator and then you end up with kids in a program and you're scratching your head as to HOW it happened as they are clearly out of place AND, worse, taking a slot away from a truly deserving Gifted kid. Grrr!


    How would anyone know if a child is out of place in a gifted program? Clearly you couldn't be privy to this child's testing results.

    RPM9 #20710 07/20/08 11:27 AM
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    Well, I don't think tests are the be-all-end-all. They're not perfect indicators. I think human common sense has to factor in.

    That's not to say that I want everyone in and no standards, and I hate the "old boy" network. But I think there is a grey area, and I'm okay with exploring that a little. People are not black and white. "Just scores" may be simple, but simple isn't always in the best interest of the kids.

    I guess I would rather err on the side of inclusion just a wee bit than exclude kids who belong. I'm not going crazy here! But there are kids who score a 129 who fit a lot better than kids who score a 130. Personally, I like Dottie's district's "multiple indicators" over "black and white."

    Also, FWIW, if you have a strenuous program for GT kids, then I think kids who don't belong will usually realize it and drop out, provided the program doesn't "dumb down" to help them fit. Maintain standards, and the right kids will wind up where they belong.


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    LOL you guys have been busy. WHen I commented about a kid w/ FS128 and VCI of 132 and hence getting into the program, I wasn't making any judgment on whether the child should or shouldn't be in the program, just that if that criteria is used, I would expect the numbers in the program would be higher. I've read of very few places that will accept the GAI for the WISCIV and have never heard of a district only using VCI or PRI until now.

    I've read several times and been told from teachers etc that the top 25-30% of a class could use enrichment. The curriculum and pace of instruction is geared below that level. So yep I think the aforementioned kid could use enrichment/differentiation, enhanced curriculum at a faster pace.


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    [quote=Kriston][quote=RPM9]Kriston typed:
    So is there a second test for talent?
    [end quote]

    No, not really. That's the thing. Anyone who wants to can go to the Enhancement Programs for Talented kids. Heck, I know a kid who can blow spit bubbles. That's a talent, right? <sarcasm> So, now you have parents who take their kids to the Talented programs who now want Gifted services for their sprout.

    That's why when I saw you and others using GT I thought "Gifted Talented" and I'm thinking, flippin' heck, when do our straight-up Gifted kids ever get a d@mn break?

    My misunderstanding.


    "Too often we give children answers to remember rather than problems to solve." -Roger Lewin
    RPM9 #20714 07/20/08 11:33 AM
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    Ah! Yes, I see. Thanks for clarifying, and I'm sorry to take so long to get us there! Thanks for your patience! smile

    We have none of the talented stuff, so we don't have that sort of strict definition. The only programs we have are for gifted (aka GT) kids. (Such as they are...not much!)


    Kriston
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    Beware, gifted and talented can also be used to mean, IQ and performs to the subjective standards of teachers. It can and has been used to keep out "certain" kids who qualify by IQ but who the teachers don't like. And I'm not talking about strictly behavior issues, this can include kids who ask too many questions.
    Remember last year, K teacher tried to block DD6 from going to enrichment because in her brilliant(heavy sarcasm) estimation DD was not "The cream of the crop". Then she tried to dismiss her IQ test as evidence because she "didn't understand it". And the teacher is the ultimate decsion maker in this regard. The principal blocked her, but if she wanted to go to the mat on it, DD wouldn't have gone to the K "gifted program" last year. Now granted, it's not all that great, but a heck of a lot better than learning her alphabet the whole day.


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    Originally Posted by incogneato
    Devil's advocate alert:
    How would anyone know if a child is out of place in a gifted program? Clearly you couldn't be privy to this child's testing results.


    Results, no.

    However, I know if they're SNAP or not. If you run a SNAP program you sort of need to know who the SNAP kids are. Not scores tho, no.

    Did other kids end up being inserted into the program who shouldn't have been? More than several!


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    Yes, that's one of the reasons I'm in favor of erring slightly on the side of inclusion rather than exclusion, 'Neato. I don't want the "this child is taking someone else's spot" used to keep out kids who are really GT for dumb reasons.


    Kriston
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    I'm out too, before I vomit all over my laptop.

    Peace out,
    Neato

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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    Ah! Yes, I see. Thanks for clarifying, and I'm sorry to take so long to get us there! Thanks for your patience! smile

    We have none of the talented stuff, so we don't have that sort of strict definition. The only programs we have are for gifted (aka GT) kids. (Such as they are...not much!)


    Oh man, I WISH the Talented stuff would go away. District is on the right track for keeping the terms VERY separate. Thank goodness.

    Talented programs are for kids and their parents who want to be involved in programs with their kids. A good thing, mind you, but it can be taken to the extreme and there are a handful of parents who will do just that. <sigh>


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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    But I think there is a grey area, and I'm okay with exploring that a little. People are not black and white...guess I would rather err on the side of inclusion just a wee bit than exclude kids who belong.

    In our district students who have borderline scores or have really high scores in a particular area (but not overall) are put in a "Challenge" pull-out. This is especially beneficial to the low-SES students who have not had a home environment conducive to intellectual development. We have found that many low-SES students later score in the gifted range after being exposed to enrichment activities in a challenge class for a year or two.

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    Ooh! I like that, TS! What a smart solution.


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    Originally Posted by Texas Summer
    In our district students who have borderline scores or have really high scores in a particular area (but not overall) are put in a "Challenge" pull-out. This is especially beneficial to the low-SES students who have not had a home environment conducive to intellectual development. We have found that many low-SES students later score in the gifted range after being exposed to enrichment activities in a challenge class for a year or two.

    This made me smile! I hope there are other districts doing the same!

    acs #20778 07/21/08 10:04 AM
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    Originally Posted by acs
    This made me smile! I hope there are other districts doing the same!

    I'm glad I could share something to make you smile, acs. Yes, I would love to see other districts adopt this policy. Identification of minority, ESL, and low-SES students is a big topic right now in the academic GT community so hopefully this type of policy will become more widespread.

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