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    Joined: Jan 2008
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    It is nice to see such a healthy debate. I cannot comment on how it is to deal with schools yet. However, I first came to this board seeking answers because I was worried that the school system would not work for my child, because I was so woefully bored in school, and he seemed more advanced than I was as a preschooler. And if the curriculum is dumbed down from what I had in the 1970's, then he may as well not even go to school. But I have seen so many different viewpoints on this board, and advice on what has/has not worked, that I have much more hope for DS4, whether he ends up in PS or not. My opinion about public schools: their job is to teach every student, including HG+ kids. I will optimistically try to work with the PS next year, but I know that I will quickly pull my child if he's not learning anything.

    (Incidentally, i don't really think DS4 has a clue about what happens in school. He said the other night before he fell asleep "I think when I go to school they will teach me how to figure out how big a water bottle I need to fill my tummy.")

    This is certainly an interesting discussion on conceptual mathematics! wink

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    Val Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by mamaandmore
    So, IMO, it's not just that the school owes GT kids a "fair" education, it's that they owe these kids not to screw them up beyond belief. I think from the schools perspectives, doing nothing isn't hurting anyone- but my experience says that is a very, very false notion. It's just that by the time the harm becomes evident the kids are long since gone from elementary school so they are never forced to deal with what not doing anything really does.

    Oh, amen to that.

    Val

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    acs Offline
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    Originally Posted by st pauli girl
    But I have seen so many different viewpoints on this board, and advice on what has/has not worked, that I have much more hope for DS4, whether he ends up in PS or not.

    smile

    That's such good news. That really is the strength of the forum, that we have room for lots of views.

    It is clear to me that the individual schools, the individual teachers, and the personalities of the kids and parents all play hugely into this. Yes, there are lots of kids who have been burned by the system. Some have thrived in spite of it (or even to spite it), while others have withered under the weight of a bad situation. And then there are schools that are set up for gifted kids and do a good job (and others that don't). And schools that just turn out to be a bad fit for one kid, but if it's yours it's a big deal. Then there are the families who are able to work with a school to improve the fit, sometimes with gentle pressure and sometimes with more intense advocacy. We managed to stumble into a pretty ordinary public school, that, while below average on paper, turned out to be filled with teachers that have loved to watch DS learn and have bent over backwards to make sure his brain is fed.

    All these stories are true. It's a big country. And our kids, even if all HG+ need different things. One perspective just isn't going to tell the whole story. That's why I love it here.

    Last edited by acs; 07/22/08 09:49 PM.
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    I guess I just don't understand how we (the public) lost control over the school system. It's now this huge juggernaut of beauracracy with a will of its own. Why can't there be options? Why can't we have different styles of public school instruction within the system? I guess the charter school movement is based on this idea...but why aren't there more gifted charter schools? I can't find anything like that in my area.

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    Val Offline OP
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    Originally Posted by Kriston
    Okay, I really must shut up. You must all be sick to death of hearing me soapboxing tonight! Sorry! blush

    I think this discussion is a vital one. At the very least, it's getting everyone to think about the problem and see it from different angles.

    Like Kriston and others have said, the schools are supposed to be educating students, and they aren't. The minimum- standards based approach and focusing only on what's on the test are destroying the educational system for everyone. Few or almost no students in public schools are getting breadth of subject coverage, and (especially in elementary schools) many get little or no exposure to music & music history, art & art history, geography, history, literature etc. etc. This situation is particularly hard on the very bright ones, but it's still bad for everyone.

    And that just sucks!

    Val

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    Originally Posted by Cathy A
    I guess the charter school movement is based on this idea...but why aren't there more gifted charter schools? I can't find anything like that in my area.

    I don't know about your state, but in Texas you cannot have a true functioning gifted charter school because you have to accept all students who enroll. If more students enroll than there are spots, you have to have a lottery. Our gifted group discussed starting a gifted charter school but we couldn't get around that minor detail.

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    Originally Posted by Val
    Like Kriston and others have said, the schools are supposed to be educating students, and they aren't. The minimum- standards based approach and focusing only on what's on the test are destroying the educational system for everyone.

    And that just sucks!

    I agree that there are real problems with the system. I dislike NCLB as much as anyone.

    But I guess I wouldn't go this far. My DS is getting a much better education than I did. The demographics of his district are similar to where I grew up. My DS likes school and is getting a good education. It is a poor community, but they try do do the best with what they have. For example, they put a priority on music. The teachers go out of their way to put history and geography in the curriculum, even when it is not mandated. Our school board does a good job of supporting the teachers and parents. Perhaps they are doing a good job in spite of a broken system, I don't know, but I doubt they are the only ones.

    I mention all this, not because I don't think there are things wrong, sometimes seriously wrong, with the schools, but because I get a little nervous around overgeneralizations.

    Last edited by acs; 07/22/08 10:11 PM.
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    Originally Posted by Dazed&Confused
    Until, we as a country, see academics the same way we view athletics, not much will change.

    BRAVO - national mentality would have to suffer a MAJOR shift!

    Originally Posted by Squirt
    I am deeply in the middle of "I chose private school because public wasn't meeting his needs but should I have fought harder for changes?". But, while I fight, what happens to the child? He asked me yesterday if, in a class of only 4 kids, would there be less teasing about being too smart? First I'd heard of it but he had to have heard it at school. Kids will always be teased about something but shouldn't there be some social more that "being smart" is both acceptable and appreciated? After all, these kids don't come out of the womb with prejudices. Someone said earlier that society doesn't value academics and that's true.

    Do not feel bad, we had to take our kids from what was being hailed as the "most difficult, highest academics" private school because they were being dumbed down (is this even a word???)

    I am off camping ....

    P.S. And I agree that we should move this entire thread somewhere, since it has nothing to do with math, LOL smile

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