Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Maybe everyone is "gifted".

The school district we live in puts a very big emphasis on providing special services to those who are what they call, "identified gifted". My daughter is one of those that are "identified". There are all sorts of resources provided by our district for both the parents of gifted and the gifted students. For students, there are many advanced classes and college credit classes offered. They even have their own PTA type group which puts on a symposium every year with several speakers and other information for parents. I have been to some of their meetings and they certainly do like to toot their own horn about all the wonderful things they do for the gifted kids.

I also have experience with the opposite end of the spectrum. Over the years, a few of my children have needed help in reading, writing and speech. To receive any help in these areas was quite difficult. I was told there actually was no help for writing and I ended up having to pay for private tutoring. Other services can take almost a year to get and not even have satisfactory results.

Last year at one of the meetings for the parents of gifted, the school representative was telling us all about the things they do for the gifted students. Besides the classes, each student also had some sort of gifted specialist looking out for them. We were told that if the child's grades began slipping the specialist would be called in to find out why. This person would check with the student to make sure that assignments were being turned in and their locker was organized and help if needed.

"Gee, couldn't EVERY student benefit from that?" I thought to myself. I began to wonder just how many "unidentified gifted" students there were in this district. Perhaps if every student were treated like they were "gifted", they would be.

1 comment:

Amy said...

Funny, in LISD it's the other way around. Our special needs kids get the moon, which I am of course eternally greatful for. Our typical kids get a typical education - but kids who could benefit from accelerated instruction are forced into the mainstream anyways. Worse yet, the rationale for leaving gifted children in the regular classroom is that they can be a peer model to the others - as if it's the gifted kids' task to educate their peers at the expense of their own education. It's harder to qualify for LEAP in LISD, and ironically, once in the program, it's only a pullout program with some additional work assigned. Sometimes I wish I lived in CFB for the sake of the other 2 kids. I go back and forth on it - in LISD, one child gets what he needs, and the other 2 are going to grow up fine regardless - right? Other days I think to myself, the other 2 are going to be our future leaders, and they're going to be in charge of the world that will have to take care of my special child. And my special child will likely wind up in a group home and a sheltered workshop regardless. So maybe I am focusing on the wrong kid? Who knows. Here is an interesting article: http://www.newsweek.com/id/186960