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Old 01-26-2012, 02:11 PM
 
1,135 posts, read 1,984,898 times
Reputation: 1478

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
I'm betting (and hoping) this is a gross exaggeration. My experience has been the exact opposite. I know only 1 child with a para, and only for part of the day (he quite obviously needs extra help); and I read about kids every day, all over the country who can't get an eval let alone any kind of special service from their school district.
Vermont has one of the most progressive education systems in the country. For instance, the state sends every town, regardless of how rich or poor, the same per-child spending allotment for education. (The money comes from a statewide property tax pool). Towns can choose to spend more (if they're willing to see their property taxes increase), but every town has enough to provide a solid basic education.

This is an excellent philosophy, but sometimes the spending gets out of whack. While kids with autism or learning disabilities have better opportunities than kids in less progressive states, a lot of money is wasted on services for kids who are "special" because of behavioral issues.

I've volunteered at my children's elementary school for years and I can't recall a class without at least one para-educator. In fact our proposed school budget for next year has an additional $90,000 for para services.

Meanwhile, the board of education scrambles to sustain courses and teachers --- if you spend more on special ed, you have less to spend on everything else --- and can't add anything new without causing property taxes to soar.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,901,296 times
Reputation: 1896
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
My daughter has been in a GT magnet program since first grade and while there are a couple of kids in the program who do appear to be truly "gifted," the majority are the offspring of educated, upper- income parents who value education and spend lots of time with their kids. I think most of the parents recognize that that's the reason their kids are in the program and only one parent comes to mind who is obnoxious about her kids. And she is truly annoying.

I was glad that my daughter got into the program because she was reading in kindergarten (again--not because she was particularly gifted, but because we'd read to her since she was an infant) and some of the kids in her class didn't know the alphabet. She zoomed through the sight words and the teacher was having her test the other kids on their words. She loved it, but I was happy for her to get to move to the other school where she was able to advance when she was ready. The basic curriculum was the same, but in the GT program they would do the regular course work in 4 days and do enrichment activities 1 day a week.

Bragging about one's kids to others is almost always aggravating to the listener, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a place for GT curriculum in a school district.

What I think is sad is that if the main difference is parental involvement, it's a shame that all kids can't start school with the reading and math skills that the so-called GT kids have. It's really just the result of parents reading to their kids and spending lots of time looking at and talking about the world and engaging them in activities that develop different skills.

When my daughter was in kindergarten we dropped the kids off in the cafeteria in the morning and I would sit with the kids til the teacher came to pick them up. Sometimes I would help them with their sight words or read stories with them. Somehow the subject of having books at home came up and one little girl--very bright, very cute, but who struggled with the sight words--said something about not having any books at home and that no one ever read to her. Later I noticed that her mother, who probably had her as a teenager, had the little girl's name tattooed on her neck. I thought to myself, in an admittedly tacky and condescending way, that some parents show their love by having their kids' names tattooed on their necks and some show their love by reading to them. My point is just that as the OP pointed out, there are few truly gifted kids, but most kids can do well academically if adults in their lives value education and provide opportunities for them to learn.
I agree that parental involvement is huge and certainly makes a difference, in most cases.
Our older daughter struggles in school, she has since she was in Kindergarten. She isn't falling behind, she is an average student. She has to work very,very hard though, to be average.
We are both educated adults here, my husband holds 2 masters in Engineering and I have a BS.... We read ALL. OF.THE. TIME., and we still continue to do so.
Our oldest hates to read, we have to beg her to pick up a book. Our youngest on the other hand, loves it and is reading above grade level.
Our school does have an excellent reading program and we are fortunate that our oldest is getting some extra help and has been placed in a group
Of peers with the same reading skills/level.
We live in an affluent , professional area, most of the parents of the kids at their school are professionals, Dr's, lawyers,etc... My guess would be that for the most part , they all hold education in high regard.
We have an active parent involvement in our school.
There is another little girl in my daughter's reading group who's father is head of Cardiology at a hospital here and her mother has a PHD and is Dean of students for a small University here.
So, while it is true that many students who don't preform well in school may come from households that do not place a high value on education, or are Not involved in their child's school, it is not the case for all.

Last edited by NYMD67; 01-26-2012 at 02:28 PM.. Reason: Sentence
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:36 PM
 
15,203 posts, read 16,061,842 times
Reputation: 25126
Quote:
Originally Posted by NYMD67 View Post
I agree that parental involvement is huge and certainly makes a difference, in most cases.
Our older daughter struggles in school, she has since she was in Kindergarten. She isn't falling behind, she is an average student. She has to work very,very hard though, to be average.
We are both educated adults here, my husband holds 2 masters in Engineering and I have a BS.... We read ALL. OF.THE. TIME., and we still continue to do so.
Our oldest hates to read, we have to beg her to pick up a book. Our youngest on the other hand, loves it and is reading above grade level.
Our school does have an excellent reading program and we are fortunate that our oldest is getting some extra help and has been placed in a group
Of peers with the same reading skills/level.
We live in an affluent , professional area, most of the parents of the kids at their school are professionals, Dr's, lawyers,etc... My guess would be that for the most part , they all hold education in high regard.
We have an active parent involvement in our school.
There is another little girl in my daughter's reading group who's father is head of Cardiology at a hospital here and her mother has a PHD and is Dean of students for a small University here.
So, while it is true that many students who don't preform well in school may come from households that do not place a high value on education, or are Not involved in their child's school, it is not the case for all.
I hope I didn't offend you and apologize if I did. I was basically agreeing with the OP that not all kids in GT programs are particularly gifted or talented. What I've seen in our community, which is predominantly mid- to lower-income and blue collar, is that the kids in the GT program tend to come from the small percentage of families where parents are relatively better educated and have time and resources to spend on their children. That certainly doesn't mean that when a child is challenged or has some sort of difficulty in school that his/her parents aren't involved or don't care. I'm sorry if that's how my post came across to you.
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Old 01-26-2012, 02:50 PM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,537,960 times
Reputation: 14278
Our school uses an interesting system. In grades K-3 the Gifted and Talented teacher meets with all students four or five times a year and they do general class enrichment activities. When they hit 4-8 select students are identified to partake in enrichment activities on a pull-out basis two times a week. The interesting piece (at least to me) is that it is based on areas of interest that are identified in the kids. There are drama, science, history, architecture and foreign language groups and each kid can only participate in one at a time, but they can switch their choice if they want to after a year as each section is built to cover a certain topic for that long. For instance, you can take rocketry in 4th, drama in 5th, forensics in 6th, business in 7th and philosophy in 8th. Alternatively you could stick solely in the science track if you wanted to.

Not every kid in the school is part of the program, but a good number are; in a school with roughly 80 kids per grade, around half of them are in the enrichment program. I think this is much better than the program when I was in school that I was a part of. They basically took 10 or so kids in each grade level, called them gifted and talented and sent them to a class a couple days a week. The issue was that not everyone was interested in the curriculum being taught and we were pretty much just the 10 or so best students in our grade, not many people got anything out of it.

In my kids district they also alleviate some of the push for G&T like is done in other districts by having the kids follow "tracts" in grades K-5. When my son does math or reading, there are three or four separate break out groups that all may be on a different stage of learning, some advanced, some average, some slightly behind what is considered the standard. Kids are allowed to learn as quickly as they can or as slowly as they need to. So, the entire class isn't being held back by say 4 kids who aren't "getting it". Once they hit 6-8 and high school, there is the normal split out of honors/AP, standard and remedial courses.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:01 PM
 
Location: here
24,473 posts, read 28,761,114 times
Reputation: 31056
Quote:
Originally Posted by LisaMc46 View Post
Vermont has one of the most progressive education systems in the country. For instance, the state sends every town, regardless of how rich or poor, the same per-child spending allotment for education. (The money comes from a statewide property tax pool). Towns can choose to spend more (if they're willing to see their property taxes increase), but every town has enough to provide a solid basic education.

This is an excellent philosophy, but sometimes the spending gets out of whack. While kids with autism or learning disabilities have better opportunities than kids in less progressive states, a lot of money is wasted on services for kids who are "special" because of behavioral issues.

I've volunteered at my children's elementary school for years and I can't recall a class without at least one para-educator. In fact our proposed school budget for next year has an additional $90,000 for para services.

Meanwhile, the board of education scrambles to sustain courses and teachers --- if you spend more on special ed, you have less to spend on everything else --- and can't add anything new without causing property taxes to soar.
I don't know about Vermont in particular, but that does sound out of whack.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,726,300 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by nashvols View Post
LOL, I don't call that the "gifted" epidemic. I call it the "baby angel snowflake" epidemic.

MY CHILD IS SOOOO SPECIAL. I NEED SPECIAL RULES AND SPECIAL ATTENTION FOR MY CHILD!!!

Nope. No they're not. There are tens of thousands of children just like yours. All across the country. But I'm glad that the extra special attention that mommy and daddy constantly give them will ensure that they grow up socially inept and completely incapable of functioning in society.

Do us all a favor and start teaching them how to properly use a shovel and a hammer.
Yup.

What cracks me up is that if everyone is special then special is TYPICAL, lol.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:20 PM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,726,300 times
Reputation: 14499
Quote:
Originally Posted by branDcalf View Post
I liked the teacher in my kids' school who would say, "Yes, honey, you're special... just like everyone else."
I once made that statement on a parenting board and got my ID banned.
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Old 01-26-2012, 03:43 PM
 
Location: Central, NJ
2,313 posts, read 4,819,564 times
Reputation: 2977
Quote:
Originally Posted by NJGOAT View Post
Our school uses an interesting system. In grades K-3 the Gifted and Talented teacher meets with all students four or five times a year and they do general class enrichment activities. When they hit 4-8 select students are identified to partake in enrichment activities on a pull-out basis two times a week. The interesting piece (at least to me) is that it is based on areas of interest that are identified in the kids. There are drama, science, history, architecture and foreign language groups and each kid can only participate in one at a time, but they can switch their choice if they want to after a year as each section is built to cover a certain topic for that long. For instance, you can take rocketry in 4th, drama in 5th, forensics in 6th, business in 7th and philosophy in 8th. Alternatively you could stick solely in the science track if you wanted to.

Not every kid in the school is part of the program, but a good number are; in a school with roughly 80 kids per grade, around half of them are in the enrichment program. I think this is much better than the program when I was in school that I was a part of. They basically took 10 or so kids in each grade level, called them gifted and talented and sent them to a class a couple days a week. The issue was that not everyone was interested in the curriculum being taught and we were pretty much just the 10 or so best students in our grade, not many people got anything out of it.

In my kids district they also alleviate some of the push for G&T like is done in other districts by having the kids follow "tracts" in grades K-5. When my son does math or reading, there are three or four separate break out groups that all may be on a different stage of learning, some advanced, some average, some slightly behind what is considered the standard. Kids are allowed to learn as quickly as they can or as slowly as they need to. So, the entire class isn't being held back by say 4 kids who aren't "getting it". Once they hit 6-8 and high school, there is the normal split out of honors/AP, standard and remedial courses.
This sounds fantastic! I mean the first part about the enrichment.
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Old 01-26-2012, 05:28 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,239,684 times
Reputation: 14654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kibbiekat View Post
I'm betting (and hoping) this is a gross exaggeration.
It sure is not the case in northern VT.
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Old 01-26-2012, 06:12 PM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,239,684 times
Reputation: 14654
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivorytickler View Post
Yup.

What cracks me up is that if everyone is special then special is TYPICAL, lol.
Right out of Mr Incredible. Everyone will be super. Then no one will be. Still bitter grapes.
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