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Old 01-26-2012, 06:33 PM
 
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I think what it boils down to is parents wanting the best opportunity for their child. When I think of a "gifted" child, I tend to think more Doogie Howser, a child who is truly exceptionally smart, doing physics and trigonometry in 1st grade, that kind of thing. That's different from being smart or above average. But when kids are above average, their parents may just want the best opportunity available to them.

My dd's pre K teacher recommended that she be tested for the gifted program next year. I don't consider her to be Einstein, but she is above average for a 5 year old. I asked her teacher what's the difference between smart and gifted, and she listed some characteristics off to me, but I'm still not convinced. However, I WILL get her tested, not because I think she is so special and above anybody, but because I believe she will get the best education that way. In my district, grades 1-8 gifted students are their own school. That school is one of the best in the state, and one of the few decent schools in the district. Do I like the idea of her being segregated, absolutely not. But do I want her to get the best education possible, absolutely. And I'm pretty sure that most, if not all of the students there are like her, smart, above average students, and remain so because they are in a school that devotes time and energy into teaching.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:00 PM
 
Location: Knoxville, TN
346 posts, read 428,160 times
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When my kids attended public school, my daughter was placed in the "talented and gifted" program after her third grade year. I didn't know about it's existence because my older child struggled in school. My daughter however had a wonderful teacher her third grade year. My daughter worked hard and learned a lot and had great grades and high test scores. (that's how they chose to place the kids in the TAG program). So once or twice a month, the TAG kids were taken out of their normal class and taught more, extra, etc. the TAG teacher was also fabulous, and it amazed me how much my daughter was learning in the short time she spent in TAG.

I was just happy that she was getting this amazing opportunity to learn more, and too that her attitude and hard work were being rewarded in some tangible way.

At the end of the year, the school district decided to end the TAG program (partly funding issues) but also because they decided to spend those resources teaching the extra lessons to ALL the students.

So on the one hand, it was giving more students more opportunity, which was good, so a student like my son might benefit from this change. On the other hand, I was sad to see the better students not getting that reward or special recognition.

However, to answer the OP, I don't hear a lot of parents here talking about gifted kids or programs.

Also, side note, we now home school.
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:05 PM
 
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It's everywhere. Parents all over now tend to see their children not as individual people but as some kind of status symbol or extension of themselves. They brag on and on about their gifted child, will be sure to point it out to you in case you might have missed it.

Yes it's good for parents to believe in their child and want to feel some pride but it's gone way beyond sanity. The sad thing sometimes is that these kids know full well they aren't gifted and can never live up to what the parents have bragged on, but also some of these kids are only average at best and believe in the hype and live outside reality.

So many parents wanted their children in the gifted programs at the underperforming school here, they decided to stop taking the kids labeled as such out for enhancement but instead had the GT teacher spend some time in each class -- all kids are gifted now. Yet the SAT scores in this are are low.
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Old 01-27-2012, 05:11 AM
 
2,818 posts, read 5,157,652 times
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Originally Posted by malamute View Post
Parents all over now tend to see their children not as individual people but as some kind of status symbol or extension of themselves.
There! That's the root of the problem.
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Old 01-27-2012, 06:30 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 5,923,782 times
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Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
Right out of Mr Incredible. Everyone will be super. Then no one will be. Still bitter grapes.
I take it you have a child in a gifted program? You don't believe that there is a tendency for many parents to believe their child or children are deserving of special treatment.

BTW, this is the second time you've used that phrase. I believe it's actually "sour grapes."
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Old 01-27-2012, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
1,820 posts, read 3,900,442 times
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Originally Posted by Marlow View Post
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.
No, not at all... It just seems to be an overall, general conclusion that if a child struggles that it must mean the parent(s) never read to them or are not active in their education.
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Old 01-27-2012, 08:02 AM
 
11,230 posts, read 9,235,817 times
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Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
I take it you have a child in a gifted program?
Nope I have a child with an IQ 3 point shy of genius with a writing LD who can't get services because his LD does not place him in the lowest 14% of performance compared to his peers.

Our school does a pretty poor job with LD kids and gifted kids alike. If there are any gifted programs available, I have never heard of them. They have a strong will to avoid anyone meeting the criteria for special services because it costs money.

I guess I am not all that bothered by it for my son. I have the will and resources to give him the "special education" he needs. He has "accommodations" at home. He has his own notebook computer with Dragon Naturally Speaking on it that allows him to produce the work he is capable of without being constricted by his writing difficulty. BUT he also has added requirements put on him. I have a special writing program that is targeted at people having trouble learning to write as well as a typing program.

Much of this is stuff that would not be possible for someone of lesser means than I.

Quote:
You don't believe that there is a tendency for many parents to believe their child or children are deserving of special treatment.

Sure there are some. There are pockets of every kind of parental silliness some of which any one of us might be guilty of.

The problem I have with exaggerating the prevalence, as I think is being done in this thread, is that it makes the objective assessment of a student's needs cloudy.

I remember early in my son's life child care providers and then his kindy teacher all wanted him evaluated for ADHD. It was amazing what a rash of assumptions from educators, family and friends we received just by MENTIONING this to them. Some assumed we would medicate. Some assume we would NEVER medicate. Some assumed we were THOSE parents who just wanted to make excuses for their sweet little woogums. People would talk at us with these assumptions in mind when we did not share those assumptions. We had not even decided if he needed to be evaluated! How confusing for the parents to decide what is best for THIS child based on a bunch of preconceived notions of people who think that there is a crisis of ADHD over diagnosis!

Who CARES if some parents think their sweet woogums is super special. The special ed eval will demonstrate otherwise. The real person who suffers is the kid who is stuck with a parent who thinks their poo doesn't stink and doesn't raise them to be responsible for themselves. But I think it is way over stating it to say this rises to the level of crisis at all.
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Old 01-27-2012, 09:29 AM
 
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The parents in central NJ are just as repulsive. They are "academically talented" here. I have volunteered at school functions and you can see a noticable difference with the AT children. They are all placed in one class throughout their elementary years. They don't socialize with the other children and really do have a superior attitude. Wait until these little darlings grow up!
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:06 AM
 
14,777 posts, read 34,525,274 times
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Originally Posted by addicted2helping View Post
At the end of the year, the school district decided to end the TAG program (partly funding issues) but also because they decided to spend those resources teaching the extra lessons to ALL the students.

So on the one hand, it was giving more students more opportunity, which was good, so a student like my son might benefit from this change. On the other hand, I was sad to see the better students not getting that reward or special recognition.
I think overall, as a nation, through a combination of reasons, we tend to invest more money in our worst then in our best. When I was in high school, the district had to pay out over $200k a year for a specialized teacher, transportation and equipment for a girl with Downs Syndrome, who only interacted with other students in a limited capacity during gym class. At the same time, the school was struggling with funding for the Advanced Placement program that was affording the best students to earn college credits while in high school and give them a leg up. The cost to care for(sorry, I can't use the word educate there) the girl in question would have allowed the school to almost double the existing AP program versus cutting it. Of course, educating a girl with Downs Syndrome is something a public school must do and at the school if the parents insist on "mainstreaming" and the school can't find a very compelling argument not to, offering the best and brightest AP classes isn't.

I won't argue the finer points of all that, just point out that most schools invest drastically more money per pupil into the "worst" then they do into the "best", that's a foolish system, IMO. For that reason things like TAG programs take on a different meaning and grow in importance. It's often the ONE benefit the better students may get.
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Old 01-27-2012, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,989 posts, read 98,847,978 times
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Originally Posted by somebodynew View Post
I don't know where one can get into a gifted program based on the parents' demands. Around here you cannot get an IEP without an evaluation whose main goal seems to be keeping the kid WITHOUT extra services since they cost money and time.

The process is not simple. And the result is a reasonably difficult to dispute IQ score.
It's been almost 7 years since my youngest graduated from high school, but when my kids were in the K-12 system, in my district (metro Denver) you could put your kid into TAG in middle school anyway by parental request. I know of parents who also asked to have their kids put in advanced math classes, even when the teachers did not recommend said kids for those classes. I know what the OP is talking about. I will say, be patient. By high school, it's fairly obvious who is "gifted" (very few) and who is not.
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