Capable & gifted students

Having served as a teacher and administrator in public schools in three states, I have found that the students most neglected are those that are highly capable or gifted. While students with special needs are protected by federal legislation, those at the other end of the spectrum are largely ignored. In Connecticut, for instance, the only requirement for school districts with regard to this population is to identify them and report the number to the state board. Schools need not address their needs, so most talented and gifted programs have disppeared due to lack of funding or fears of being “elitist.”

In fact, the classroom setting most conducive to encouraging these capable students-homogeneous grouping, is a largely absent from elementary and middle schools. Not until high school do students have the opportunity to mingle with those like themselves in leveled courses like honors or AP courses. Those in lower grades languish in classrooms catering to those less capable than they are. So by middle school some have already become bored and disenfranchised. Capturing their interest need not require more funds–just some creativity.

2 Responses to “Capable & gifted students”

  1. Angie

    My experience with gifted in Texas is the same. The birthplace of NCLB has brainwashed parents, teachers and administrators into thinking that they are meeting the needs of their gifted. I work in a small private gifted school in Houston. Parents come to us near tears because their students have been so frustrated. I get to watch them love to learn again .

    My second experience is in Louisiana (north of New Orleans). Their program is exactly opposite. Gifted is under the special ed umbrella, IEP’s are written and filed, classes are offered by subject or full day, teachers are trained in the universities to teach gifted and parents are fully supportive. What a complete difference!

    Looking forward to more of your experience!

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  2. LIM

    One of the many reasons that I left the public education arena(where I was a principal) was that I was disheartened by the treatment of capable students. So I took action on several fronts: I withdrew my own children from the local public school to a top prep school, and I started my own learning center. The effects have been enormous both professionally and personally. At my center I can address the needs of EVERY child, regardless of ability or disability. I also serve as a liaison between parents and school officials.

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