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Ohio House, Still Mindful of Gifted, Adds a Few More Things

April 28, 2009

I am suitably impressed. Thankful. According to Ann Sheldon at OAGC:

The House Finance Committee votes late last night on an omnibus amendment to House Bill 1. Click here for a summary of the amendments. Additional provisions for gifted include:

Clarifies that enrichment funds can be used for gifted students
Requires the State Superintendent to develop a performance indicator on district report cards for gifted students
Permits certain (very limited) community schools to operate outside of their sponsoring district.

I have long believed that many teachers, administrators and parents do not realize how poorly academically gifted students can perform over time when they are not appropriately challenged in the classroom. I mean, if they were aware, then surely they would do something about it – right? If the measure of performance of gifted kids is anything like the ODE Math measure we have already seen (see this graph if you want to shock your system) – and were more publicly available and comparable between districts, that could speak volumes and remove the burden of having to restate the research each time we advocate for high ability kids. Districts would no longer be able to pretend these students do not exist or that they manage quite nicely on their own. Even more important, perhaps a published measure of the fifth quintile performance data will show that these students need more than just math instruction to be successful.

Now – if there were only a way to get the tools G/T teachers need to educate these kids – (PC’s, laptops and accelerated learning programs). I have been in gifted classrooms with no access to PCs much less Laptops or Tablets. I have been in windowless gifted rooms with nothing but games, books and an energetic and creative G/T teacher for resources. I have helped raise funds for PTAs only to discover that the money was funneled back to all teachers in the form of grants with the exception of the gifted teacher because the PTA leadership considered G/T to be elitist. And I recently had a conversation with a district administrator who wondered, gloomily, what would happen if all students had the opportunity to test out of a subject or grade level (the answer? Some pretty happy, smart kids who are having their needs for faster paced curriculum delivery met).

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