Skip to content

Separate-But-Equal?

May 12, 2009

A Maryland school district is participating in a pilot program that provides accelerated and enriched instruction to “gifted and talented” students without giving them the label of “gifted and talented.” Removing the label is okay, I guess, as long as the students are being identified and served I don’t really care what it’s called. But if the label of gifted and talented is being removed in order to include non-gifted students in that group of learners, then a great injustice is being done.

In Florida we have this from the Jacksonville News: “2 Duval magnet schools face separate-but-equal debate” a poorly conceived and written article which wrongly equates gifted and academically talented students with the politically charged rhetoric of separate-but-equal. How, exactly, is that headline going to serve the readers or the Jacksonville News or the students who attend the Duval magnet? Talk about compounding an already complicated topic.

Academic giftedness can not be dismissed with a wave of the hand and the belief that all it takes is practice, or pushy parents, or certain DNA (thanks a lot Mr. Brooks). Academic giftedness is a cognitive state which may be asynchronous but nearly always defines a different learning style. To pretend that all children can learn given the right teacher in a mixed ability classroom is to deny the science. To insist on the democratization of our public schools at the expense of this particular student profile diminishes us all.

For an interesting and thought provoking post on the ability of public schools to provide adequate education resources to the GT population, see The “More” Child Blog recent post on a visit by Jay Mathews.

Advertisements
3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 13, 2009 4:51 am

    Removing the label is okay, I guess, as long as the students are being identified and served I don’t really care what it’s called. But if the label of gifted and talented is being removed in order to include non-gifted students in that group of learners, then a great injustice is being done.

    Jean, that is exactly what they are doing. Check out the new documents that I posted regarding the “no labels” pilot. The issue is that the system doesn’t even know what it’s talking about when it speaks of gifted–which it won’t. Officials have stated that they don’t have gifted children, just gifted/accelerated/enriched/rigorous classes. They won’t define what they mean by gifted. I think they have a radically different concept than most gifted educators. And keep in mind, we identify over 40% of students here as “gifted.” What people also should keep in mind is that as Montgomery County goes, so goes the state of Maryland. MCPS is one of the largest suburban school districts in the country. Do people see where this is headed?

    • May 13, 2009 11:32 am

      Maybe Jay Mathews was giving you the answer – a Charter School or Magnet School for gifted in MCPS to serve the needs of students who can not be successful in a public school classroom that purposefully refuses to meet their needs. It is distressing to hear news like this –

Trackbacks

  1. Testing: The Three A’s – Achievement « High Ability

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: