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(Ohio) Gifted in the 21st Century Revisited — Finding 2

March 3, 2010

The Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC) has been invited to share  concerns/requests at the April State Board of Education regarding the upcoming education budget.  As a prelude to this presentation, the High Ability bloggers thought it would be interesting to highlight the progress made on the seven findings in the “Gifted in the 21st Century” Task Force Report.  This report was released in 2002.  This week we will look at Finding 2.

Finding 2: Accountability: Currently, schools are not held accountable for ensuring children who are gifted are served according to their needs.  There is no system in place to ensure these children reach their full potential.  Ohio’s report card system, whole addressing district results in proficiency, does not specifically address children who are gifted.  In addition, the Ohio the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) has not yet addressed the gifted population in the state accountability system or in the guidelines and subsequent documents from the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (No Child Left Behind.) If Ohio is to enter the 21st century as a leader in gifted education, accountability for all children, including children who are gifted, will need to be an integral component of all policy and accountability decisions.

Unfortunately, to date, Ohio has made little progress in this area.  The performance of gifted students as a subgroup is not a factor in the school rating system, and the availability of data on the performance of gifted students by school and district is very limited.  It is possible, using the interactive local report card system, to see the number and percentage of students identified as gifted by racial and economic subgroup, and the number and percentage of these students who are “proficient” on state assessments, but it is impossible to access data on the number or percentage of students receiving gifted services or on gifted student achievement beyond binary “proficient” or “not proficient” numbers.  However, State Superintendent Delisle and the State Board of Education have been given a golden opportunity to change this in the form of language in the school funding reform law requiring the creation of a “performance indicator” for gifted education.  The new gifted education task force now being convened will be charged with making recommendations regarding the indicator, and should strongly consider including as factors data related to the percentage of gifted students “served,” achievement measures of gifted students, and local progress toward reducing racial and economic disproportionality among students identified as gifted and receiving gifted services and toward narrowing the “upper achievement gap” between the highest performing deciles of white and minority students and economically disadvantaged and non-economically disadvantaged students.

Note from Ann:  To see more about the “upper achievement gap” go to www.oagc.com/?q=AdvocacyUpdates

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One Comment leave one →
  1. March 3, 2010 6:35 pm

    While it is true that every Nobel Prize winner was once sitting in a high school classroom, those of us in education have to come to terms with our students who may be as bright as, if not brighter than, we are, and we should not shrink from seeing to it that they have enough academic challenge to let them make full use of their brains, either in our classes, or in independent study (for instance on 6,000-word history research papers…).

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