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A Glimmer of Light in the Gifted Gloom

October 29, 2013
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A few weeks ago, I wrote about a growing backlash against the value-added gifted sub-group data.  (“Superintendents to Parents: Who Are You Going to Believe, Me or Your Lying Data?”)  This week, I would like to do a short-follow up.  There are superintendents and others who would prefer to convince parents that they should disregard poor value-added scores for the gifted sub-group. But there are also superintendents who are taking note of the poor scores and responding in a way that is much more positive.  More importantly, there are a growing number of parents who are insisting that something must be change for gifted children in their districts. Within the last week, at least two parent groups have reached out to the Ohio Association for Gifted Children (OAGC) to get help in organizing or re-organizing parent affiliate groups. For those parents who are interested, the OAGC Parent Division will be hosting a meeting on Saturday, November 2, 2013. Please contact OAGC Parent Division Chair, Angela Grimm, at aecrowder@yahoo.com for more details.

In addition, I have heard from a few districts that are now forming study groups to determine how best to “fix” gifted within their districts. Most of these districts have greatly reduced gifted services over the past five years as a result of uncertain funding and non-existent state oversight.  In the urban areas, there seems to be a reawakening in several city districts, that can establish gifted community schools. One such school (an open enrollment school) has opened up in Sandusky this year, and several other urban districts are also making plans to open up gifted schools.

Finally, I am encouraged that several superintendents have stepped up to support OAGC’s position that before all regulations or “inputs” are eliminated from the gifted operating standards (currently under review by the State Board of Education), that the state needs to develop a better set of “outputs.” In addition, these superintendents believe it is reasonable that gifted funds be spent on gifted children in their districts. My thanks to these superintendents and others who are not shying away from their responsibility to gifted students within their districts.  For those who are not so responsible, we will need to rely on parents and policy makers to push hard against the movement to undercut accountability measures for gifted students in Ohio.  To keep up with current information on the gifted operating standard process, please visit www.oagc.com/?q=advocacyalert .

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