Gifted Students Are Seldomly Given What They Need During Their School Years, New Study Confirms
I hardly know where to begin; but I can tell you I'm angry.
A popular discussion in my LinkedIn groups is about the recent article in the New York Times, by Chester E. Finn, Jr.: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/19/opinion/gifted-students-deserve-more-o...
I could add quite a bit to that article myself. For example, things have not improved much for gifted student education in some regards and have gotten far worse in others. As most people know, schools deny an ability to even identify who is gifted before the children have already been bored-to-tears, under-educated, and socially out-of-synch for at least two to three years, often longer! I developed an online "test" for IQ (The Ruf Estimates of Levels of Gifted Online Assessment, here on this site) that parents can access when their child is younger than school age. It's an uphill battle getting anyone to know such a tool even exists. And --- you guessed it --- schools I've approached about this tool are not only not interested, they won't even tell parents about it.
I used to think I could work with the schools, but the vast majority don't want anyone intruding or messing with the way they do things, I've learned (the hard way). I am now convinced that only when parents have access to the correct, true information about intelligence ... and particularly their child's intelligence ... will they be in a position to force changes in the way schools treat gifted students. If they don't have to change, they won't. Money talks, and funding follows the child. If enough parents (of gifted children, those whose scores, even when dismally under-educated, still pull up a district's average) take their children elsewhere, the schools will have to sit up and take notice. Heck, I found out that when kids are in movies (as one of my kids was between the ages of 10 and 13, plus one more stint at age 19 when he faxed in his homework to MIT for three months so he could do the movie), the movie people are required to provide free tutoring to the child actors. Tutoring is always at the child's level, not the common level of kids of the same age. (For the curious, follow the trail with "Can't Hardly Wait," "Dick Tracy," and "What About Bob").
In fact, the gate-keeping, the legal efforts other groups --- and individuals --- are taking to keep parents of gifted kids from knowing what their children really need --- or giving it to them once they do learn and speak up --- are increasing all over the world! The very recent trend of requiring psychological licensure for anyone who would do an educational assessment of a child is just one such method that has become expected in several countries and more than half of our states. Someone with actual pedagogical (teaching) experience or the very visceral experience of being a gifted person or rearing gifted children (parents), going back to school for an advanced degree in anything other than psychology (and psychology licensure requires doing a 2,000 hour unpaid internship under someone who quite often doesn't even know the topic) doesn't "count" as qualified to evaluate for giftedness or guide others in how to meet their needs. Unfortunately, Dr. Finn doesn't even know about all of this gate-keeping.
I hardly know where to begin.