AUGUST 4TH: COMMENTS IN RESPONSE TO QUESTIONS POSED BY THE GIFTED ADVISORY COUNCIL

August 4, 2010 at 7:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Gifted students in Broward County Public schools are provided with Educational Plans to better assure that their individual learning needs are met within the public school system.  As a result of these plans, teachers are required to modify the instruction for individual children.  Do you think that gifted children need and should receive differential instruction and why?

I believe that every child is gifted and should receive instruction differentiated to his or her individual needs, skills, and learning styles.  The question raised sounds like appropriate and high quality teaching practice and, if I understand it correctly, I believe that is what we want for all children.  Having said that, I think that each child with an education plan is entitled to all of the services and attention that the law governing the plan mandates.  I believe that a quality teaching environment should be built on RIGOR (curriculum infused with far reaching expectations, RELEVANCE (a teaching strategy to show the student how the learning is relevant to their life, learning style and future goals, aspirations and dreams), and RELATIONSHIPS (teachers and students in a mutually stimulating and respectful relationship – each motivating the other to higher ordered thinking, problem solving and creativity).

Academically gifted children should absolutely benefit from a learning culture that expects them to think creatively, solve intellectual problems, challenge themselves to ever- increasing depth of their knowledge base and adapt a disciplined approach to learning.

Parents of gifted children are concerned about the time their children spend preparing for FCAT.

I completely agree with the parents of gifted children.  I believe that if we address the teaching and learning relationship in the manner that I described in my answer to question number one, all children will have been suitably prepared for valid assessment.  Furthermore, I am concerned about the ancillary series of tests that are administered in lieu of meaningful instruction.

Supplemental funding

This is an easy question to answer: absolute transparency (which is a foundational belief intrinsic in my personality and platform.  A larger question is where has the trust gone?  Why do the parents of gifted children believe that the targeted funding is not being used appropriately?  I would like to begin discourse on that question as it would be meaningful as I move forward.

I will endeavor to make every academic, social and emotional opportunity the very best for each and every student.  I am a life long educator, student of education and responsible adult.  I certainly understand the requirements of serving gifted students.

6A-6.03019 Special Instructional Programs for Students who are Gifted.

(1) Gifted. One who has superior intellectual development and is capable of high performance.

(2) Criteria for eligibility. A student is eligible for special instructional programs for the gifted if the student meets the criteria under paragraph (2)(a) or (b) of this rule.

(a) The student demonstrates:

1. Need for a special program.

2. A majority of characteristics of gifted students according to a standard scale or checklist, and

3. Superior intellectual development as measured by an intelligence quotient of two (2) standard deviations or more above the mean on an individually administered standardized test of intelligence.

(b) The student is a member of an under-represented group and meets the criteria specified in an approved school district plan for increasing the participation of under-represented groups in programs for gifted students.

1. For the purpose of this rule, under-represented groups are defined as groups:

a. Who are limited English proficient, or

b. Who are from a low socio-economic status family.

2. The Department of Education is authorized to approve school district plans for increasing the participation of students from under-represented groups in special instructional programs for the gifted, provided these plans include the following:

a. A district goal to increase the percent of students from under-represented groups in programs for the gifted and the current status of the district in regard to that goal;

b. Screening and referral procedures which will be used to increase the number of these students referred for evaluation;

c. Criteria for determining eligibility based on the student’s demonstrated ability or potential in specific areas of leadership, motivation, academic performance, and creativity;

d. Student evaluation procedures, including the identification of the measurement instruments to be used;

e. Instructional program modifications or adaptations to ensure successful and continued participation of students from under-represented groups in the existing instructional program for gifted students;

f. An evaluation design which addresses evaluation of progress toward the district’s goal for increasing participation by students from under-represented groups.

(3) Procedures for student evaluation. The minimum evaluations for determining eligibility are the following:

(a) Need for a special instructional program,

(b) Characteristics of the gifted,

(c) Intellectual development, and

(d) May include those evaluation procedures specified in an approved district plan to increase the participation of students from under-represented groups in programs for the gifted.

(4) This rule shall take effect July 1, 1977.

Specific Authority 1001.42(4)(1), 1003.57 FS. Law Implemented 1000.01, 1001.42(4)(1), 1003.57(5), FS. History–New 7-1-77, Formerly 6A-6.3019, Amended 10-10-91, 5-19-98, 7-14-02.

I believe that all components of the schools performance should factor into the evaluation of a Principal, the leadership team as well as the educators.  I also believe that responsibility also resides within the child and the family supporting the child.

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