Erica - posted on 02/11/2009 ( 10 moms have responded )
*Ok...none of the links posted and I tried clicking on them and the last one doesn't even work. BUT the first two take me to the same page on the same website so I will include that link at the end.
Why is it difficult (or impossible) to get the education gifted kids need in public school? A child with a 130 IQ is as different from the norm (100) as is a child with a 70 IQ. A child with a 70 IQ usually receives an Individual Education Plan and a lot of support to achieve his or her potential (and that's wonderful!). A child with a 130 IQ (in my school district) is invited to attend a certain social studies class that isn't very different from the regular social studies class (and that's not so wonderful!).
Keep in mind that research shows that gifted kids do not "have everything they need to achieve" in order that they have wonderful lives. Research shows that as many as 15-30% of high school dropouts are gifted and talented (Lemov, 1979) and other studies show that most youngsters identified as intellectually gifted were significantly underachieving.
Gifted education still does not seem to get the same attention as the education of children with disabilities. I believe one reason is because children that are gifted do not have the same protections under state and federal law as children with disabilities. Guidelines for gifted education vary from state to state and from school district to school district. I think it will probably take a federal mandate before gifted education gets more attention.
Here is a link to an article regarding legal rights in gifted education:
* Know Your Legal Rights in Gifted Education
I agree with you that many gifted children have some special needs that should be addressed by their schools. There is also a need for training of school personnel. Teachers frequently have a hard time adjusting the curriculum for children who are gifted as well as understanding and dealing with what is referred to as "underachieving" gifted children.
Here is a link to an article on underachieving gifted students:
* Underachieving Gifted Students
I would suggest that you contact local support groups and agencies that have an interest in gifted education and work together with your local schools to improve educational programs for children that are gifted.
Here is a link to a web site with a list of state organizations involved in gifted education:
* Gifted Resources Legal Info
Contact the organizations in your state to see what you can do to help improve gifted education in your area.
-Dory Creech (KidSource Moderator)
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