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(The New York Times)   Scoring error in tests prevent 4700 NYC students from qualifying as gifted. If only there were a group of unusually smart people that could have helped prevent this   (nytimes.com) divider line 69
    More: Interesting, berg administration, Department of Education, Shael Polakow-Suransky  
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2837 clicks; posted to Main » on 20 Apr 2013 at 12:56 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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ZAZ [TotalFark]
2013-04-20 09:30:11 AM
According to Pearson, three mistakes were made. Students' ages, which are used to calculate their percentile ranking against students of similar age, were recorded in years and months, but should also have counted days to be precise. Incorrect scoring tables were used. And the formula used to combine the two test parts into one percentile ranking contained an error.

The first is too trivial to correct. The second and third may be minor mistakes or major mistakes.

One parent, Rena M. Ismail, 36, who had been told that her 5-year-old son, Hyder, was not eligible for a gifted seat, said the department informed her that her son had scored in the 89th percentile, when, by her math, he was in the 91st.

It's fine for a test to select the top 10% to include some 89th percentile students and exclude some 91st percentile students. The test is not that accurate and it's feeding into a lottery anyway. I have the same feeling about standardized tests used as graduation requirements. If you're so educationally challenged that your properly calculated score is the minimum passing grade, erroneously subtracting one more point does not do the world any harm.
 
2013-04-20 12:59:24 PM
... Gifted by NYC standards... I wouldn't cry about it ...
 
2013-04-20 01:01:42 PM
Those gifted programs are BS. There were many very intelligent people in my HS in many AP classes but not in the program. The kids in program just got a special room where they could screw around in their free time.
 
2013-04-20 01:03:42 PM

KittyGlitterSparkles: Those gifted programs are BS. There were many very intelligent people in my HS in many AP classes but not in the program. The kids in program just got a special room where they could screw around in their free time.


I remember not envying them in elementary school.  They got to go to their special room during recess for God's sake.  Yeah, because smart kids don't want/need to play outside.
 
2013-04-20 01:08:02 PM
/csb alert

I took a "gifted & talented" test in the sixth grade and didn't make the cut.  I was very surprised by the kids who did make the cut.  I knew I was smarter.

Anyway, two weeks later, the guidance counselor tells me they made an error in scoring the test and I did make the cut, so I joined the district's gifted program

Then i found out that I hated "gifted" students.


/ stop with the farkin' puns!
 
2013-04-20 01:09:24 PM
www.thenae.org
 
2013-04-20 01:11:26 PM

maxx2112: /csb alert

I took a "gifted & talented" test in the sixth grade and didn't make the cut.  I was very surprised by the kids who did make the cut.  I knew I was smarter.

Anyway, two weeks later, the guidance counselor tells me they made an error in scoring the test and I did make the cut, so I joined the district's gifted program

Then i found out that I hated "gifted" students.


/ stop with the farkin' puns!


Exactly. Most people in those programs are a bunch of chucklefarks.
 
2013-04-20 01:12:37 PM

KittyGlitterSparkles: Those gifted programs are BS. There were many very intelligent people in my HS in many AP classes but not in the program. The kids in program just got a special room where they could screw around in their free time.


Your gifted program may well have been, as are many. There is no consistent definition of 'gifted' nor identification procedures nor services and programs, and worse is a lack of requirement for states or districts to adopt gifted identification or services. Such programs become worthless because of an utter lack of focus and thorough misunderstanding of asynchronous development and intelligence across several levels of the education system. Over the last three months with my current school, we have added three services, two identification procedures, began collaborating with all teachers, and amassed well over 100 recommendations from VPK to 6th and began to review and compile data on each, and the enrichment classroom the majority are accustom to has had the curriculum utterly reworked to align with NAGC standards and be supported by research. Also, teachers and guidance have to do less paperwork.

The ones in New York may be bullsh*t, but I want to establish early in the comments few gifted programs are similar due to vast differences in definition, mandates, identification procedures and instruments, services within the schools, etc..
 
2013-04-20 01:18:26 PM
IQ 134, and was in the 'remedial' class all the way through school. Passed highschool, with merit, without ever doing any, or how to, study. csb
 
2013-04-20 01:19:39 PM

uttertosh: IQ 134, and was in the 'remedial' class all the way through school. Passed highschool, with merit, without ever doing any, or * how to, study. csb


* knowing.
 
2013-04-20 01:20:10 PM
Only the 90 percentile for the district-wide program? That's pretty low bar.

KrispyKritter: [Midvale School for the Gifted pic]


One of my friend's I was in the gifted program with at my school regularly wore a shirt with that comic on it.
 
2013-04-20 01:20:13 PM
Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.
 
2013-04-20 01:22:05 PM

born_yesterday: KittyGlitterSparkles: Those gifted programs are BS. There were many very intelligent people in my HS in many AP classes but not in the program. The kids in program just got a special room where they could screw around in their free time.

I remember not envying them in elementary school.  They got to go to their special room during recess for God's sake.  Yeah, because smart kids don't want/need to play outside.


I caught on to that scam in 8th grade.  From 8th to 11th, there was a special "gifted" path that did more work prepping for APs than the rest.  But you could also test into APs from the regular path.  Getting straight 'A's in the non-gifted path was 10x easier than competing for grades in the gifted group.  So I opted out, took all regular classes, tested into the 5 AP classes I wanted, and had great grades with not much effort.
 
2013-04-20 01:23:16 PM

Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.


The OLSAT does to a large degree, the Naglieri not as much. Both are Pearson products and New York shifted away from the OLSAT to the NNAT quite recently. Still, I use the NNAT for screening rather than identification which it isn't precise enough for, in my opinion.
 
2013-04-20 01:29:33 PM

Comsamvimes: Only the 90 percentile for the district-wide program? That's pretty low bar.

KrispyKritter: [Midvale School for the Gifted pic]

One of my friend's I was in the gifted program with at my school regularly wore a shirt with that comic on it.


I did the same with my gifted class.

Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.


A test does a decent job gauging knowledge and skill.
 
2013-04-20 01:29:39 PM
The only proof I need that IQ/SAT are bullshiat is that I somehow managed to score exceptionally high on them.

They're effective for screening the low end, but don't mean shiat for sorting out the mid/high end.
 
2013-04-20 01:30:42 PM
KittyGlitterSparkles:

Exactly. Most people in those programs are a bunch of chucklefarks.

I think that was me. My classmates seemed pretty sane and even-keeled. I dunno wtf I was going in school, besides slacking. :)

As for TFA, I'm not sure what to think. Gifted kids should get the support they need, but everything about a hard cutoff seems totally opposed to the idea of gifted support. Add the usual caveats about testing and actual productivity of kids vs potential.

I dunno. Seems like a minor issue (especially for 5 year olds, cripes) but of course it's not to those 4700 people and you gotta do something with special kids besides stuffing them in the barrel of education... OR we could just overhaul education to provide better services to more students that would take their intellect, maturity, and other talents into account... NAH. Crazy talk!
 
2013-04-20 01:33:11 PM

Yankees Team Gynecologist: The only proof I need that IQ/SAT are bullshiat is that I somehow managed to score exceptionally high on them.

They're effective for screening the low end, but don't mean shiat for sorting out the mid/high end.


All they prove is how good you are at taking tests. I did *great* on the SAT/ACT/GRE but I suck at applying that knowledge to real life.
 
2013-04-20 01:34:21 PM
So ultimately, some kids who weren't quite good enough will get in, along with everyone who should have gotten in. No big deal.
 
2013-04-20 01:35:27 PM

Aidan: I dunno. Seems like a minor issue (especially for 5 year olds, cripes) but of course it's not to those 4700 people and you gotta do something with special kids besides stuffing them in the barrel of education... OR we could just overhaul education to provide better services to more students that would take their intellect, maturity, and other talents into account... NAH. Crazy talk!


Give me ten years and I will begin this overhaul. I work in gifted education not because I think there is a hard cut between gifted and non-gifted but because I recognize differences in potential, developmental rates, aptitudes, etc., require different services, which our system in general does not want to recognize cause this would require thinking as radical as the Cardinal Principles or Committee which were only about a century ago...
 
2013-04-20 01:36:07 PM
ITT: Those marginally above average in intelligence humblebrag about how they weren't in gifted, but "totally could have gotten into it, man" if they had tried, and they didn't want to get into it anyway.
 
2013-04-20 01:37:01 PM

Mrbogey: Comsamvimes: Only the 90 percentile for the district-wide program? That's pretty low bar.

KrispyKritter: [Midvale School for the Gifted pic]

One of my friend's I was in the gifted program with at my school regularly wore a shirt with that comic on it.

I did the same with my gifted class.

Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.

A test does a decent job gauging knowledge and skill.


CSB: In freshman English in High School, my teacher gave a test on the Odyssey and the multiple choice answers spelled out the name of one of the characters (obviously more than A,B,C,D). Some of the questions were esoteric and not really relevant to the story. So if you didn't get the pattern, your grade suffered. Some tests are farking retarded.
 
2013-04-20 01:40:14 PM

Vangor: Aidan: I dunno. Seems like a minor issue (especially for 5 year olds, cripes) but of course it's not to those 4700 people and you gotta do something with special kids besides stuffing them in the barrel of education... OR we could just overhaul education to provide better services to more students that would take their intellect, maturity, and other talents into account... NAH. Crazy talk!

Give me ten years and I will begin this overhaul. I work in gifted education not because I think there is a hard cut between gifted and non-gifted but because I recognize differences in potential, developmental rates, aptitudes, etc., require different services, which our system in general does not want to recognize cause this would require thinking as radical as the Cardinal Principles or Committee which were only about a century ago...


Thank god someone is! I looked at what kind of gifted resources there were in my area, and there are simply none. Except for "awareness raising" *jerk-off motion*. Now I'm looking at resources for kids who like to touch things (wires, gears, plumbing, etc), and it's the same old bullshiat. No actual resources, just a lot of smoke. If I could find a group that was doing substantive things, I'd definitely be glad to hitch my wagon to that star. *tips hat*
 
2013-04-20 01:40:35 PM
So, how is NYC doing so far in getting all students into the above average category?

/thatsthejoke.jpg
 
2013-04-20 01:43:01 PM
They will be thankful later in life.  Being labeled as gifted is a curse and your only friends will be in the marching band.

/experience ...
 
2013-04-20 01:43:26 PM
Unusually smart people who work in education? Subby, you make me laugh. And so does the Far Side cartoon, even though I is gifted me self.

I know how we are. Smart people can do the stupidest things.
 
2013-04-20 01:44:43 PM
I was in gifted. The way our school implemented it, it was not any real advantage. In elementary school, we got pulled out of class at random times. Some of the kids resented this. Meh, kids are all little assholes. Some of the *teachers* resented this. One assigned a project while we were gone. I was a space case, and didn't think to ask about any work that might have been assigned. She never tried to inform me later. Weeks later I had to present, surprise! Thanks teacher, that was helpful.

In middle school, we were pulled out of writing class. I don't know why this was deemed least valuable, but it was. I would have gone with history, or middle school "science". So I didn't get to learn the hallowed "5 paragraph essay" our school was obsessed with til hs. Maybe no loss there.

If we're going to do gifted, do it right. Sometimes it felt more like getting the precocious ones out of the teacher's way than an effort to really teach us anything. Plus of course whether or not you were in gifted and what year you got in became this idiotic pissing contest. My relationships were complicated by it. Everybody had a reason why I was in but they weren't.
 
2013-04-20 01:49:46 PM

Qellaqan: If we're going to do gifted, do it right.


There are full classes for gifted. I know of two programs (at least), where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school. I understand how stupid it is to single out a kid (went through it briefly), but there are immersive options, provided they're offered in your area.
 
2013-04-20 01:52:32 PM

Aidan: Qellaqan: If we're going to do gifted, do it right.

There are full classes for gifted. I know of two programs (at least), where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school. I understand how stupid it is to single out a kid (went through it briefly), but there are immersive options, provided they're offered in your area.


A friend of mine went to Thomas Jefferson in DC, which I take it is kind of an honors high school. That sounds worthwhile. In St Louis, the only options were stupidly expensive privates. My hs was quite challenging (honors classes, if nothing else, got rid of the kids that enjoyed being disruptive more than learning), however I always thought the approach of the district was misguided.
 
2013-04-20 01:58:41 PM
"gifted and talented" is the biggest bunch of crap that school boards have pushed since the 90's.

I'd rather have an average student with common sense and real life experience, than some "gifted and talented" book smart dope who cannot apply him/herself in real life situations.
 
2013-04-20 02:04:05 PM
Unfortunately you are dealing with unusually stupid people aka school officials and unusually greedy people aka politicians.
 
2013-04-20 02:13:43 PM
Why do we regard intelligence as a gift? More like a curse, if you ask me.

Remember wise old Solomon,
as wise as he could be?
He was the wisest man on Earth,
and so, he cursed the day of his birth.
He knew that all was vanity.
So, not much fun
had Solomon.
I think that we can all agree,
that we are much better off than he.
His brains, it was, that put him on the spot.
I thought that brains were good?
Guess not.

Kurt Weil/Berthold Brecht - from The Threepenny Opera
 
2013-04-20 02:14:56 PM
Intelligent children don't need help in the form of 'special' classes. No, intellectuals ... the REALLY smart people that didn't just memorize things because someone told them to ... they go home and do research on their own time. They get on the internet and look up what they're interested in that day. That could be ancient Egyptian culture, astronomy and its infinite unanswered questions, or even ghosts and the paranormal. Intelligence isn't simply stored data. Intelligence is the desire to learn new things and soak up information like a sponge. Any idiot can get straight A's by memorizing facts. But, not just any idiot will watch documentaries after finishing their homework because the WANT to LEARN. Those are the guys to watch out for. The ones that will change the world. Or, at least, have blogs that make you think.
 
2013-04-20 02:20:09 PM

ZAZ: The test is not that accurate and it's feeding into a lottery anyway.


The idea of accurately measuring mathematical ability - or indeed any other ability - in five year olds is simply absurd.
 
2013-04-20 02:24:07 PM

Mrbogey: Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.

A test does a decent job gauging knowledge and skill.


You missed the point.  A surprising percentage of people have varying difficulty with test taking, that does not reflect their actual knowledge, skill, and ability.  (A test does not necessarily reflect your ability to function and perform in the real world.)
 
2013-04-20 02:32:31 PM

Aidan: If I could find a group that was doing substantive things, I'd definitely be glad to hitch my wagon to that star. *tips hat*


My usual recommendation to parents seeking other resources which are generally unavailable is find ways to do this yourself. Being gifted is about development, and any little experience will help. Unfortunately, gifted is often thought of within the context of primary and secondary education, and this is the great battle the majority of advocates and educators for the gifted are pitched in, thus advocacy groups and organizations are about professional development, research, policy, identification, etc., not parent outreach.

brantgoose: Unusually smart people who work in education? Subby, you make me laugh. And so does the Far Side cartoon, even though I is gifted me self.


There is a position I refer to in my district as "the only gifted position" because this is literal in two senses. My district has a handful of quite intelligent folk working hard, but there is a mass of idiots on the national, state, district, and school levels trying hard to f*ck things up.

Qellaqan: One assigned a project while we were gone.


Our policy is any work assigned while my students are out is not required of them. Also, my students are not to bring any work to my class or other services. As well, periods such as recess are not to be used to make up any missed work or tests. No one has complained about my policy, and several have praised the policy because the program is not meant to be tacked-on. We are not random times or simply efforts to placate parents.

Aidan: where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school.


There should be a significant but not majority time spent with gifted peers, but the bigger issue is the majority of time should be spent with cognitive peers. In general, this means acceleration by a grade level or specific subject. This does not mean creating classes for the gifted alone.

Qellaqan: however I always thought the approach of the district was misguided.


The most successful schools I have interacted with are those which are gifted schools in that all teachers have a significant amount of training in education of the gifted but the student body is not entirely gifted. Rather, students are taught as though gifted because students are matched by developmental level. Simply creating an honors school or whatever will not do this.

MBrady: I'd rather have an average student with common sense and real life experience, than some "gifted and talented" book smart dope who cannot apply him/herself in real life situations.


This is a selection bias which happens because teachers who tend to be those who succeeded in academics choose those who present high abilities in the academic setting. Since the academic setting perpetuates itself via those teachers as being pencil and paper, textbook, memorization, etc., the academic setting gives few but the well-behaved, organized, and studious an opportunity to be identified; teachers are the gatekeepers in this. There are also states and districts which use standardized test scores as means to recommend or identify for gifted, further reinforcing the idea of gifted as academics. This is reinforcing, of course, because teachers and students have gone through many years of seeing the gifted as the academics.

The gifted education field is quite different, and for the last couple of decades we have been striving to expand identification instruments and procedures as we greatly expand our conception of gifted and intelligence. States cling to these objective, numerical measures, whereas theory and advocacy have shifted to nonexhaustive criteria ranked against current environment and needs of additional services focused on individual needs.
 
2013-04-20 02:38:40 PM

JPSimonetti: Intelligent children don't need help in the form of 'special' classes.


Let me state a simple "F*ck You" to such an opinion. Gifted is developmental, and motivation is but one domain of a plethora of ways to be gifted. Gifted are not necessarily self-starters or studious or enthusiastic for learning or similar by nature. Those are behaviors which are instilled by environment, family, schooling, etc.. Further, for the school to not service gifted is to waste the resources of those gifted and of the school, whether or not those gifted venture home to watch documentaries and research online and such. But, this conception of gifted as those intrinsically motivated, introverted academics is one which comes from a lack of knowledge in the field.
 
2013-04-20 02:39:57 PM
orbister: The idea of accurately measuring mathematical ability - or indeed any other ability - in five year olds is simply absurd.

Tell that to the batshiat crazy parents in NYC that torture their 3 and 4 year olds and spend thousands of dollars in order to get them into "The Best Kindergarten". Of course there is no shortage of companies that sell the idea to those on the lower half of the bell-curve that they can simply buy their child's way into the upper half of the bell-curve if they only "Act NOW! Supplies ARE Limited!!"
 
2013-04-20 02:45:22 PM

KittyGlitterSparkles: maxx2112: /csb alert

I took a "gifted & talented" test in the sixth grade and didn't make the cut.  I was very surprised by the kids who did make the cut.  I knew I was smarter.

Anyway, two weeks later, the guidance counselor tells me they made an error in scoring the test and I did make the cut, so I joined the district's gifted program

Then i found out that I hated "gifted" students.


/ stop with the farkin' puns!

Exactly. Most people in those programs are a bunch of chucklefarks.


Jeremy Lin and Lady Gaga were both in programs for gifted youth.  Would hated hanging out with those chucklefarks.
 
2013-04-20 02:46:07 PM
If that many "gifted" children are in one state or school, district;why then are so many adult americans unable to find the USA on a map; perhaps the gift is to be a banker in the US where the don't worry about those things...except for screwing all the other americans
 
2013-04-20 02:56:06 PM
There aren't
get over it
merit has no meaning, connections is all

/STEM is a meaningless AW phenomena
//DIAF
 
2013-04-20 02:59:22 PM

Aidan: Qellaqan: If we're going to do gifted, do it right.

There are full classes for gifted. I know of two programs (at least), where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school. I understand how stupid it is to single out a kid (went through it briefly), but there are immersive options, provided they're offered in your area.


There are entire schools. Several states have 2 or 3 year high schools that are state wide magnets.
 
2013-04-20 03:03:07 PM
Well, what constitutes gifted is very arbitrary.  here, the cut is not 98 or 95%, but  90% and keep in mind this is NYC and not some elite school system.  Calling any of those students around the cut "gifted" is very misleading.
 
2013-04-20 03:03:28 PM

cajunns: If that many "gifted" children are in one state or school, district;why then are so many adult americans unable to find the USA on a map; perhaps the gift is to be a banker in the US where the don't worry about those things...except for screwing all the other americans


Based on the 1.1 million served and the fact the previous number of students qualifying, 9,020, was higher than the number of seats, the percentage of students who qualify as gifted should be around 10%. Using the 9,020 number, again higher than actual seats, this is 0.8%, and across 13 grade levels, K-12, this is only 10.6%; below 8,500 seats and this would represent 10% of the student population. However, the projections for available seats is not meeting growth of student population which suggests previous years have fewer and fewer seats, further lowering the 10% figure. This assumes the system does not remove the gifted label or otherwise remove students from the program; removal of the label is unlikely, but from the program is possible, which would lower the figure more. 10% is reasonable.
 
2013-04-20 03:13:43 PM

Qellaqan: Aidan: Qellaqan: If we're going to do gifted, do it right.

There are full classes for gifted. I know of two programs (at least), where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school. I understand how stupid it is to single out a kid (went through it briefly), but there are immersive options, provided they're offered in your area.

A friend of mine went to Thomas Jefferson in DC, which I take it is kind of an honors high school. That sounds worthwhile. In St Louis, the only options were stupidly expensive privates. My hs was quite challenging (honors classes, if nothing else, got rid of the kids that enjoyed being disruptive more than learning), however I always thought the approach of the district was misguided.


I have a personal contempt for the Thomas Jefferson gifted school in Fairfax.  When it first opened, my parents looked into getting me in there.   We were told "his grades just aren't high enough", despite the fact I was getting very high grades consistently, just not straight A's.  Oh, and I was "behind in my math classes".  My dad asked, "How can he be behind in math if he's taken every math class you've offered every year, and aced it?"  The response was, "Well, he can go to summer school to catch up, but he still probably won't get in."

They were stocking the farking school so they could justify its existence.  How can I be "behind" when I've met every obligation I was told about?  Was I supposed to volunteer to take extra classes in the summer?  Jesus, I would hate to be that kind of loser.  Anyways, I thought they were pretty shiatty about it.

Not that I care now, I'm still friends with many of the people I met in high school, and got into my state school of choice.
 
2013-04-20 03:27:08 PM

born_yesterday: Qellaqan: Aidan: Qellaqan: If we're going to do gifted, do it right.

There are full classes for gifted. I know of two programs (at least), where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school. I understand how stupid it is to single out a kid (went through it briefly), but there are immersive options, provided they're offered in your area.

A friend of mine went to Thomas Jefferson in DC, which I take it is kind of an honors high school. That sounds worthwhile. In St Louis, the only options were stupidly expensive privates. My hs was quite challenging (honors classes, if nothing else, got rid of the kids that enjoyed being disruptive more than learning), however I always thought the approach of the district was misguided.

I have a personal contempt for the Thomas Jefferson gifted school in Fairfax.  When it first opened, my parents looked into getting me in there.   We were told "his grades just aren't high enough", despite the fact I was getting very high grades consistently, just not straight A's.  Oh, and I was "behind in my math classes".  My dad asked, "How can he be behind in math if he's taken every math class you've offered every year, and aced it?"  The response was, "Well, he can go to summer school to catch up, but he still probably won't get in."

They were stocking the farking school so they could justify its existence.  How can I be "behind" when I've met every obligation I was told about?  Was I supposed to volunteer to take extra classes in the summer?  Jesus, I would hate to be that kind of loser.  Anyways, I thought they were pretty shiatty about it.

Not that I care now, I'm still friends with many of the people I met in high school, and got into my state school of choice.


Sounds like you just didn't meet the standards set by the school that other applicants met... not really sure why you still carry a grude.
 
2013-04-20 03:54:37 PM
Scoring error [...] prevent

Subby was not directly affected by this, I take it.
 
2013-04-20 03:56:35 PM
We don't need a test to identify 'gifted and talented' students. We need a test to identify boneheads. Then administrators can find reasons to expel students who, frankly, will never hold a real job. We can then cut them up for organ donation. In this way, they can make a real 'contribution' to our economy.
 
2013-04-20 04:13:32 PM

born_yesterday: KittyGlitterSparkles: Those gifted programs are BS. There were many very intelligent people in my HS in many AP classes but not in the program. The kids in program just got a special room where they could screw around in their free time.

I remember not envying them in elementary school.  They got to go to their special room during recess for God's sake.  Yeah, because smart kids don't want/need to play outside.


It was worse than that for my school.  All the gifted kids in the county had to go to a special class in the high school one day a week.  I think 1-3 grade went on Tuesdays, 4-6 on Wednesdays, and 7-8 on Thursdays.  We'd ride up to three buses just to get there.  When we got back the next day, I bet you can guess what was waiting for us.  Yep, all the work we missed on the day we were off being gifted like assholes.

If I have a kid who qualifies for a gifted program I will straight out refuse to let her join.  If school is too easy, take up a sport or hobby with the free time you have after earning an A.  My gifted classmates did pretty much fill out the top 20 of our graduating class of 362, but ten years later they hadn't done anything special compared to the smart-but-ungifted kids in the class who still went on to medical school, Georgia Tech, Vanderbilt, etc.

One of the most gifted kids I knew graduated high school at 15, but his parents wouldn't let him leave home to go to college, so he had to go to the local community college.  When he was 18 he finally escaped and went to the nearest college but he had no social skills, couldn't get along with his roommates, got kicked out of the dorm, failed, and ended up a Waffle House cook.  His parents pushed him to skip grades, go to summer school, etc. all through his childhood and then sabotaged him at the end.  I can't understand why.  His younger sister saw how they handled him and told her parents to fark right off, graduated at 18 with her peers, went to college, and as far as I know has a decent middle class life.
 
2013-04-20 04:15:14 PM

Vangor: Aidan: If I could find a group that was doing substantive things, I'd definitely be glad to hitch my wagon to that star. *tips hat*

My usual recommendation to parents seeking other resources which are generally unavailable is find ways to do this yourself. Being gifted is about development, and any little experience will help. Unfortunately, gifted is often thought of within the context of primary and secondary education, and this is the great battle the majority of advocates and educators for the gifted are pitched in, thus advocacy groups and organizations are about professional development, research, policy, identification, etc., not parent outreach.


Aye. Doing that. I just find it frustrating that so many people and companies complain about the lack of focus on STEM education and then turn around and provide nothing but posters and bookmarks for kids of all ages. Like any kid was inspired to become an engineer because of a pretty poster. Lookin' at you, NASA. :\

Aidan: where the gifted students take their own classes from their own teachers in their own rooms, and barely interact with the rest of the students in the school.

There should be a significant but not majority time spent with gifted peers, but the bigger issue is the majority of time should be spent with cognitive peers. In general, this means acceleration by a grade level or specific subject.


Well now you're talking! Ten years you say? :) Ironically the only time I experienced that kind of grouping was in non-gifted elementary, and only in one class. Still, I'd love to see that across all students, as we both said up-thread.
 
2013-04-20 04:17:27 PM

Pumpernickel bread: Well, what constitutes gifted is very arbitrary.  here, the cut is not 98 or 95%, but  90% and keep in mind this is NYC and not some elite school system.  Calling any of those students around the cut "gifted" is very misleading.


The approach the selective admission high achievers high school I want to was, I think, the best. It wasn't based on a test, you applied as if you were applying to college. There were minimum qualifications (so much advanced math), but the dropped some of those after they realized not everyone was offered those courses, and you applied. 2 essays (which apparently they now hand write in a test setting, since parents were apparently writing them for kids), transcript, and whatnot. And if you made the first cut, you go in for an interview, and they actually talk to you. They got a much better view for the students as people, and so there was a great mix there. Yes, you had the high achieving types who went balls to the wall and translated ancient greek manuscripts in their spare time (He later wound up at Harvard- and it looks like he's gonna be there a few more years. Ah, grad students posting their woes on facebook), but you also had a bunch of really smart, but laid back and friendly people who got good but not great grades because they didn't put too much pressure on themselves. That mix made everyone better people and better students.
 
2013-04-20 04:31:25 PM

Wodan11: Mrbogey: Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.

A test does a decent job gauging knowledge and skill.

You missed the point.  A surprising percentage of people have varying difficulty with test taking, that does not reflect their actual knowledge, skill, and ability.  (A test does not necessarily reflect your ability to function and perform in the real world.)


THIS.

It is one of the primary reasons - if not the reason - why not to use it for educational tracking that restricts educational access.
 
2013-04-20 04:48:34 PM

Vangor: JPSimonetti: Intelligent children don't need help in the form of 'special' classes.

Let me state a simple "F*ck You" to such an opinion. Gifted is developmental, and motivation is but one domain of a plethora of ways to be gifted. Gifted are not necessarily self-starters or studious or enthusiastic for learning or similar by nature. Those are behaviors which are instilled by environment, family, schooling, etc.. Further, for the school to not service gifted is to waste the resources of those gifted and of the school, whether or not those gifted venture home to watch documentaries and research online and such. But, this conception of gifted as those intrinsically motivated, introverted academics is one which comes from a lack of knowledge in the field.


I never said anything about gifted kids, so I don't why you're having a hissy fit at me. I said "intelligent." ... Anyone can memorize facts and numbers and be labeled "gifted" thought all it means is "good memory." If they don't have the passion to learn more on their own with no outside reward, they will be just another middle-class dumb shiat once their schooling days are over, while the ones with a passion for learning for the sake of learning are the ones that are changing the world.
 
2013-04-20 04:51:08 PM
Further proof that the world is run by "C" students.  No matter how gifted or talented you may be, at some point you will realize your livelihood and your future are being controlled by somebody who either 'just got by' or didn't even try in the areas where you excelled.

/and they will most likely profit handsomely from your 'giftiness'.
2.bp.blogspot.com
 
2013-04-20 06:32:22 PM

Wodan11: Mrbogey: Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.

A test does a decent job gauging knowledge and skill.

You missed the point.  A surprising percentage of people have varying difficulty with test taking, that does not reflect their actual knowledge, skill, and ability.  (A test does not necessarily reflect your ability to function and perform in the real world.)


A surprising percentage? Let me guess... still really low.

Tests are still a decent measurement of knowledge and skill.
 
2013-04-20 06:46:47 PM

Vangor: The most successful schools I have interacted with are those which are gifted schools in that all teachers have a significant amount of training in education of the gifted but the student body is not entirely gifted. Rather, students are taught as though gifted because students are matched by developmental level. Simply creating an honors school or whatever will not do this.


I always had the impression that very apt home-schooled students did this sort of thing. Just take the material as you age into it and it suits you. My handwriting was truly awful throughout elementary school, even though I worked at it. At some point, like a switch, I got the eye hand coordination necessary to improve at it. I never had any such problems in more academic venues; I was mostly ahead of the curve so it didn't come into play. It seems like school would be less stressful for all aptitudes if we allowed kids to go to their personal highest level.

But there is some limit to this; just because a 7 year old has the aptitude to do 10 year old work doesn't mean he functions well in class. My brother skipped a grade, and just being a year younger has big social ramifications. He wasn't slick to begin with. When I was a kid I wanted to skip too, but I was already younger than the cutoff. Elementary school differs from college. But then I'm not an educator, just my experiences.
 
2013-04-20 06:50:33 PM

DigitalCoffee: orbister: The idea of accurately measuring mathematical ability - or indeed any other ability - in five year olds is simply absurd.

Tell that to the batshiat crazy parents in NYC that torture their 3 and 4 year olds and spend thousands of dollars in order to get them into "The Best Kindergarten".


Indeed. "Batshiat crazy" is le phrase juste.
 
2013-04-20 06:53:02 PM

born_yesterday: Qellaqan: A friend of mine went to Thomas Jefferson in DC, which I take it is kind of an honors high school. That sounds worthwhile. In St Louis, the only options were stupidly expensive privates. My hs was quite challenging (honors classes, if nothing else, got rid of the kids that enjoyed being disruptive more than learning), however I always thought the approach of the district was misguided.

I have a personal contempt for the Thomas Jefferson gifted school in Fairfax.  When it first opened, my parents looked into getting me in there.   We were told "his grades just aren't high enough", despite the fact I was getting very high grades consistently, just not straight A's.  Oh, and I was "behind in my math classes".  My dad asked, "How can he be behind in math if he's taken every math class you've offered every year, and aced it?"  The response was, "Well, he can go to summer school to catch up, but he still probably won't get in."

They were stocking the farking school so they could justify its existence.  How can I be "behind" when I've met every obligation I was told about?  Was I supposed to volunteer to take extra classes in the summer?  Jesus, I would hate to be that kind of loser.  Anyways, I thought they were pretty shiatty about it.

Not that I care now, I'm still friends with many of the people I met in high school, and got into my state school of choice.


I don't doubt it. The guy I know who went there has been in training to be a professor it seems like his whole life. A girl I know who went there also seemed incapable of the concept of humor. There are more things to learn than equations and literary analysis.

Maybe it's good I didn't have access. I went through a fun little phase in middle school in which I figured out that there were no consequences for bad grades (besides punishment from my parents). So I proceeded to get straight D's, and still get put in the honors classes. I just wouldn't do the homework. I read a lot of books and did a lot of really creative stuff with the time it gave me (telling kids I was an alien, etc). I understood that hs grades counted tho, so I had to buckle under. It's a shame that the pressure to perform keeps getting transferred to younger and younger kids.
 
2013-04-20 07:01:18 PM

Mrbogey: Wodan11: You missed the point.  A surprising percentage of people have varying difficulty with test taking, that does not reflect their actual knowledge, skill, and ability.  (A test does not necessarily reflect your ability to function and perform in the real world.)

A surprising percentage? Let me guess... still really low.

Tests are still a decent measurement of knowledge and skill.


I daresay it's a higher percentage than the percentage of so-called "gifted" individuals.  So, if we're willing to devote resources for one group that can better optimize their learning potential by being segregated and given separate treatment to some degree, surely we should be willing to do the same for the other group as well.
 
2013-04-20 07:01:29 PM

Mrbogey: Tests are still a decent measurement of knowledge and skill.


And a very, very bad measurement of aptitude and potential. It's trivial easy to test what someone knows or what someone can do. It's extremely difficult to test what someone might be able to learn or what someone might be able to do.

In the UK we had academic selection at around 11 years old for many years. Those who passed the "11-plus" went to grammar schools while those who failed went to secondary moderns. And you know what? It didn't work, and those few areas which still have two-tier schools, it still doesn't work. It's impossible to make reliable predictions of ability at 11 and even if it was possible a system like that simply can't cope with children who have different abilities in different areas. The most gifted 12 year old programmer I ever met was illiterate.

The net result was that around 1/3 of grammar school pupils emerged with no significant exam qualifications (in US terms they didn't get within two years of graduating) while many able children had their lives blighted by failing an exam at 11.

I am all for giving those who are interested and able in a subject the maximum encouragement and the chance to take their interest and ability further with their peers. The idea that you can apply a test which will establish who is "gifted" and who isn't, though, is ridiculous. Opportunities to excel should be offered to children constantly throughout their education.
 
2013-04-20 07:13:24 PM

orbister: I am all for giving those who are interested and able in a subject the maximum encouragement and the chance to take their interest and ability further with their peers. The idea that you can apply a test which will establish who is "gifted" and who isn't, though, is ridiculous. Opportunities to excel should be offered to children constantly throughout their education.


This.  In fact, I'd suspect that the gifted are more likely to be less easily quantifiable by tests, so using a test to determine who they are is kind of ridiculous.

Gifted would include both those with all-around intelligence as well as those more properly described as idiot savants.  Savants wouldn't test well no matter how you slice it.  All-around gifted wouldn't generally study or prepare for tests... they would have never had to.  So someone who wasn't that intelligent who prepared for the gifted exam and who is able to do well in tests because that's their inclination and training/education (they had always studied for tests), would be more likely to do well on the gifted exam than someone much more intelligent who had never studied in his life and as a result had more of a problem getting motivated to really apply himself than anything else.
 
2013-04-20 07:29:51 PM

Wodan11: In fact, I'd suspect that the gifted are more likely to be less easily quantifiable by tests, so using a test to determine who they are is kind of ridiculous.


Agree. High ability is very often quirky and uneven: we've all met people who can learn new languages in a couple of days but can't add up a bill or people who can't think in four dimensions but have terrible spelling. These are the people who most benefit from special provision but are least likely to get through an are-you-gifted-or-not binary test.
 
2013-04-20 07:44:29 PM
Somebody got caught trying to keep the schwarzes away from the chosen children, lol. I wonder who was going to out this? Somehow they were forced to backpedal and throw the testing company under the bus.
 
2013-04-20 08:51:28 PM
I'd be impressed if there were that many people in NYC who could count to belly button.
Why don't they just declare all the students "gifted"?
It's probably a law anyway.
 
2013-04-21 02:00:38 AM

Mrbogey: Comsamvimes: Only the 90 percentile for the district-wide program? That's pretty low bar.

KrispyKritter: [Midvale School for the Gifted pic]

One of my friend's I was in the gifted program with at my school regularly wore a shirt with that comic on it.

I did the same with my gifted class.

Wodan11: Tests do an adequate job of ranking people who are good at taking tests.

A test does a decent job gauging knowledge and skill.


because clearly, intelligence is only memorization of words.  Anything else is balderwash.

/accepted into gifted school
//nearly failed high school due to above
/// why yes my family were hunters and trappers
 
2013-04-21 02:09:07 AM

JPSimonetti: Vangor: JPSimonetti: Intelligent children don't need help in the form of 'special' classes.

Let me state a simple "F*ck You" to such an opinion. Gifted is developmental, and motivation is but one domain of a plethora of ways to be gifted. Gifted are not necessarily self-starters or studious or enthusiastic for learning or similar by nature. Those are behaviors which are instilled by environment, family, schooling, etc.. Further, for the school to not service gifted is to waste the resources of those gifted and of the school, whether or not those gifted venture home to watch documentaries and research online and such. But, this conception of gifted as those intrinsically motivated, introverted academics is one which comes from a lack of knowledge in the field.

I never said anything about gifted kids, so I don't why you're having a hissy fit at me. I said "intelligent." ... Anyone can memorize facts and numbers and be labeled "gifted" thought all it means is "good memory." If they don't have the passion to learn more on their own with no outside reward, they will be just another middle-class dumb shiat once their schooling days are over, while the ones with a passion for learning for the sake of learning are the ones that are changing the world.


Or the ones that know how to solve problems.  In fact if you asked me what strives genius and invention, i would say laziness and boredom.  Just look at a bunch of lazy bored farkers compared to billion dollar news channels.

The ones with great memories are almost always the definition of tools.
 
2013-04-21 07:53:18 AM

Dwindle: I'd be impressed if there were that many people in NYC who could count to belly button.
Why don't they just declare all the students "gifted"?
It's probably a law anyway.


That, or when parents go to the school board meeting and complain.  And the school board bends over and takes it...because they don't want to upset anyone.  Or they are afraid of getting sued.

These are the same parents who will call the dean at their kids college and complain that the professor in one of their kids classes gave their snowflake a B (or horror a C).   And these are the same parents who will call the HR dept where their snowflake interviewed and tell the HR person "you have to hire my son/daughter."

The "soccer moms" of the 90's are the helicopter parents of the 21st century
 
2013-04-21 09:36:38 AM

JPSimonetti: Anyone can memorize facts and numbers and be labeled "gifted" thought all it means is "good memory."


No, this is not what gifted means. Gifted refers to intelligence, an extremely multifaceted concept. Having a good memory is often a characteristic associated with gifted but is not a defining characteristic.

JPSimonetti: If they don't have the passion to learn more on their own with no outside reward, they will be just another middle-class dumb shiat once their schooling days are over, while the ones with a passion for learning for the sake of learning are the ones that are changing the world.


Hence the primary purpose of many quality gifted programs is not to teach gifted simply on an accelerated rate but to cultivate such motivation and the tools to utilize motivation.

Qellaqan: But there is some limit to this; just because a 7 year old has the aptitude to do 10 year old work doesn't mean he functions well in class. My brother skipped a grade, and just being a year younger has big social ramifications. He wasn't slick to begin with. When I was a kid I wanted to skip too, but I was already younger than the cutoff. Elementary school differs from college. But then I'm not an educator, just my experiences.


There is a severe misunderstanding in education about acceleration and the social ramifications. Students who are accelerated through an appropriate program, including radical accelerands three or more grades above age level, have better academic, social, and emotional outcomes. Now, you are correct in simply having the aptitude to do the work does not mean the student should be in such an environment. This is called asynchronous development, and many educators mistake high cognitive abilities with maturity level, what I call a "cognitive filter".
 
2013-04-21 12:22:56 PM

links136: because clearly, intelligence is only memorization of words. Anything else is balderwash.


If you only took tests that relied only on rote memorization then your school did it wrong.

So what's your recommendation in lieu of tests? Teachers gut feeling of who is the best educated?
 
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