"High Achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation." - Charles Kettering

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Achievement Article Part 3 of 3 will run tomorrow

The final article on Evansville student achievement will run in the Review tomorrow. To see how we stack up on the ACT and AP classes, please see the article.

My muse is getting pretty well exhausted with my day job now. I like this blog and hope to continue posting pertinent items here.

I was extremely saddened to see that Michael Pierick will not run for school board again. His younger son is graduating this year, so it's understandable. He has been a very good board president and a good job of keeping the administration accountable. He will be missed sorely.

Kathi Swanson does a good job and will run again. I haven't heard if Dennis Hatfield will run again. He and I were of like mind on many issues. He's passionate about classical education and so am I. He sees the value of GT specialist adminstrators in a world more interested in providing to the least common denominator. I share his pain that 15% of the children in our district are considered academically gifted in one or more subjects and have less than 3% of the staff dedicated to their needs. And that's only numerically. In 3 of our 4 schools, the GT person (there's only one) is 50% GT and 50% remedial services. The remedial needs often take precedence and it easily can become a 40/60 or 30/70 distribution of services. Because GT students have no law defining in depth the specific services required for them, the kids are left in limbo. Just a nebulous "gifted programs will be provided" clause in the statutes. The legislators allow each school to define the way a kid is identified and what enrichment they are deserving of. ARRGH! The final blow is the many people who think "gifted kids will do just fine without all this hooha. Why should we expend so much energy challenging them when we don't have enough money to meet other basic needs?" And it's not just the average joe on the street with this archaic attitude. These kids have special needs on the other side of the spectrum. It is a crime to deny the needs of the 15% of our students on the left side of the curve, but the kids on the right side of the curve are perpetually left hanging out to dry. Unless their parents pay to supplement their education. This is a travesty. Not every gifted kid has parents with disposable income sufficient to spend the sometimes considerable dollars to provide them with adequate challenge. Without this challenge, a potential Einstein could become bored and drop out of school. Or worse, figure out a way to be really destructive. And then all the people who think providing minimal GT services to students deserving of it would be standing around wringing their hands saying, "we never saw THAT coming!"


Anonymous said...

I think it would be disturbing to spend any more money than what they do on gifted and talented, when there are so many other needs, and not wants in the district.

Katy said...

I'm curious as to why you think 1.3% of the staff supporting 15% of the students being an equitable distribution of resources?