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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Are gifted students receiving equitable treatment in public schools?

I recall my second year as a classroom teacher. I was ill-prepared for teaching "Miguel" who was a very precocious math student and voracious reader. My teacher training for gifted education consisted of one chapter in my special education class. Looking back now, he was the reason I spent the next seven years learning about giftedness. It wasn't only that I wasn't trained to meet his unique needs, it was that no one in my school, leadership included had formal gifted training. It was difficult to get an answer and guidance.

During my first and subsequent years as a classroom teacher I received excellent support for my students with special needs. There were compensatory education teachers, special education teachers, para professionals, funding, training, resources, legislation guiding the students' rights, and a cyclical system in place to formatively assess learning plans. I learned so much about how to work efficiently, productively to accommodate specific learning needs. Why is this not in place for gifted students? What can we do to ensure equity for students who are identified gifted or are exceptional learners

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