Archive for Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Gifted student feels Left Behind

Lawrence ninth-grader to speak up for high achievers during Capitol visit

January 30, 2007


Reader poll
Should the state spend more money to educate gifted students?

or See the results without voting


As No Child Left Behind policy is reviewed this year, there is one group of students some think may have been left behind - those who are high achievers.

"Most of the time I'm stuck in regular classes," said Dravid Joseph, a ninth-grader at West Junior High. "Sometimes I'm bored with what I'm doing there."

Partially for that reason, Dravid will join a contingent of some of Kansas' most gifted students who will travel Wednesday to Topeka to advocate for specialized classes for more than 15,000 of their peers across the state.

Dravid, 15, and the other students will take part in the state's first Gifted and Talented Day.

Dravid, the son of Nashi and Kissan Joseph, a Kansas University business professor, wrote an essay that earned him a spot at a Shadow Day event for gifted students sponsored by the Kansas Association for the Gifted, Talented and Creative.

Dravid Joseph, a West Junior High School gifted ninth-grader, will talk to state lawmakers this week about the importance of gifted education in Kansas schools.


Dravid will spend the day with state Sen. Marci Francisco, D-Lawrence, as a representative of Lawrence's public schools. He is among 458 of the district's 10,000 or so students who have been identified as gifted.

Pamela Simpson, gifted education facilitator at West, said the problem with No Child Left Behind is that it tends to focus teacher attention on bringing students up to an average level.

Dravid Joseph, a ninth-grader at West Junior High School, takes part in class Monday. He will shadow state Sen. Marci Francisco on Wednesday in Topeka as part of the first Gifted and Talented Day.

Dravid Joseph, a ninth-grader at West Junior High School, takes part in class Monday. He will shadow state Sen. Marci Francisco on Wednesday in Topeka as part of the first Gifted and Talented Day.

"For our students who started the year already above grade level, it's harder to get the attention that those kids need," Simpson said. "If a ninth-grader started reading at the 12th-grade level already, it's easy for a classroom teacher to not give them the attention they need, as well."

Kansas is one of the few states that puts gifted education funding in with special education, Simpson said.

"It's the easy place to cut because it's not federally mandated," Simpson said. "So we're always trying to advocate for ourselves that we not lose that funding."

Dravid, who hopes to spend his time meeting with legislators Wednesday, said he would stress the need for more class time for gifted activities.

"They're definitely not something that can have funding cut," he said.

Gifted classes he attends allow him to express himself more creatively, he said.

"Because while I'm here, I'm basically allowed to explore topics that I enjoy, rather than topics that I have to learn," he said.

Dravid Joseph, a ninth-grader at West Junior High School, goes about his daily routine Monday at the school, 2700 Harvard Road. On Wednesday he will spend the day in Topeka with state Sen. Marci Francisco as part of Gifted and Talented Day, designed to bring attention to the state's high-performing students.

Dravid Joseph, a ninth-grader at West Junior High School, goes about his daily routine Monday at the school, 2700 Harvard Road. On Wednesday he will spend the day in Topeka with state Sen. Marci Francisco as part of Gifted and Talented Day, designed to bring attention to the state's high-performing students.

For example, last semester he spent 45 minutes a day in gifted classes writing a paper about the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict - something teachers generally wouldn't cover in a regular class. He also did an analysis of the problems encountered by developers of the Airbus A380 superjumbo plane.

"It probably wouldn't even be discussed in a regular classroom," he said.

Dravid said his education probably was suffering because of No Child Left Behind.

"Teachers are forced to look more at the problem kids," he said. "They have to raise their test scores or risk unemployment. I don't think that's a pressure anyone should have."


Nikki May 11 years, 4 months ago

This is so true. I know several kids that aren't labeled gifted, but they are above level in reading, so the teachers just let them slide while the get the other kids up. We need progression for all the kids; these other kids just are stagnant.

Good luck to Dravid and the others, hopefully they'll at least get some attention.

ksknowall 11 years, 4 months ago

It is time to END the NCLB entirely.

A great example of the Feds screwing up another program that sounded good but in reality was destined for falure like every other federal activity.

jonas 11 years, 4 months ago

3of5: Think you had it bad? The only outlet I had was the second bowl of gruel my high reading scores earned me, and I had to fight off packs of wild kids with sticks in order to enjoy it.

crono 11 years, 4 months ago

High time that No Child Left Behind should be... left behind.

overthemoon 11 years, 4 months ago

delegate...I really wish that your comment was just conspiracy think. But it just has such a chilling probablilty of truth to it.

number3of5 11 years, 4 months ago

Let them be a little thankful for the programs that they do have. When I went to school, the only outlet I had was to read every book in the school library except the political ones.

overthemoon 11 years, 4 months ago

All students need to be challenged with relevant and varied material. The NCLuntested has caused huge harm to our district and education around the country. Kids aren't getting nearly enough history, geography, arts and language studies because of the emphasis on basic test taking. These kids are going to graduate with minimal thinking skills and limited understanding of our complex world.

My child has been in the gifted program thoughout school. If it weren't for that additional support and incentive, she would have floundered. I can't help but wonder at how many of her peers who aren't labeled 'gifted' would do so much better if taught challenging and interesting material with higher demands. The few 'regular' classes she's taken have been so absolutely pud and boring its no wonder that most of the kids are sleeping through them.

Children have an amazing ability to live either up or down to our expectations. NCLB ensures the latter.

marysfunkygroove 11 years, 4 months ago

my sister is having the same problem in Baldwin. They took away many of the advanced classes due to no child left behind. She now skips lots of classes and still gets all A's

prioress 11 years, 4 months ago

"It's not in the government's best interest to support programs for kids that are talented and gifted."

delegatezero: There is some truth to this. If too many people were really educated, the 'sheeple' would revolt. Both parties count on simple solutions to complex problems, and people who will decide not on the facts, but bumper sticker slogans. Education, well done, is a dangerous thing.

denjack 11 years, 4 months ago

conceptual_continuity: it's not the job of the gifted students to teach/tutor his classmates material that he mastered long ago because he was blessed with high intellect/creativity. He is already bored with that and needs to be challenged. Even with new matierial gifted kids tend to pick it up very quickly and get frustrated waiting for the rest of the class to "catch on". It's a problem the rest of us normal people find hard to comprehend.

mom_of_three 11 years, 4 months ago

The school district doesn't have enough money, teachers or time to help the gifted or challenged students. The entire system needs to be fixed.

farmgirl 11 years, 4 months ago

denjack, Actually, this is what my daughter does (with the teacher's approval, of course), when she cannot work ahead, and she feels it gives her a deeper understanding of the material. She also experiences how different people learn in different ways, and thereby gains a better understanding of her fellow students. She enjoys helping others understand what she has already mastered.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 4 months ago

"Sometimes I'm bored with what I'm doing there."

If being "bored" is the prerequisite for being "gifted," I think its safe to say almost every student is gifted.

Here's a thought, how about implementing a program were gifted kids help tutuor kids that are struggling. "He that teaches learns twice."

Here's another thought, how about parents of "gifted" kids supplementing their curriculm at home. Why is it absolutely the State's responsibility to provide every facet of a gifted kid's educational experience. Point me to a State education system that is failing a child, and I'll show you two parents that are failing their child.

Lastly, delegate's comments are simply bizarre and just wildly conspiratorial to a spectacular degree. Yo, you might try a break from smoking the home grown herbs.

compmd 11 years, 4 months ago

I'd love to read his paper on the A380.

I remember way back in 4th grade, there was me and one other kid who could spell absolutely any word our teacher gave us. Frustrated, the teacher gave us a book called, "The Dictionary of Difficult Words" and when the rest of the class had spelling lessons/activities, we'd go to a table in the back of the room and give each other word lists to spell. Long story short, my family moved, but four years later I ran into the kid at the state spelling bee. Neither of us won, but I did know the kid who did. :) To this day, everyone I know asks me to spell words for them. Had there been something like NCLB in place back in the day, there's no way I would have had the opportunity to explore and learn on my own. I would have been learning how to spell words like "business" and "thoughtless" instead of "ypsiliform" and "staphylococci."

Keep going, Dravid. Let the state know what is going on, let them see what a bad idea NCLB is and how it is acting to stunt the intellectual development of naturally bright children.

teachermom 11 years, 4 months ago

Students who are gifted should not simply be asked to tutor, although that can be a valid part of their education. The truth is that all students deserve to learn at school. If we are asking our brightest students to act as teachers, rather than learn new information, we are missing an opportunity to help students fulfill potential. Every student deserves a change to move forward in their education.

salad 11 years, 4 months ago

I used to teach highschool in the Olathe district and let me tell you, the "gifted" programs are the biggest joke ever. Some of the most pointless time-wasting assignments I've ever seen came outta that class from some really dingy teachers. Kids get tested for these things in 6th grade, and if you're in, you're in for life, even if you become a complete waste and a delinquent. No one ever gets re-evaluated or kicked out. Additionally, no one else gets tested to get in. A REAL gifted program is the IB program at a VERY few schools like shawnee mission east. This is serious, rigorous study for the brightest kids. Of course, if you want gifted programs, especially in science and math, you'd have to have people good in science and math to teach them. And if a person is talented in science and math, why on earth would any rational person waste their time in the teaching profession????

jafs 11 years, 4 months ago

It's an interesting idea to have gifted students tutor other students, providing they want to and don't suffer socially for it.

NCLB would be ok if it were adequately funded and intelligently designed/implemented. The basic idea is sound, I think - to make sure that all our children are educated to at least minimum levels of competence. I am appalled at how many high school graduates can't spell or construct a sentence properly.

The educational system is, in part, designed to mold children into compliant adults - to obey authority figures, fit in socially, etc. A system which actively encouraged and instructed children to think for themselves and be creative would probably produce less compliant adults. This would, of course, be threatening to our society's need for large numbers of people who can be easily manipulated and controlled.

Redzilla 11 years, 4 months ago

I spent my childhood in the gifted program, which was a pathetic joke way back then. The best thing I did for the boredome and lack of intellectual stimulation? Dropped out of high school at 15 and went to college. Trial by fire, but let me assure you, I was not bored.

As Jafs points out, a public school system can only be expected to educate everyone to a minimum level--now, if we could just achieve that. Truly gifted students need to be encouraged to strike out into learning on their own.

Rationalanimal 11 years, 4 months ago

Isn't this yet another instance where school vouchers would allow a family to control the destiny of their children by selecting a school that fits their needs. Giving a family a voucher is astronomically less expensive than asking the entire State of Kansas to spend hundreds of millions to facilitate a stimulating environment for the top 1% of kids.

justthefacts 11 years, 4 months ago

I am old enough that there was NO gifted program available for me - and so I spent a great deal of time in class reading large unassigned tomes beyond my years (e.g. David Copperfield in 8th grade) and day-dreaming. I rarely had any homework, b/c I got it done in class. It wasn't until I attended a college that allowed for a lot if "independent study" that I began to actually enjoy school and learn things I couldn't learn without some teacher's help. No extra help or challenges were required or even given way back then. I just did the minimum to get the results I wanted (several degrees...)

My son had a somewhat different experience, with different results. Worse ones. When he was 7, we were told my son tested out in the 99.9% for all students, so they put him the Lawrence school's version of gifted programs. It was a huge joke - not because the teacher(s) didn't try to give him more "meaty" subjects, but b/c it was not possible to truly challenge all such students. They did some fun projects together as a group, about once a week. No big deal. So he "floated" through grade-school, Jr. High, and High School, all the while making adequate grades, and any concerns I raised about his lack of achievement or interest was fobbed off by the "he is just bored, he'll really achieve more in college." Too bad his extreme learning disability wasn't discovered in time, so he didn't graduate from college. Too bad I believed the experts who were supposed to be making sure the gifted kids didn't slip through cracks.

This story, and ones like it are myriad.

Bottom line, a school system is never going to be able to take the place of attuned parents who understand how their child learns and what is needed. Parents have for too long assumed school authorities knew what they are doing. They don't.

It's no wonder to me that home schooling is on the increase. But it is no job for sissies or people looking for quick fixes. Nor do I lay blame at the teachers feet. Teacher's typically make less then plumbers, electricians, doctors, lawyers, sports figures, media darlings, and a lot of other professionals. And yet we expect them to do one of the most important of all tasks (raise and teach our children) without the pay we give to people who fix our toilets! How dare we expect them to be able to do what we cannot do ourselves, for less pay then we give a typical manicurist or dog groomer?

The NCLB debacle is only bringing DOWN the standards, for all students.

It is time to re-think the government's ability and duty to educate all children, and re-evaluate the concept of school. When someone "gifted" or "special" needs help, who should pay for that help, and how much should or can be done at home?

If our children are our greatest asset, and the hope of the future, how are we handling that asset? With care or with a procedure guaranteed to fail?

Sandra Willis 11 years, 4 months ago

I think that the 'gifted classes' are a good thing; I was in 'gifted' from 9th grade on up.

devilsrighthandman 11 years, 4 months ago

Understand this...schools are seemingly rated only on their test scores. NCLB is designed to elevate those lower level learners. News only reports that the schools passed or didn't. Teachers loose thier jobs if they do not ELEVATE lower learners and make their respective school look good in the paper. Of course they are going to concentrate on those kids. Teachers in our schools are in a no win situation. Teachers are the most poorly paid educators/babysitters as a profession. We want them to teach, be extra-curricular sponsors, babysitters, fashion police, police officers(without any backing)... and the list goes on. No wonder there is a shortage of teachers!!!

Harry_Manback 11 years, 4 months ago

I was in a similar situation when I was in school (I graduated four years ago.) I decided not to be in the gifted program, although my boyfriend and brother did chose to do gifted programs (with mixed results), I didn't want to be singled out. That's another problem with these programs (at least at the elementary level.) They make kids leave the room or school for up to an hour to one day of the week because the regular teacher doesn't have the resources to teach gifted (or learning disabled) students. So, the smart and the lower level kids have to leave school, and before you're in middle school or junior high, switching classes isn't normal. All the other kids wonder why you're gone, and some ridicule the children for it. Not always, but it does happen.

When I got to the high school level I took some classes at JCCC because I was beyond the ones offered at high school. I graduated a semester early with little or no effort on my part either. I simply coasted through high school unchallenged for the most part. I'm not proud to say this, but when I was 16 and 17 I did make some poor choices. I was one absence away from being considered truant my junior year, but I still made a 4.0, even with three or four honors classes. Who knows, maybe if I weren't so bored I wouldn't have skipped so often, but that was a while ago. My boyfriend had the opportunity to graduate high school a whole year early to begin college sooner thanks to the gifted program. However, because of NCLB graduating early is no longer an option for gifted students.

Calliope877 11 years, 4 months ago

What exactly makes a child "gifted"? I remember a lot of the kids in my school who were in gifted were "book smart" but were dumber than rocks when it came to common sense.:(

compmd 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey mr ramirez, don't be so sore! when you're working for dravid, I'm sure he will treat you well. the nerds you make fun of today are the ones with big houses, nice cars, and beautiful wives tomorrow.

cue a rice fight song: "its alright, its ok, you're gonna work for us someday!"

mzmarsha 11 years, 4 months ago

Posted by conceptual_continuity (anonymous) on January 30, 2007 at 8:08 a.m. (Suggest removal)

if a student is so gifted as to finish all their work early and just be bored the rest of the day ...

maybe they should set up a program that this student could be a tutor for the less gifted students of his/her class

the school district use to do this it was called the alternative high school...but it was closed when I was in this school district it was called TRADES

Tony Kisner 11 years, 4 months ago

My child has been able to access the same kinds of special activities Dravid discussed. We have valued the access and attention my child receives very much, so much so that we pay for her to attend a private school.

Maybe if Dravid parents got a voucher funded with my property taxes, they and I could then send our children to a school of our choice that would deliver the education we desire rather than one selected for us.

Shelby 11 years, 4 months ago

My kid is about as smart as an armadillo, just like I were/is.

rebellious_acquiescent 11 years, 4 months ago

While I understand the frustration of NCLB, it is not all so bad. The problem is with our government not funding their own mandates. I have to wonder after reading all the comments here, where the parents fit in to their "gifted" child's education? All children are gifted, just different gifts. Parents have to participate in their child's education no matter the learning ability of the child. Enrichment at home is key to success.

Linda Endicott 11 years, 4 months ago

Oh, being bored is the worst thing that can possibly happen to someone.

Learn how to deal with being bored. It happens to everyone, and you will experience it many times during your life, not just in school.

Of course, back in the dinosaur days, the first thought of kids who were bored wasn't to go rob a 7/11.

There was no gifted program when I went to school. In 1st grade, there were four readers for the whole school year. I went through all of them in the first six weeks. What did my teacher do? She put those of us who had advanced that far in our own group, had us read more advanced books, and write little reports about them.

Most of my teachers through school did something similar to this. I had a science teacher in junior high who encouraged me to go to the library, get books about various fields of science, and then set aside some time each week for me to tell him what I'd discovered.

My daughter was in the gifted program at school. She was still bored. But at home, I encouraged her to check into things herself, to learn what she could about whatever she was interested in.

Why don't more parents do this? All learning doesn't happen in school, nor should it.

dacs23 11 years, 4 months ago

Having parents tell me how gifted their children are, or hearing them say how beautiful their babies are, invokes the same feelings as having teeth pulled.

The best one is that "my kid is failing his classes because he is gifted and the work is too easy" I almost pee my pants laughing every time I hear it. Your kid may be intelligent but he aint too smart.

If you want to help gifted children teach them social skills and common sense. Gifted kids tend to hold onto their IQ like a security blanket and thus alienate themselves from their peers not the other way around.

fletch 11 years, 4 months ago

1) There aren't nearly enough private schools out there for a voucher system to work if people suddenly all went over to private schools.

2) Existing private schools are already overcrowded and wait listing students.

3) According to the OMB, nearly a quarter of American students don't currently have a private school within transportation range.

4) In many areas, the only private schools are religious schools with strict admission and curriculum guidelines based off faith. So if you're Jewish and the local Catholic school says only Catholics are admitted, you don't really have much of a choice.

5) Charter schools have been a miserable failure because the financial backers are only interested in a profit, and when the margins aren't there, they back out and leave the school to crumble.

Vouchers might be an alternative, but they're not a good alternative.

Abby Magariel 11 years, 4 months ago

I grew up in the Olathe QUEST program. In my experience, the elementary schools had it right. From kindergarten through sixth grade, I had two excellent teachers who pushed us to think creatively. I also enjoyed the smaller class size and the focus on topics we would have never covered in our regular class. Junior high and high school were another story. There are more options already available to students once they could choose their classes, and anyway, it was a real crapshoot when it came to the quality of the teachers. It really came down to the motivation of the student to finish a project, because the teacher might or might not have noticed either way.

I hate to see gifted programs (especially those in elementary schools) diminished. However, this trip to Topeka is a great lesson for the kids--they'll see firsthand how their state government operates, and learn they don't have to stay quiet when there's a problem in their schools.

marxisnotdead 11 years, 4 months ago

As a teacher who is involved in a G and T program in another state I can assure you that a G and T program is NOT the answer to many of our education problems. I have 3 courses of Pre-Algebra and Algebra G and T kids who have all tested as gifted or talented in a middle school. The mere categorizing itself is a little disturbing. Even though many of these kids have been designated as G or T through some standardized testing their basic math skills suffer. On a recent 7th grade level general math exam given to 7th grade G kids the topics of basic math skills were less than proficient. Yes, they were able to calculate many of the functions asked to calculate as long as they had their "technology" to assist them. Ask them to add three item prices at the grocerty store adn they often look at me with blank looks on their faces. In addition, the parents in their never ending pursuit of yet another bumpersticker proclaiming their kids to be the "best of the best" they often times look over the obvious that their kids are not perfect and therefore will receive less than "A" grades at times. This creates a firestorm on the school that somehow the teacher can't teach or that somehow their child needs larger writing or a colored pencil or some other ridiculous excuse for their efforts. ON average homework submittals range at about 50-60 percent submittals because they are just too busy doing other things. Am I frustrated? You bet. The system is completely out of whack and no one is listening to those they need to listen to the most. In essence, what we end up doing at this school adn many of my colleagues in others schools have to do the same is teach grade appropriate math with students receiving credit for advanced level courses. Many of those "standardized" tested G adn T kids simply are not developed physiologically in the brain area to meet the challenge.

marxisnotdead 11 years, 4 months ago

Oh and by the way let's not compare the G and T program to the NCLB issue. Each is unique in its problems as well as its accomplishments.

marxisnotdead 11 years, 4 months ago

denjack, I believe you need to examine the relevant research on peer tutoring. Peer tutoring is very effective learning methods for advanced as well as struggling students. Many G and T programs incorporate this into their curriculum as does ours.

neverwrong 11 years, 4 months ago

The real shame is that many of these gifted children are much smarter than their teachers. Think about that for a while. Being a teacher is not as "glamorous" as it once was and no longer attracts top talent. Why be a teacher when you can make many times the salary being a doctor, lawyer, pilot, etc? The values of our society are drastically demented.

rebellious_acquiescent 11 years, 4 months ago

Ramirez: Forgive me for using your term - take a hike, wank.

rebellious_acquiescent 11 years, 4 months ago

Nope, no feelings hurt here. You really do need to read more. You might then be able to come out and play with us grown-up nerds.

Definitions of wank on the Web:

  1. funny, odd, amusing or eccentric person. 2. a person who deceives, deludes himself by refusing to see the truth or reality. 3. a person given to unproductive activity. 4. behaviour that is egotistical: eg, What a wank that speech was! 5. to masturbate. 6. self-indulgence; over-indulgence.

Wilbur_Nether 11 years, 4 months ago

number3of5 wrote this morning "Let them be a little thankful for the programs that they do have...."

Which, translated into French, I believe comes out something like "Let them eat cake."

dagopman 11 years, 4 months ago

NCLB is another reason for reduced government involvement in most anything. What were Bush and Kennedy thinking when they proposed it?? And why doesn't Kennedy get blamed for his part in this act?

Godot 11 years, 4 months ago

This is nothing new. If teachers say it is because of NCLB, then they are simply being political.

Over 25 years ago, my child was labeled "gifted" in second grade when tests determined he had an IQ of 166. When he was at Pinckney, and later Centennial, his "enrichment" exercises were to tutor the kids in his class who were not catching on to the lessons, while the teachers worked with others. Actually, that was the best way to keep him under control - it made him feel needed and useful and grew his compassion.

Said son did not receive anything close to "specialized" instruction (through the public school system) until he got to Central, and it continued at Lawrence High, where he was able to participate in clubs and other activities that "enriched" him.

Regarding this case, it seems this child is receiving special opportunities to learn, particularly about getting media attention for his cause, politically speaking.

UnfitSmiley 11 years, 4 months ago

Wow. It amazes me that there's some people who bluntly said that the Gifted (and Talented, depending where you go) Program is no good. Raise your hand if you know what it's like to finish the assignment before the teacher has gone over all the examples with the class and almost no one else has started, because all it took you was one example and you could do it both quickly and accurately. That's how some of my classes were and are for me, as a Gifted Student. Those classes are boring. We get done and we sit there. Sometimes we chat and the teacher gets mad; sometimes we sit there and read huge hardbacks from the library because we are indeed on the nerdy side. We need challenges. The harder you make it for us, the harder we'll work... And shouldn't we be putting in the same amount of work as the "average" kids, even if are work is a higher level than their's? Of course. In response to the peer tutoring ideas: at least half of the gifted kids I know (through gifted) are eager to do that. It benefits us as well as the people we help. They learn, we re-learn, we're helping our classmates, and that helps catch them up so they're closer to our level, and that makes classtime better. However, peer tutoring in most schools takes place before or after school. Teachers generally don't want their class time used for homework helping between students. That doesn't solve our problem of being challenged during our classes. It's hard to get into gifted. You may think it's not, but it is. It involves a lot of testing. But it's worth it, because my gifted class challenged and stimulated my mind much more than any of my regular classes. So, it's important that we're supported. The purpose of school is not to go and take tests and make sure you learn all the things the government wants you to know. The purpose is to go and get the best education you can. For we "Gifted" kids, that means more than just average classes.

kugrad 11 years, 4 months ago

I can't address the upper grades, but I work in an elementary and I can talk discuss what happens there. It is up to me, as the teacher, to do what I can to provide challenging work at an appropriate level for my advanced students. Not all students who are high achievers fit the definition of "gifted" that qualifies them for special programs. NCLB does make a difference Godot, as I am pressured to move the lowest children up, but not pressured to move the gifted higher. That being said, I think most teachers accept the responsibility to help every child learn as much as possible. When I plan, I try to determine what I will do with the kids who have already mastered the content so that they do not suffer the boredom of being taught what they already know. School isn't entertainment. Sometimes children are bored when they are being taught content they have NOT mastered. Not everything in the curriculum is inherently interesting to everyone. My job is not to eliminate boredom. Although I've known and taught many gifted children, I've never known one who had mastered all of the grade level skills prior to being in my class. Boredom isn't a very accurate measure of the degree of challenge in the classroom. If you are the parent of a high achieving child, be she gifted or not, I would encourage you to discuss this with your child's teacher(s) in a non-threatening, non-adversarial manner. You might have some insight into ways to motivate your child or into your child's strengths and interests that your teacher might be glad to know. Your teacher might have some insight into areas of need that you were not aware of. Keeping the best interests of your child in mind, you have nothing to lose by having a chat with the teacher. You might consider involving the child after your initial conversations. It is hard to get everything I am required to do completed, and I know every teacher probably feels this way. However, I am always glad to help parents and children who are excited about learning.

123smilie 11 years, 4 months ago

first, i would like to say that it is rather amusing to see all these people talking about dravid. especially since i just saw him a few hours ago at techno hawks, where he erased a cat that i drew and accused me of tipping over a vase. (i swear i didnt do it) anyway, amazingly enough, i actually have a serious comment, and anyone who knows me knows that this is a really big deal. i have ADD, so i dont get super-duper-good grades. one of my friends says that kids that are too smart are labeled as having ADD or ADHD. i think that is pretty funny. umm... so... i keep getting off subject. xP in fifth grade, i think i was simultaneously in gifted and the other... program... (the one for 'disabled' people). in gifted, we designed a colony for mars on tuesdays. in the other program, this guy made sure i knew what my homework was so i would get it done. i have only been in any sort of special program once after that. that was for english last year, when i did a power point on hitler and got an A. i think that more people should be allowed in the gifted program, or at least in classes that they are interested in. like, i wanted to be in what's up west, heck, ive got enough experience, but i wasnt in electronic media because they wouldnt let me in, so yeah. that's my two cents worth. :) and if there are any substitute teachers reading this, it would really impress me, at least, if a sub got dravid's name right on the first try instead of just calling him david. :D

Rationalanimal 11 years, 4 months ago

Deep Thought:

Even though life is boring, the really "gifted" people are those that point it out.

Godot 11 years, 4 months ago

I hope, for the sake of the gifted and talented, for the sake of the HDD/ADD, for the sake of the learning-challenged, for the sake of all children, that the schools will put an end to age-based linear progression from 1st through 12th, and will begin to group children in classes by their ability, aptitude, and the progress they have made in mastering a topic.

compmd 11 years, 4 months ago

Oh my god, mommy, big bad Mr. Ramirez is calling me a nerd! He called me poindexter!

Are you for real, man? How old are you?

No, I never had my glasses broken. Never got stuffed in a locker. I did play tennis though, still have the old USTA shirts. Believe me, sir, you don't offend me. Its hard to offend people in my lines of work. You do amuse me though. Unfortunately, I think less of you for your narrowmindedness and willingness to stunt your own personal growth. If a student like Dravid, or any other bright, capable individual, has the capacity for greatness, let them go; let them fulfull their potential and become everything they can. Attempting to drag someone down to your level is pitiful. You and your ilk that embrace mediocrity and complacency aren't as relevant as you'd like to think. I think you absolutely loathe the fact that those nerds you knew when you were young are now successful. Don't those "professors" that fill this town make your skin crawl? They represent a group of people you hate: the smart and educated. How can you stand those folks whose names end with PhD, MD, JD, DE, LLM, or PE? sigh I'd really love to continue this, but I have to go to bed, I have a long day tomorrow.

In the immortal words of Maddox, "Bag my groceries."

Ginny345 11 years, 4 months ago

The following comments are from 8th grade gifted students:

You say that gifted students need to deal with boredom? As long as gifted students are in school, they might as well learn and be challenged. They shouldn't sit with their face in their hands, shaking their head at the fifth time that a teacher has to repeat something. Yes, learning should be done at home too, but what about the 7 or 8 hours spent at school? If they aren't challenged at school, what a waste of time! Gifted kids shouldn't have to dread going to school, listening to repetitive phrases that they easily grasp the first time that they hear it. And no, most gifted children have friends (not including their books!) and do have common sense. Just wait until we are the bosses and founders of huge companies and we own the world!

So, in conclusion: So what if we're nerds. NERDS RULE!!! :

dacs23: not all gifted children are recluses. Most have social lives and some are even downright popular!

Ginny345 11 years, 4 months ago

Another comment from an 8th grade gifted student:

I have been in the Gifted program since 1st grade. It's been an excellent opportunity for me...I've met great friends (so yes, I do have social skills!) and am doing great in all my classes. We aren't nerds, some of us ARE popular after all! My friends and I are all in the same advanced classes and help each other with things we don't understand. Even though we are in the Gifted program doesn't mean we understand everything all the time. Different people are in the Gifted program for different things, let it be art, music, history, whatever.

So, I say, GO NERDS!

fillmoreeric 11 years, 4 months ago

Hey Ginny345, "Nerd" would be a derogatory term form someone who is socially inept. Kind of like a "dork", only dorks have friends who no one likes. A "geek" would be a smart person who may have many fiends. Everyone has an "inner geek", especially when they use technology and gagets. Get it right, or I'll sick Dravid on you!

fillmoreeric 11 years, 4 months ago

Gifted is overated. Gifted Education is full of kids whose parents think they are special for one reason or another. For example: "Oh look, his first word was hippo. He must be a genius!" The kids get a feeling that they are special and that the rules excempt them. Other kids look at it as a secret order, and the kids in it have something secretive about it. The special teachers think their children are too good for the cirriculum, so they let "gifted" kids mess around instead of learning. Gifted is all in your head, but your head is probably not any smarter than normal.\

Ginny345 11 years, 4 months ago

A second comment from an 8th grade gifted student :

I've never been stuffed in a locker.

I've never spilled my books all the way down the hallway.

I don't have glasses.

My clothes aren't nerdy.

I have a huge part in my school play.

And I have a boyfriend.

And no, I'm not a movie star.

I'm an 8th grade student in the Gifted program. It's normal in my district for a kid to be in the Gifted program. If you are, it's not a big deal. And Ramirez, deal with it! Just because you're upset that some people are smarter than you doesn't mean you have to go around insulting them. And just keep in mind that YOU are the one with about 32 comments on this issue. I assume youi're the one in between jobs, considering normal people don't have that much time on their hands. They have SOCIAL LIVES.

fillmoreeric 11 years, 4 months ago

Mmm, cookies! My friend and I made A GOAL at the starting of the year to live forever. So far, so good. I'm going to try and beat him!!


catwoman 11 years, 4 months ago

What about the "not so gifted" kids. I'd much rather my child be a gifted & without the special advanced classes, than to be slower and without the funding to help them keep up!

marxisnotdead 11 years, 4 months ago

Excellent point of departure from the above name-calling: What does gifted and/or talented really mean? And in its connotations does it create a sense of superiority and or loftiness to one's outlook towards others?

Ginny345 11 years, 4 months ago

From another gifted 8th grade student:

Rameriz deserved the name calling. I think that a gifted person is someone who is pretty smart. They don't have to get all A's as long as they think things through in ways more advanced than others their age.

Ginny345 11 years, 4 months ago

A third comment by a gifted 8th grade student:

You say that you would rather your child be gifted and without advanced classes then be "not so gifted". If this was true, then you would be depriving your child of their full potential. They would still be gifted, but would still be in the same situation as the "not so gifted" people. They wouldn't be able to express themselves and could likely drop out of school from the boredom. Children need to know as much as they can, for education is a very important thing. Some of you may say, "OH! But education can be a very dangerous thing and gifted people will be the death of us!" But keep that in mind when you're lying on your death bed and someone "not so gifted" is operating on your heart; for the gifted child did not find out about a career in medical science as a young adult because of lack of funding in the gifted area at their school.

And people in head of the school district, keep in mind that "every man is created equal". Which means that everyone should be treated equally. So FYI, that means that since the "not so gifted" people get funding, then the gifted should too!

And one more thing, gifted people are not overly sensitive. We just don't like people making fun of us for something we can't help. It's not like we planned to be gifted or got metal chips placed in our head on to be smarter on Tuesday! So quit it, cause you're not doing anything productive and are wasting your time trying to.

vettechvic 11 years, 4 months ago

To filmoreeric: I am the parent of a 12 year old gifted child with an IQ over 150. We've known she was a very bright and intelligent child from early-on, but we NEVER made her feel special or different from anyone else in school. It was not until the testing took place in 3rd grade did we even learn that she required "special education" to keep her challenged. We feel blessed that our daughter attends the gifted program at Nieman Elementary one day a week in Shawnee. Were you aware, Mr.-I-know-gifted-kids-are-no-smarter-than-anyone-else, that nearly 30% of all high school drop-outs are considered gifted with high IQs? Could it be that they were not challenged and thus being bored with the curriculum, they felt the need to leave the establishment? Could it be that because we, as a society, failed them and thus lost a potential inventor of a vaccine for AIDS or other catastrophic disease? Me thinks you are a might bit jealous because you never reached your own potential...or is your even having potential wishful thinking on my part?

Waffle 11 years, 4 months ago

Wow, I didn't notice how people take this so offensively! Yes, I hate being judged by people as being a "nerd" but, wow! Gifted kids don't need to take this so personally. Think of it this way: we gifted people don't need to stoop to their level and call them names back and we definitely don't need to tell our mommies :` ( On the other hand, I'm sure that Mr. Ramirez here gets quite a few "remarks" about his comments. I'm not going to do that, but I will say that I do disagree with your take on gifted kids. DARN! There I go again, I'll try not to cry ; ) Oh, dacs23: I do agree with you. Well, in one way. I am in the gifted program too, and sometimes I feel that adults must make a big fuss over us, but I don't feel as smart as they make it seem. Give us something to actually brag about! Maybe a future? I don't know, but sometimes small things that parents brag about are certainly not as huge as they make them, but that's my opinion. Hey, if you want to think of me as smarter than I am, go ahead! My friends, who are not in the gifted program, do the same things that I do. It's not that different, but I really do enjoy the gifted program. This might sound cheesy (enough to dip chips in) but the gifted program HAS ALLOWED ME TO EXPRESS MYSELF MORE!!! Yes, that is what everyone says, but they must be telling the truth. My friends take communications and I go to the gifted room. Communications classroom: everybody sits at a desk, they read, and do presentations. Gifted classroom: we work in teams to go to competitions, we look at our future, AND we do communications work. I do notice that teachers treat me different and it's not my favorite thing to admit : ( but I can't help that. I agree with Ginny345. It is not our fault that teachers treat us differently. But since they treat me differently, I can get the assignments from other classes, go to the gifted room, finish the assignments in 1/4 of the time that it takes normal students to, and work on different things! One last thing: aren't we supposed to be the generation that leads the world next? Don't adults want to educate us as much as possible so that they can hand over things to us with the reassurance that they will survive?! Again, I refer to Ginny345's statement: would you rather have a well-trained person with your life in their hands? Or would you rather cut out our education little-by-little until we are all as smart as a rock?

I'm really not taking this personally. Just another opinion

Godot 11 years, 4 months ago

Aren't we all glad that we paid for that wireless internet and all those laptops in the public schools?

ms_attitude 11 years, 4 months ago

Everyone just needs to chill out.

Gifted children DO require some extra attention..but don't need a ton. Just give them a room to do work at their own speed and to meet people that understand what they're going through as "gifted" kids.

Give them that and then raise a bit of a budget for them so that they can do special things and then you're done. It's not that hard!!

The_Thinker 11 years, 4 months ago

Im pretty sure im not up to ur guys's level of smarts. I have never been the brightest in my class. But, I think that no matter how smart you are, as long as you try your hardest thats what matters. gifted people should try harder when their gifted. As long as you do evrything as good as you can. If youre smart, then you should be able to think of something to do when your bored.

ms_attitude 11 years, 4 months ago

The thing is, Thinker, is that just because we're gifted doesn't mean we should be entertaining ourselves at school. The whole point of school is to learn; if they're not doing that then there is no reason to go! SChool is supposed to be a fun learning place where students can go to express themselves and learn new amazing things. Some gifted children just already KNOW the things that the teachers are teaching and need something else to do. And you, Thinker, try to think of something to do for at least 1 hour every day!

That's what I thought.

123smilie 11 years, 4 months ago

fillmoreeric, i told my friend what you said about 'sick'-ing dravid on someone (i think it is spelled 'sic' although i could be wrong) and she thought it was amusing and told dravid... who said that he saw my comment. :)

teachgt 11 years, 4 months ago

After teaching gifted kids for over twenty years some of these comments sadden and irritate me, but I'm not going to waste my finger energy to rebut the opinions of others. I would like to leave you with an analogy, maybe it will make you think:

You are an adult and last year you decided to take ski lessons in Colorado. You bought the clothes, rented the skis and drove out to the Colorado slopes. You signed up for beginner lessons, practiced and has a great time. A year had so much fun last year that you decided to go back to Colorado for intermediate lessons. You bought fancier clothes and this year you decided to buy skis. You drive out to Colorado and pull up to the ski school. Swen comes bounding out of the chalet and says "Velcome, Velcome...but I have bad news. Not enough people signed up for intermediate lessons, you will have to take "beginners" again." As an adult, you would say "H*** no, I will not take "beginners" again, I'm ready for intermediate!!"

But gifted kids don't have that power; they have to take "beginners" again and again and again. Think about it, as an adult you would never put up with that.

UnfitSmiley 11 years, 4 months ago

I love the ski lesson analogy, teachgt. That's exactly how it is for we gifted kids.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.