October 3rd, 2013

Rise in Advocacy for Advanced Learning Programs Across the US

This article in Education Week, titled “Parents Press for Attention to Programs for Gifted Students“, by Nora Fleming, examines efforts across the US to establish services and interventions for students with advanced learning needs.  Here’s an excerpt:

“According to Donna Ford, a professor at Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education, minorities are also at a greater disadvantage in accessing gifted education because of districts’ measures to determine whether a student is gifted. These policies and procedures can discriminate against students who may not have had access to resources and opportunities outside of school that help highlight exceptional talents and abilities. Teachers often are ill-equipped to identify students who are highly capable since few states require pre-service teachers to receive training in gifted education, she said.

The onus then falls to parents to access gifted services for their children, and oftentimes districts do not do enough to make disadvantaged parents more aware of how to do so.

‘You can’t push and advocate for a program you don’t know exists, isn’t in your language, or you have never had experience with yourself,’ Ms. Ford said. ‘Minority parents want their kids identified as gifted and to have access to rigorous programs, but they can’t do that when it’s kept a big secret and mystery.'”

The complete article is here.

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