Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Letter to the Editor

If you don't normally read the Dover Post letter to the editor section, I'd urge you to take a look at today's section. One of the letters titled "Gifted Students Left Wanting in Caesar Rodney District" speaks strongly to me. The letter by Lori Armstrong, a mom who has daughters in the Caesar Rodney school district, shared her concern about the lack of gifted services provided by the district. According to Lori her daughters get an after school gifted program once a week which involves creative skits which they practice for a festival. Her middle school daughter could easily skip a grade and her teachers even told Lori this, but the district won't allow it.

So here we are in the month of April when most Delaware school districts conduct their 2nd grade screening process for gifted and talented education programs and families in the Caesar Rodney district might be saying after reading Lori's letter to the editor ....why should I even bother if my child is just going to get a one day a week after school program?

We should expect more from our public schools to provide for gifted children and like Lori I urge you to contact your state representatives to express your concerns.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, April 3, 2009

Advocacy for Gifted Education

I recently got an e-mail invitation from the National Association for Gifted Children to join their Legislative Action Network. I thought I'd share more about this network since I feel strongly about getting people and governments more informed about the difficulties in providing gifted students with the appropriate education they deserve.

In Delaware there is no state mandate or funding for gifted education (see for more information). We have to rely on local school districts to provide any type of program and with the state budget cuts that will be coming up this year, who knows what the districts will have to cut. Some people might say that gifted students can take care of themselves. Would you say that same thing to a student who was getting special educational services? I believe (and so does the state of Pennsylvania...well at least from what I read and have been told by people in PA) that gifted students should be given an GIEP (gifted individualized education program). The needs of gifted students can be unique and as such should be taken care of accordingly.

So how does this relate to the NAGC LAN? Well it is all about advocacy for gifted education really. This network is there to "help raise awareness of gifted children and influence federal policy decisions" says Sally Reis, committee chair. What the LAN needs are people to help write letters/e-mails to members of Congress at key times of the legislative process. If you'd like to find out more information about the network and what is involved in joining you can visit under the get involved column on their website.

I'd appreciate any comments you have on this post.