This spring in Knox County Schools our school board almost voted to gut our Gifted and Talented program. The community rose up in opposition and part of the program was saved. We are in need of a more robust GT program in our schools. I have thought about creating a GT Foundation so we can provide the necessary funding to have a better program. Here are some other thoughts from the following article:
Goldstein, D. (2018, Sept. 15). Rethinking What Gifted Education Means, and Whom It Should Serve. The New York Times.
The article was mainly about addressing higher-level learning needs in less affluent schools in Maryland. Essentially they are making gifted learning available to underachieving gifted students that wouldn’t otherwise be found or thought of as a gifted student. I am sure we have underserved GT students right here in our school system either by not fully funding the program or by not reaching out and finding all the students who could possibly qualify. We could take some pointers from this school system in Maryland.
Montgomery county has GT schools which we only have one in Knox County. Students who qualify for these schools are considered outliers in their neighborhood schools with fewer than 20 peers with similar abilities.
The term highly gifted was changed to Enriched Studies because they wanted to label the program, not the students. I think that is fair because a gifted education is an enrichment and many students in a variety of backgrounds receive enriched services throughout the school day.
Some titles that I found interesting were: “Chair of the Gifted Child Committee on the PTA” and the “President of the Gifted and Talented Association of Montgomery County.” In Knox County we need to work towards having positions, titles, and organizations such as these. These organizations can help parents give their children a voice and ensure quality programming throughout their school years.