The Book on Gifted and Talented Programs Is Wide Open

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Dear Extra Credit:

For all of us parents of bright students, can you fill us in on gifted and talented education in the area?

Our daughter is a bright rising first-grader. She's not what I would call Doogie Howser material but she reads above grade level, she does math above grade level, etc. She's hardly ready for "War and Peace" or a course in differential calculus.

There seem to be stereotypical "GT parents" in this area who demand GT classes for their second-graders and who go ballistic if they don't get them or if a child has a bad test-taking day. Then there is another type of GT parent who has a child who is (supposedly) ready for algebra classes in sixth grade, and anyone else who is in that student's GT class and not ready for algebra should be kicked out because "they are not in the top 2 percent of kids."

So what's the answer? What's the right way to implement GT programs? Does Arlington County have it right? Fairfax County? Montgomery? Does the District even have a GT program in its public schools?

Is the answer to take all GT kids out of public schools and send them to Nysmith School in Herndon or Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth?

Karen Metivier-Carreiro


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