Well, better late than never. Not one but *two* meetings on GT issues are slated for March. There’s this from the Asian American Parents Advocacy Council:
All are invited to attend a program sponsored by the Asian American Parents Advocacy Council:
“What Does Preserving MCPS’s Commitment to Gifted Education Mean to the Community at Large?”
Thursday, March 5, 7:00-9:00 pm
Wootton High School Media Center
2100 Wootton Parkway, Rockville 20850
- Marty Creel, Director, MCPS Department of Enriched and Innovative Programs (responsible for GT education)
- John Hoven, GT advocate and past President, Gifted and Talented Association of Montgomery County (GTA)
- Preston Rico, AAPAC President
Should be, ahem, interesting. I feel sorry for Mr. Creel already. It seems like a large part of his job is to be publicly pummeled by parents late into the evening.
And then there’s this from the MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee:
The MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee is pleased to announce that we have added a meeting to our schedule. It is a forum regarding the global screening process involving students in second grade, and the pilot programs being conducted at two elementary schools to provide services to students without labeling them as gifted. Participants will include the principals and other stakeholders from Burning Tree and Georgian Forest Elementary Schools and representatives of the MCPS Division of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction.
The meeting will be on Monday, March 16, 2009, at 7:30 pm in the auditorium of the Carver Educational Services Center (CESC), 850 Hungerford Drive, Rockville, Maryland 20850. The meeting will be open to the public and ample parking is available.
For questions, please contact Susan Joyce Thomas, Chair, MCCPTA Gifted Child Committee.
On December 16, 2008, the Board of Education issued a “Board Statement about Gifted Student Identification.” It said, in part,
The global screening process, as required by Policy IOA, Gifted and Talented Education, will be conducted for all second graders this year as it has in past years.
It is correct that Montgomery County Public Schools is conducting a pilot program in two elementary schools–Burning Tree and Georgian Forest–that provides gifted and talented services to students without labeling students. The screening process at these schools–including assessments, staff surveys and parent surveys–is still conducted, but staff does not label students at the end of the process. Students in these two schools still receive the same opportunity for accelerated and enriched instruction as students in schools where the label is still used.
MCPS has been engaging parent and community stakeholders in a robust discussion about the system’s policy on gifted and talented education and will continue to do so. This discussion and parental input will be important as the Board of Education’s Policy Committee considers revisions to the policy some time during 2009.
It is true that among the options that will be considered is eliminating labeling in favor of a services-based model. In this model, students are still screened for their readiness for advanced work and parents are provided the recommendations from the screening so that they are fully informed of their children’s readiness to excel at a higher level. Students are then provided advanced work based on the results of the screening process, consultation with parents, and the ongoing assessment of students’ needs.
I wonder how these “pilots” comport with the MCCPTA’s recently passed Resolution on School System Pilots which resolves ” the Montgomery County Council of PTAs will not support any school pilot programs for students that omit parental input and feedback before any pilot programs begin.” Hope someone asks whether this was the case at these schools.
[Update: Almost forgot...MCPS Accelerated and Enriched Instruction Advisory Committee holds its meetings on the 2nd Thursday of each month. The next meeting is Thursday, March 12, 7:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. at the Carver Educational Services Center, Room 127.]