Congratulations to Montgomery Blair High School! Blair was honored on February 16 with the Maryland Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) award. It is one of just five schools statewide—and the only high school—to receive the prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding gifted and talented education. MCPS actually issued a press release! For those readers outside of MCPS, Blair’s Math Science and Computer Science program is a perennial of rival of Fairfax’s Thomas Jefferson High School for most Intel wins. The school also houses a highly regarded communications arts program.
Here are the application requirements for an award to the school. ALL criteria must be met to qualify:
- Administrator shows leadership in expanding/improving programs and services for gifted and talented students in the school or school system.
- Administrator allocates resources (time, people, money) to expand and improve gifted and talented education programs and services.
- Administrator leads the expansion or improvement of parent, community, and/or business partnerships that directly support the education of gifted and talented students.
But wait! There hasn’t been any mention of this on the school’s own website. No announcement on the school listserv. Nor in the school’s award winning paper. What gives? Isn’t the school justifiably proud of the award?
Hmmm. Well there is this story in Silver Chips.
…Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) Alan Xie spoke with members of Blair’s Students for Global Responsibility (SGR) about the Gifted and Talented (GT) label Today. SGR is working with the countywide organization Montgomery County Education Forum (MCEF) to remove the GT label in elementary schools across the county.Student Member of the Board of Education (SMOB) Alan Xie met with Blair’s SGR after school today.According to SGR sponsor George Vlasits, the club is currently working to inform Blazers about how the Montgomery County Public School (MCPS) system begins separating students in second grade. After seven-year-olds take a test, they are sorted into the GT track or the non-GT track. “The [non-GT] kids get very little opportunities,” Vlasits said. “They would like to try more challenging material but those things won’t fly.” According to Vlasits, due to a discrepancy in teacher expectations, it is hard for students not on the GT track to get into magnet middle schools or magnet high schools. “If [non-GT] are constantly told they cannot perform as well as GT kids, they will eventually believe it,” he said. “It gets back to what we do early on….”