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Wrangling

May 28, 2009

I have been spent an irritating amount of time this morning trying to beat my scanner into submission. I am attempting to create and insert figures (images) into my dissertation in a way that will prevent groveling in front of the dissertation secretary later. Unfortunately, it my be hazardous to my health, if the hand wringing, cursing and de-folliclization continues much longer. It has yet to be determined whether I am an idiot or the machine is intractable. We are blaming each other in what is sure to be a long ugly road towards appliance divorce court. (But it’s really his fault. I, of course, am perfect).

Fortunately, I have the house to myself today, so the only one who can hear me cursing is Mrs. Stein, who is too busy batting her food bowl around the room, in hopes that I’ll forget I already fed her, to care. Mr. Spy has gone off to the Big City to have lunch with the woman who introduced us, lo, these many years ago. She’s his former boss and a friend of mine.

Mrs. Stein has given up on food-dish hockey and is trying out plaintive meowing. Give it up, cat. I know all your tricks.

Also occupying my brain has been a still fairly hypothetical project I’ve mentioned over at AJ’s Clubhouse. I’ve found myself more and more lately talking to other parents who don’t know how to get their gifted kids services in their schools, and so I’ve started sketching out a guide to gifted advocacy based on my experiences and reading. It’s more or less shelved until I’m done with the current writing projects, but I keep sticking notes in the outline as I think about it. In the mean time, it’s looking like one of AJ’s science fair buddies, a kid who should clearly be in the gifted program, is headed for the same rigamarole we went through with the testing. I spent a good half hour talking to his mom this morning and telling her what hoops she needed to jump through and in what order. Hopefully they’ll be able to work it out. I am even more grateful now, though, that AJ’s teacher gave us a heads up. This boy’s teacher has been much more problematic.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go back to putting an ornery appliance in its place.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. crankygirl permalink
    May 28, 2009 12:49 pm

    Have you kicked it yet? That’s always helpful.

  2. LSM permalink
    May 28, 2009 8:38 pm

    I really hope the school district changes its identification process as they indicated they planned to when you met. It seems much too arbitrary now as to who does or doesn’t find out about ways to get around the current test.

    Good luck with the scanner!

  3. May 28, 2009 9:00 pm

    Cranky, I’m still in the wheedling stage. The problem is not so much with the scanner itself but its interface with the computer, so I’m assuming it can eventually be persuaded. LSM, I hope so too. This is clearly a problem.

  4. May 29, 2009 10:13 am

    I have been the GATE coordinator at three different schools. *Gifted* refers to measuring creativity but kids that score (academically) in the top 2% on standardized testing (two years in a row) may also qualify for the program.

  5. May 29, 2009 2:32 pm

    Thanks for commenting, boxx. I’d be interested to hear about how your school(s) identifies students for GATE, if you’re willing to share. The word “gifted” is highly problematic. It’s really a broad term, but is not always interpreted that way. And while creativity is what they say they want to be looking for, it’s not actually what they seem to be measuring at the moment. Our school district seems to interpret “gifted” narrowly as academically gifted. Kids can qualify in reading/verbal or math or both. The pull-out program substitutes for some curriculum materials and in-class intervention in the gifted cluster does the rest. Kids who were highly gifted in say art or music would not be identified unless they were also testing high in reading or math. Kids are identified first by a group aptitude test (OLSAT) and are then given an achievement test (ITBS) to further define the group. But the OLSAT has proved problematic. For one thing, it has a bad track record on the higher end of the IQ spectrum. For another, over-reliance on testing, particularly group testing, without taking into account other factors tends to eliminated some students that should be included — especially those with cultural differences, those with economic difficulties and those with less parental involvement. From what I can tell from talking to our school’s gifted teacher, they hate this method, but they can’t afford better testing so it’s what they’re stuck with at the moment. But they’re working on changing the cocktail of admissions factors so that it isn’t so test dependent. Hopefully that will help.

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