Why it doesn't impress me when you say you have a child in the "gifted" program.
I'm intelligent enough to realize that I can only speak for my area, so please realize that I am doing just that - if things are done differently in your area, don't get defensive, just fill me in.
Around here, entrance into the "gifted program" is based on one thing - standardized test scores from the year before. What's more, they have to have scored in a certain percentile (99th) ACROSS THE BOARD in language arts AND math. Also, again, this is based solely on how well your child does on a standardized test - there are no IQ test requirements, no interview process, just a standardized test that the teachers prep the students for many, many months in advance.
We even have an entire public school slated for "gifted and talented". Again, "gifted" is determined by the child's previous year's test scores, nothing else.
What is my problem with this method of determining "gifted"?
1) My sister struggled through school, by her own admittance. Yet she always maintained good grades and excellent test scores. Why? Because she struggled she learned excellent study skills. She would never describe herself as gifted, but would have probably made the cut for the gifted programs in the schools, as the standards are now.
2) These policies leave out a very important population - those students who are 2E (twice exceptional); learning disabled and highly gifted. Not uncommon AT ALL.
3) Most SINCERELY GIFTED people I know, are profoundly gifted in ONE area (math and science *or* language arts, or something along those lines), and either average or even below average in the other areas. Many are bored in class; as a result they act out, don't do their best, make silly mistakes, day dream, etc. Nothing is done to identify these children who need services most, because they may not score as high on the standardized tests.
My husband is a great example. Incredibly intelligent, he holds several degrees in science related fields and has a very high IQ; he also would have preferred to do calculus than read for a lit project any day of the week. He never would have tested above average in language arts (and, in fact, I believe he carried a "C" in language arts for many years, lol).
To summarize, I think children in gifted classes are bright children with a great work ethic and fantastic study skills; some may be gifted, but I do NOT believe they are all gifted (or even very many).
Also, for clarification, I have no horse in this race. We homeschool, so my children have never attempted entrance, or been denied entrance, to these programs (so nobody thinks I'm "bitter", lol).
I am a Home Schooling, Vaccinating, Non spanking, Nightmare Cuddling, Dessert Giving, Bedtime Kissing, Book Reading, Stay at Home Mom. I believe in the benefit of organized after school activities and nosy, involved parents. I believe in spoiling my children. I believe that I have seen the village and I do not want it anywhere near my children. Now for the controversial stuff: we have traditional gender roles, we're Catholic, I'm Libertarian, he's Republican, we're both conservative, and we own guns (now there's no need to ask, lol). Aimee