Wednesday, February 7, 2007

The Gifted Left Behind

Since passage of No Child Left Behind (NCLB), gifted programs face demise. In Connecticut, 22 percent of school districts eliminated gifted programs after NCLA passed in 2002. Other districts cut back programs. West Hartford remains one the towns continuing its program, spending over $600,000 this year to pay teachers, allowing 13 percent of students considered intellectually gifted to attend pullout programs. This option means fourth graders such as Ben Harney and Caroline Monnes study math at the sixth-grade level and eight graders Adam Harris builds a robot that plays the piano, Cinzia Alfano hones engineering skills designing a board game, and Mariam Hellalat solves crimes via forensic techniques. Is your town cutting programs for gifted to fund NCLB? What is your opinion on this issue?

(Acknowledgement: The New York Times, 2/7/07, Joseph Berger’s Education column, “Federal Law Drains Resources for the Gifted,” bylined, West Hartford, CT. See page B9; Joe’s email is


lbruenn said...

I have always had students who are involved in our gifted and talented program called "Quest". I am always amazed at what the students are doing. They write their own newsletter so all students and faculty can see their work. Cinzia Alfano was my student last year. She is a great student and a nice young lady. I love that she is succeeding in engineering which is usually a field dominated by males not females. Good for her!!

Anonymous said...

I did an internship in West Hartford and am familiar with Quest. It's a great program and it's too bad it's getting cut in many districts!!!

Anonymous said...

I did an internship in West Hartford and I was also a teacher assistant in West Hartford. I think it is important to keep the gifted program in the budget, regardless of cost. These students need to be challenged.

Anonymous said...

It is interesting to read about what other districts are doing in terms of gifted and talented. I am actually only familiar with the program that is available in my own elementary school, I am not too sure about what happens in the rest of my district. In my school there is a half-year program for fourth and fifth graders that has these students working with Talcott Mountain.


Anonymous said...

I agree many gifted and talented students spend most of the day coloring in elementary school because that is usually the extra work.

On a more positive note they offer the SAT in 7th grade for select students. Do you think they should get a early shot at the SAT? Or do you think that it puts the other students at a disadvantage?

ssoucy said...

With all the media focus on students with special needs and with gifted students, I am concerned that the educational needs of the students "in the middle" are being neglected.

Anonymous said...

We are forced by law to spend an inordinate amount of money on NCLB and making sure every child can succeed, even if it at the expense of our better kids. Numerous educational research is conducted to show that inclusion benefits all levels of children. My fear is that we are going to leave our more gifted kids behind. These are the future adults we are counting on to be the true innovators of the next generation. Eventually, I feel that we will force the more gifted students into private schools, that are not hogtied by these government mandates.

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