On 1/14/2009 at 2:25PM, I emailed MCPS the following questions and never received an answer. These are questions never placed on the record by any Advisory Committee member. They need to be answered on the record, in detail, so that we know in concrete terms where MCPS is heading with GT.
We know "programs" and "forums," under the auspices of folks sitting at the table having made secrecy pledges are a beginning, but these are typically well-orchestrated and controlled.
So, here are my questions in their entirety—MCPS I await your response.
I have carefully viewed the Mock GT Screening video, studied the accompanying PowerPoint, spoken to parents, etc., and arrived at some conclusions that are, I believe, fact. I present them to you and respectfully request your kind comments, specifically if you disagree I would ask for a explicit statement describing the reason why. These were facts presented to the community by me and I will assume MCPS agrees with them unless I hear from you to the contrary before policy IOA revision is finalized for presentation to the BOE.
Based on the information MCPS presents to the public, I have concluded that MCPS uses a lower threshold for GT identification than prescribed in state law. i.e., MCPS, instead of requiring the "remarkably high levels of accomplishment" it subscribes to a lower threshold of simply "high levels of accomplishment." Further, MCPS, according to its video considers a child gifted if he/she meets 3 out of 4
qualitative factors ( (a) Parent Survey; (b) Reading and Math Levels; (c) Teacher Survey (d) Staff Advocacy) OR
2 out of 4 quantitative factors ((1) InView-- Analogies Subtest; (2) InView-- Quantitative Reasoning Subtest; (3) Other; and (h) Raven). The high GT levels of GT ID in our fair county are simply due to a lower threshold and criterion that is not used in the accepted manner (and, as has been shown by my analysis of Westbrook--subject to gaming).
(1) It is agreed that the Maryland General Assembly expressly recognizes the existence of "gifted and talented" students and requires services be provided for this population.
Ann. Code, Educ. Art., Sec. 8-202, 5-401, etc.
(2) It is agreed that Maryland statute specifically defines "gifted and talented," as "Having outstanding talent and performing, or showing the potential for performing, at remarkably
high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of a similar age, experience, or environment; Exhibiting high performance capability in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas; Possessing an unusual leadership capacity; or Excelling in specific academic fields."
Ann. Code, Educ. Art., Sec. 8-201.
(3) It is agreed that legislation that mandates specialized training in gifted education for teachers/specialists of gifted students is being considered.
See proposed regulation.
(4) It is agreed that gifted and talented education is, by law and regulation, an integral and necessary component of our educational system.
(5) It is agreed that MCPS, in Policy IOA, defines "gifted and talented," as students who have "outstanding talent who perform or show the potential for performing at high levels of accomplishment when compared
with others of their age, experience, or environment" OR "exhibit high performance capability in intellectual, creative, and/or artistic areas, possess an unusual leadership capacity, or excel in specific academic fields.
Policy IOA (C)(1)(a).
(6) It is agreed the MCPS policy differs from state policy by NOT requiring "remarkably high levels of accomplishment" instead, it subscribes to a lower threshold of simply "high levels of accomplishment"
(7) It is agreed that MCPS by subscribing to the lower threshold will necessarily identify higher numbers of its population as gifted.
(8) MCPS identifies "gifted and talented" using an eight-factor matrix of data.
See GT ID slide show produced by MCPS.
(9) It is a fact that MCPS GT ID statistics range from ~15% to ~90% and, as was recently demonstrated by this author, and can be manipulated by the schools.
MCPS GT ID criteria published on their website clearly states the criteria as:
(a) Parent Survey; (b) Other; (c) Teacher Survey (d) Staff Advocacy (e) Reading and Math Levels (f) InView-- Analogies Subtest (g) InView-- Quantitative Reasoning Subtest and (h) Raven*
10. It cannot be disputed that there is no legitimate, factual basis to explain the statistics and/or evaluate the efficacy and integrity of the GT ID process because appropriate data has not been analyzed and
presented to stakeholders.
11. The MCPS GT ID process as stated on their website (see http://www.montgomeryschoolsmd.org/curriculum/enriched/giftedprograms/recognizing.shtm#mock)on a video and PowerPoint presentation is:
To be classified as GT within MCPS you must meet cut-off scores on three of the following criteria
Reading and Math Levels
Meet the cut-off scores in two of the following criteria
InView―Quantitative Reasoning Subtest
MCPS uses this data to calculate
Age Performance Level
12. MCPS has data that would determine if the GT ID process conforms to law, inclusive of Civil Rights statutes, and has a pending request for all the data from 2004 to date.
Please be kind enough to provide me with a written response confirming or denying the accuracy of the above on or before any "revised" Policy-IOA is presented to the BOE.