Wednesday, May 31, 2017

WAMU: MCPS Gives More Students A Chance At ‘Gifted’ Status

A new program at the Montgomery County Public Schools is giving more kids a shot at enrichment programs.
After a 2016 report found white and Asian American students were more likely to be accepted and enroll in these programs than black and Hispanic students, or those from low-income households, the school district began re-examining the way it identifies gifted students.
A new pilot program aimed at redressing the imbalance has proved so successful that the school district plans to expand it system-wide in the fall. That means all third graders will be evaluated for enrichment programs. And the county will open three new enrichment centers to serve more students.
One big reason for the racial and income disparities, school administrators have concluded: parents.
Making them responsible for applying to have their children admitted to gifted programs “may have really been a barrier for families who couldn’t meet the timeline who may have even known about the process but didn’t know if their child was a right match for the program,” said Jeannie Franklin, who works for the school district.
At a school like JoAnn Lelack at Broad Acres Elementary School in Silver Spring, that can be a factor, agreed Principal Harold Barber. Nine out of 10 students there qualify for free or reduced-price meals, he said. Many come from households without strong ties to the school system. “We have a very transient population,” Barber said...


  1. Here's another reason: an administration that runs the school system by zip code, with teachers who are gate-keepers at the ES level. At one point Beall ES did not even have a GT program. Why? parents were told, 'children at Beall can't handle those complex concepts.' No William and Mary for you! The highly uneven distribution of GT programs and highly-qualified teachers by the BOE also bear responsibility for this.

  2. More. Highly-qualified teachers know that if they teach "out of boundary," MCPS will accommodate them by assigning their children to the same-cluster ES thu HS. It eliminates the need for the teachers to be involved parents, advocates, and drivers of resources for their home (in-boundary) schools. And teachers' children being awarded these COSAs adds to demographic disparities and uneven distribution of programs.


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