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If Gifted And Talented Programs Don't Boost Scores, Should We Eliminate Them?


Is there anyone without skin in the game (that is, anyone outside of the ed school world) who sees any reason athat masters' degrees in education would be of any benefit whatsoever? I've sat through tedious and irrelevant masters' ed classes, and I can't imagine why anyone would do it but for the artificial pay boost at the end.

There's a technical reason why G&T programs should not be responsible for increasing scores: Tests generally have much smaller standard errors in the middle of their testing range than at the extreams. As G&T students are -almost by defintion-- likely to be scoring near the high end of the range, it becomes very very very difficult to say with statistical certaintly that any program can improve the scores of these students. Furthermore, these tests tend to have ceilings to thei scores. In practical terms, that means that for many G&T students the tests simply don't measure as far as these students have grown. So, even if we ignore the possibility that G&T programs help students in ways that these tests to do attempt to measure, and focus on the areas that these tests do try to measure, the instrument itself is quite rarely suitable for measuring improvement in this range. So, no. G&T programs should NOT be eliminated if they don't improve scores (unless the ultimate goal of education is to improve scores)

uh..yeah. The reason that people would sit through Master ed. classes is that people actually enjoy it. They enjoy being stimulated, they enjoy sharing ideas, they enjoy challenging themselves because even in the most boring of classes, if you have the right attitude, you can take something out of it. Of course, if you have the wrong attitude, you complain.

In my state (Michigan) it is required to work towards and eventually get your masters to keep your teaching certification. Teachers are required to take classes on their own time and own dime. With the reward of keeping your job and a small pay increase (not enough to cover the expenses of the Masters). So you end up with another loan to pay off. Very frustrating when public cries out for pay cuts and that teachers get paid too much. Here I am trying to save for my own children's college education and paying off my student loans at the same time:(

I'm kind of surprised that this blog post ignores what seems to me to be the major reason that we won't end Gifted and Talented programs, which is that they largely serve middle income and white kids, whose parents wouldn't stand for them ending and have enough political clout to make sure they don't. If you look at all the other programs and policies that have been ended because they didn't raise test scores, they all impacted primarily low income kids of color. For example, who were the teachers who got fired? which schools have the lowest base pay and will tend to lose their more qualified teachers if they are no longer paid for their qualifications? Which schools have had the most experienced teachers fired? Which schools have been most often closed under NCLB? Which schools have lost things like art and music due to low test scores? Which schools are subject to "turnaround" strategies? In every case, it's the low income schools and the low income kids, and politicians feel pretty good about ignoring their parents when they speak out. The racial/socioeconomic climate in this country makes it easy. Has anybody noticed that this whole "waiver" issue only arose when the NCLB cutoffs started to be too high for middle income, white schools to meet? They've been totally cool with closing down low income schools for ten years. Why now? It's not too tough to figure out.


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