The young men rioting in Baltimore at the extreme injustice shows the results of VOUCHERS TO PRIVATE SCHOOLS. Johns Hopkins and private schools in Baltimore have for decades identified the most likely to be leaders in low-income communities and handpick them to be sent to IVY LEAGUE or tracked to private schools. This is when they become that 5% to the 1% thinking only of growing global markets for the 1% Wall Street ----and they think nothing of lifting these fellow community members or building that community's local economy. What would have been a LEADER to those young men rioting-----became a global Wall Street player working against those young men because they are tracked into private schools with scholarships.
HANDPICKING THOSE WHO WOULD BE LEADERS TO TEAM GLOBAL 1%----THAT HAS BEEN A TACTIC FOR OLD WORLD GLOBAL RICH FOR A THOUSAND YEARS.
Global Wall Street does the same in foreign policy----it kills the ability of the 99% to gain power and keep wealth. That is why the left social Democrats do not support it----and the right wealth and corporate power Republicans do. CLINTON/OBAMA are far-right wing global Wall Street so they support all this.
As a Maryland Republican Governor Larry Hogan and a Trump gear up to make legal what was for the past few decades was done under the table-----we have our US city pols running as Democrats pushing for the same school choice and vouchers AND THIS IS WHY THE 99% IN BALTIMORE HAVE NO LEADERS!
Meanwhile, black families in US cities are simply waiting for their public schools to receive the Federal, state, and local funding they were always legally required to receive BUT NEVER DID----because Clinton/Obama turned their heads to misappropriation not enforcing laws or providing oversight and accountability in education funding distribution. Trump is right wing-----Clinton/Obama are far-right wing---and that is why our public schools for the 99% are decayed and crumbling in US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones.
Trump's $20 billion school choice proposal for inner-city students
In Ohio, Donald Trump proposed spending $20 billion on grants for inner-city children to attend a school of their choice if he’s elected. But would it attract minority groups whom he’s failed to captivate thus far?
By Amanda Hoover, Staff September 9, 2016
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laid out a $20 billion plan intended to boost school choice opportunities for families living in impoverished areas on Thursday – a move some have deemed a push to appeal to minority voters after a campaign in which Mr. Trump's comments on race have turned many against him.
Speaking to a predominately African-American crowd at a predominantly African-American charter school in Cleveland, Ohio, Trump vowed to direct federal money into a program that would allow families in low-income communities to send their children to a school of their choice. This move would allow parents to opt for a different school – public, private, or charter – when the one in their neighborhood seems inadequate or unable to meet a student's needs, factors that already drive many parents to seek alternative schooling options.
Such a policy could carry a bit of bipartisan appeal, attracting Republicans in favor of privatization and others seeking to increase opportunities for those in underserved communities.
“As president, I will establish the national goal of providing school choice to every American child living in poverty,” Trump said at the school, which has around 350 students ranging from kindergarteners to eighth graders, according to The New York Times. “If we can put a man on the moon, dig out the Panama Canal, and win two world wars, then I have no doubt that we as a nation can provide school choice to every disadvantaged child in America.”
Funding for the program would come from existing federal spending, he said, and be given through block grants to the states.
His support of charter schools is far from a revolutionary stance for Republican candidates, who frequently applaud school choice. Yet his proposal may be an attempt to shift the campaign's tone toward minority voters, after months of criticism that Trump has made racially-tinged comments about groups from Mexican Americans to Muslim Americans. The trip to Cleveland comes days after a speech to a predominantly African-American audience at a nondenominational church in Detroit, Mich., where he told listeners that "we need a civil rights agenda for our time."
Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton has also voiced support for charter schools, but more tepidly. Trump's plan places greater emphasis on complete school choice and vouchers, while Mrs. Clinton has criticized charters run by for-profit management companies, as well as those that she says fail to support more challenging students.
Others have argued that complete freedom in school choice via a voucher system strips traditional public schools of funding, harming schools that are already suffering financially and academically.
“If any president wanted to invest $2 billion in public education for black and brown and poor children, it would be a great thing and it would go a long way towards repairing the inequalities that are in the public school system,” Leigh Dingerson, a consultant for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, tells The Christian Science Monitor. “I’m not sure that Trump’s argument that school choice is the way to go is going to pull a lot of folks.”
In particular, many are opposed to the concept of school vouchers, Ms. Dingerson says, which allow families to apply government money toward private school fees and fall more in-line with Trump’s latest proposal.
“I think it jars Democratic voters for sure,” she says of Trump's voucher-based plan. “I think that is a pretty bright line.”
When Republicans proposed an amendment that would add vouchers to the "Every Child Achieves Act," a piece of legislation that intended to address the shortcoming of the federal government's highly criticized education law known as "No Child Left Behind," Democrats came out in opposition.
“Vouchers undermine the basic goals of public education by allowing funding that is designated for our most at-risk students to be re-routed to private schools,” Sen. Patty Murray (D) of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Senate's education committee, wrote in remarks prepared for a speech on the floor last year. “I urge my colleagues to oppose any attempt to use federal education funds for private school vouchers.”
The act eventually passed without the inclusion of vouchers, with overwhelming bipartisan support.
In terms of Trump's new offer, minority parents may question the sincerity of Trump’s stated commitment to their families.
“This one speech can’t clear that up for me,” Emmalena Alexander, an African-American woman whose son attends the Cleveland school where Trump spoke, told The New York Times. “That still leaves a nasty taste.”
While parents across the board hope to find high quality schools for their children, many won’t be swayed by a plan that appears centered around a voucher-system, Dingerson says.
"I expect that people recognize that when you start separating and sorting kids across different kinds of school systems, you’re increasingly segregating a charter system and you’re creating winners and losers in a competitive market model," she says. "That is not traditionally been something that helps black and brown communities in the past."
Let's return to the cohort of global citizens our ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE global corporate campus neo-liberal education people are telling us are the only ones needing to have that strong K-university education----the EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS/GIFTED STUDENTS-----or just people who have a global 1% amount of money.
This is to where US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zone EDUCATION REFORM is going. As usual since these goals involve only a 1% and their 2% we are hearing all kinds of descriptions as to what GIFTED OR EXCEPTIONAL MEANS and a broad outreach when the end result will be very few students falling into that category. Remember, we have always had pathways for our gifted and exceptional students yes even in public schools and somehow they thrived becoming CAPTAINS OF INDUSTRY----WORLD LEADERS-----until CLINTON defunded, dismantled, and outsourced all public school functions.
So now we are watching all the education propaganda about WHAT CONSTITUTES BEING GIFTED OR EXCEPTIONAL----and since all this is global Wall Street corporatization of all that is public education----here is a fake test to see if you are that EXCEPTIONAL CITIZEN.
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Just to remind what the left social Democratic term for exceptional students has been these several decades -----it was indeed a description of special needs students and their rights to have in public schools all they needed to attain the best education they could achieve.
It is no coincidence as with all left social Democratic terms that far-right wing global Wall Street pols use this term---only they are talking about VERY, VERY, VERY ,VERY SMART PEOPLE. When today Congressional pols say policy addresses EXCEPTIONAL STUDENTS ----they mean the opposite of what was in place for most of last century.
This is to where Baltimore and Maryland is MOVING FORWARD as fast as they can----this will be what they term 2 TIERED EDUCATION REFORM------that top tier being about 5% of citizens----that vocational tracking lower tier for the 99% of people. That 5% upper tier takes in those global 1% and their 2% who are NOT EXCEPTIONAL---THEY ARE JUST SKILLED AT LYING, CHEATING, AND STEALING SO HAVE LOTS OF MONEY.
BASIC COMMITMENTS AMD RESPONSIBILITIES
TO EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
A Position paper adopted by the Council for Exceptional
Children at its Miami Convention in April, 1974 prepared by
the CBC Policies Commission, Maynard Reynolds, Chairman
Education is the right of all children.
The principle of education for all is based on the philosophical premise
of democracy that every person is valuable in his own right and should be
afforded equal opportunities to develop his full potential. Thus, no democratic
society should deny educational opportunities to any child, regardless of his
potential-ities for making a contribution to society, since the passage of the
first public-school laws in the mid-nineteenth century, the principle has
received general endorsement and qualified execution. While lip service has
been paid to the intent of the principle, various interpretations of the terms
"education" and "all children" have deprived many children of their right.
The ordinary educational opportunities provided by the schools have tended
to neglect, or exclude children with unusual learning needst the gifted; the
physically, mentally, and emotionally handicapped; and the victims of socio-
economic and cultural differences. These children need special education --
specialized diagnostic and instructional services — and, in order to be able to
benefit fully from the education, they need the opportunity to view themselves
as acceptable to society. They need stable and supportive home lives, wholesome
community interactions, and the opportunity to view themselves and others in a
Because of their exceptionality, many of the children need to begin their
school experiences at earlier ages than are customary for children in our so-
ciety, many need formal educational services well into adulthood, and many re-
quire health and social services that are closely coordinated with school pro-
grams. Meeting these needs is essential to the total development of exceptional
children as individuals and as members of society.
For some decades now, educators and schools have been responding to -the
challenge of educating the exceptional children. At least five times as many
school systems provide special educational services. Today as a quarter of a
century ago. Still, not all children are being provided for fully; relatively
few services exist for the intellectually gifted child,, for example, and less
than half of the children who need highly specialised services are receiving
them. The community should extend its demand that school personnel must, learn
to understand and serve the individual needs of these children as well as those
more easily accommodated in the educational system. The surge of interest among
educators in individualizing instruction hopefully will mean more sensitivity
to the educational needs of all children, and particularly to those with
•Reprinted in Exceptional Children, 38,2 (October 1971
Here we have EDWEEK-----it is the Bill Gates corporate K-12 education journal that pushes data and policies tied to global neo-liberal corporate education policies. Here we see how these terms are changing-----TWICE EXCEPTIONAL----both gifted and disabled. These several decades of left social democracy would have a community school in the neighborhood staffed and resourced to handle whatever this twice-exceptional students needed. Today these terms call for that outsourcing----that after-school program funding to corporate non-profits----and most times will be directed at students identified as ASPERGER's AUTISM.
Asperger's students are that very gifted citizen---many of the greatest talents in history were found to have ASPERGER'S SYNDROME. So, yes this would be an example of a TWICE EXCEPTIONAL STUDENT-----it is in fact a social disability disorder AND it requires lots of special needs resources for a student that will no doubt be within that 2-5% EXCEPTIONALLY INTELLIGENT citizens.
Published in Print: March 28, 2012, as I Am a Twice-Exceptional StudentCommentary
I Am a Twice-Exceptional Student
By Andrew Edward Collins
Now that I'm in 12th grade and set to graduate this year, I have decided to reflect upon my experience as a "twice exceptional" student in the public school system. The system has failed me. I learned a lot from my time in public education and hope to give you a firsthand account of one of its biggest problems—an account that I believe can only be accurately provided by someone with my experience, rather than a researcher looking in on the issue.
I have come to realize that some of the students most at risk in our country aren't just the ones from poor family backgrounds or those who have mental weakness. The twice-exceptional student is also at a tremendous risk. He is at risk of developing low self-esteem, a poor work ethic, depression, and frustration toward school. A twice-exceptional student is a student who is both gifted and disabled, possessing the mental ability or skill at, or above, the 98th percentile in some areas, but remaining significantly deficient in others.
I want to explain how it has been for me so that some of you reading this may come to a better understanding of the needs of students like me and how easy it is to turn our attitudes against school.
"To the people who shared classes with me in which my disabilities did not affect my performance, I was the smartest kid in school. To the people in my math class, I was an idiot."For the first half of my public education career, my school system led me to believe I was stupid, despite the fact that I qualify for Mensa and have a verbal IQ of 150. Because of my executive-functioning problems and my learning disabilities that inhibit my performance in math and sciences, my teachers and special educators placed so much focus on accommodating these weaknesses that any trace of superior ability I possessed was completely obscured. The support I received was so obvious and excessive that I became known as an idiot among my classmates.
It is, of course, important for students with disabilities to have their weaknesses properly accommodated, but under no circumstances should it be done at the expense of their strengths. It must have been easier for the school system to place me in a universal special education program, because I was placed in lower-level reading groups, too, despite the fact that my reading speed and comprehension-ability scores were in the gifted range, and I had read War and Peace way back in 5th grade.
By 8th grade, the discrepancy between my strengths and weaknesses was obvious. By now, I was about 100 pages into writing my first novel and earning a perfect score in my English class every quarter. I was literally moving through four times the amount of material as the rest of my class, but nevertheless, absolutely no attention was given to this strength. Instead, I continued to be smothered with accommodations for my weaknesses. My math teacher treated me as though I suffered from mental retardation, and my English teacher, despite my outstanding performance in her class, refused to recommend me for honors-level English because I seemed to receive so much support through an individualized education program.
Balancing my reputation among my peers became more difficult. To the people who shared classes with me in which my disabilities did not affect my performance, I was the smartest kid in school. To the people in my math class, I was an idiot. In the same day, I would have people ask me why I hadn't dropped out yet, and others ask me why I hadn't just skipped every grade up to college.
When I started high school, I got another psychological evaluation, which made me realize just how superior some of my abilities were compared to those of my peers and how inferior others were. In some areas, I could pass as a genius, with some scores even in the exceptionally gifted range. However, I was learning-disabled, and that continued to be all that my teachers and special education workers cared about. I began to feel extremely frustrated and underappreciated. I began to fight with my teachers. I stopped applying any sort of effort to the classes in which I had once excelled, because I knew that no one seemed to care about my outstanding performance anyway. I felt a complete emotional and academic collapse coming, so I spoke to my guidance counselor.
I asked my guidance counselor if I could begin taking my English classes at the local community college. I noted that my testing indicated that my writing scores were in the highest age level that could be tested, equivalent to that of a 35-year-old. The counselor told me that I should just appreciate my talents, and that I should use them to pass my current classes easily instead of trying to take higher-level classes. When I returned a few weeks later to tell her that her solution was unacceptable and would certainly lead me to further emotional distress, my counselor accused me of simply "liking to be a nuisance."
When 10th grade started, I absolutely hated school, and the feelings of dissatisfaction and underappreciation it gave me followed me everywhere I went. I stopped talking to my peers because I was so concerned that they would discover my weaknesses and begin to think I was an idiot as some of my other classmates did. I almost completely removed all effort from school, and my grades dropped sharply in all areas. Instead, I completed my first novel, began to publish poetry, and began to win numerous writing competitions. These successes all seemed like hollow victories. At this point, grade acceleration in my areas of strength was more important to my emotional well-being than anything else.
Junior year was spent trying to pull myself together again. By now, it was clear that I was not going to get the recognition of my strengths that I needed from my school. Unfortunately, I never did, and because of the whole emotional collapse it put me through, I was left with a substandard GPA and the knowledge that I was never going to get into the top schools that I had always wanted. My grades steadily began to improve, but my full effort toward school would never be applied. Now that I am a senior and don't have to take any sciences, I am breezing through the year and earning great grades again. However, there is hardly a day in my life when I don't wish things had gone differently for me in school. The emotional pain still lingers strongly.
Twice-exceptional students all over the country are facing the same sort of challenges that I faced during the last several years of my life. Because of how damaging my own experience has been, I feel the need to raise awareness of our unique situations.
We need our strengths to be accommodated along with our weaknesses; otherwise, we will feel deeply underappreciated. I can assure you that if my school system had even accommodated only my strengths and not my weaknesses, my GPA would put me at the top of my class. We need our strengths to be recognized for the sake of our emotional well-being, and unless that happens, we cannot reach our full potential.
Tuesday, October 01, 2002
The World Needs People With Asperger’s Syndrome
American NormalBy: Temple Grandin, Ph.D.
“What, after all, is normality? Given that there is an enormous range of social behavior with many degrees of adaptation and success or failure in the normal population, where does normality end and abnormality begin? Should one instead talk about normal and abnormal shading into each other? To put it another way, should one look at Asperger’s syndrome as a normal personality variant? ”
Lawrence Osborne, who offers this quotation from autism researcher Uta Frith in the ﬁrst chapter of American Normal, interviewed many people with Asperger’s syndrome in an attempt to answer this provocative question.
Asperger’s was added in 1994 to the list of disorders in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). Many of the symptoms listed there are similar to those of autism, but the severe behavior problems and obvious speech delay seen in autism prior to age three are usually absent in Asperger’s. People with Asperger’s often have normal or superior intelligence; their problems are mainly social. As described by Lorna Wing, M.D., the deﬁning clinical features of Asperger’s are lack of empathy; naive, inappropriate, one-sided conversations; inability to form friendships; pedantic, repetitive speech; poor nonverbal communication; intense interest in certain subjects; and clumsy, ill-coordinated movements.
In my opinion, a child with autism has a true disorder that calls for a medical diagnosis. In my own case, my worried mother knew something was drastically wrong with me because at age two and a half I could not speak and had constant tantrums. In a young autistic child, speech development is obviously delayed, the child has little or no interest in people, and exhibits repetitive behaviors such as hand ﬂapping or rocking. The abnormal behavior is so pronounced that the child has great difﬁculty participating in normal activities. Experienced parents will tell you that an autistic child’s behavior is simply outside the realm of normal variation in personality. An adult diagnosed with autism who has limited speech or no speech is also outside the realm of normal variation; there exists a true medical disorder.
An Asperger’s child, on the other hand, has much more normal speech development and may learn to read at an early age. Asperger’s children may not be identiﬁed as such until they start having social problems at age eight or nine. They are the children who are “little professors” at four and ﬁve, but later become lonely, with few friends. Adults with Asperger’s run the gamut from brilliant scientists to unhappy loners on the fringes of society. Osborne’s interviews capture this range.
Osborne has the same reservations I do about the DSM. Some of the listed mental disorders are the names of personality traits. At what point, after all, does a variation in personality become a true neurological disorder such as severe depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety, or obsessive-compulsive disorder? When does moody become manic depressive? When does feeling blue become depressed? When does being fussy about cleanliness slip over into obsessive-compulsive disorder? When does autism turn into Asperger’s, and when is Asperger’s mild enough to be called something like “computer nerd”?
LOOKING INTO THE BRAIN
Although Osborne describes Asperger’s as a neurological condition, he refers only once, brieﬂy, to what brain researchers have learned about it. That accumulating knowledge may well help us understand the distinctions—normal, abnormal, Asperger’s —that concern Osborne.
The consensus of articles I have reviewed on brain research, including the use of imaging to discover the characteristics of serious disorders, is that even genuine disorders deserving a medical diagnosis are on a continuum with the normal. John Ratey and Catherine Johnson write in The Shadow Syndrome (Bantam Books, 1998) that traits associated with severe disorders are observed, in milder versions, in many so-called neurotypical people. Thus, I have seen Aspergerlike traits in family members of people with autism: a father who is a computer programmer with poor social skills, an eccentric uncle, and other family members with depression or anxiety. Often, these “shadow syndromes” acquire no speciﬁc label or diagnosis.
Furthermore, autism or Asperger’s may manifest differently in different people. Most likely, the core neurological deﬁcit is a lack of social relatedness due to abnormalities in the amygdala and anterior cingulate. What will differ greatly will be the person’s area of talent, visual or nonvisual modes of thinking, and severity of anxiety and oversensitivity to sensory input.
Autopsies of autistic, Asperger’s, and normal brains by Margaret Bauman and her colleagues reveal that in both autism and Asperger’s there is immature development of the cerebellum, amygdala, and hippocampus. Small cells are packed tightly in these immature parts of the brain, signifying true immature development, not damage or atrophy. Brains from people with autism are more immature in hippocampus development than are Asperger’s brains, which may help explain the cognition problems we see in low-functioning autism. The situation is reversed for the amygdala, a part of the brain that processes emotion. Here, the Asperger’s brain is often more abnormal than the autistic brain. Could the more normal hippocampus preserve the cognitive function in Asperger’s, with the less normal amygdala causing the social problems?
Corroboration comes from brain scan studies showing that people with Asperger’s or high-functioning autism process emotional information differently than do normal subjects. The British autism researcher Simon Baron-Cohen has done functional MRI studies indicating that normal people activate the amygdala to judge the expression in another person’s eyes, but people with Asperger’s call on fronto-temporal regions of the brain. It is true that brain scan studies show less clear-cut results in terms of differences in amygdala size than do autopsies, but this may result from the subjects’ positioning in the scanner, from gender, or from differences in diagnostic criteria. In 1999, Elizabeth Aylward and her colleagues at the University of Washington School of Medicine found that in male non-mentally retarded autistic adolescents and young adults, the amygdala was signiﬁcantly smaller compared to normals. But a British study by Matt Howard and his colleagues showed that high-functioning autistics had a larger abnormal amygdala. A third study, by Mehmet Haznedar and Monte Buchsbaum, showed no differences. Possibly the differences among these studies could be explained by differences in the criteria used to diagnose the subjects. Also, a brain autopsy is more accurate than a brain scan on a living person. Brain autopsy research has shown that both Asperger’s people and the highest functioning people with autism have a small amygdala; in cases of low-functioning people, by contrast, the amygdala is more normal and the hippocampus more abnormal.
More recently, a study by Haznedar revealed that in the brain of the high-functioning autistic or Asperger’s person, the circuit between the anterior cingulate in the frontal cortex and the amygdala is not completely connected. As a result, people with autism or Asperger’s have decreased metabolism in the anterior cingulate.
These brain studies demonstrate that the social deﬁcits in autism and Asperger’s are highly correlated with measurable biological differences. But the question remains: When does a difference in the size of a certain brain region become an abnormality, instead of just a normal variation? If I selected 100 people at random from a large corporation or at an airport and scanned their brains, I would ﬁnd a range of differences in the size and activation level of their amygdalas. It is likely that brain scan results from this normal cross section of the public could be closely correlated with tests that evaluate sociability and social skills. Conducting this experiment on the general public would show that normal brain variation could be measured. Furthermore, people tend to choose careers that they are good at, and I predict that there would be a high correlation between a person’s job and the characteristics of the amygdala. Out of the 100 hypothetical people from a large corporation whose brains were scanned, the technical people in the computer department would probably show less activation in their amygdalas compared to the highly social salesman in the marketing department.
GENIUS IS AN ABNORMALITY
Writing on “The Geek Syndrome” in the December 2001 issue of Wired magazine, Steve Silberman states that autism and its milder cousin, Asperger’s syndrome, are surging among children in Silicon Valley. Baron-Cohen and his colleague Sally Wheelwright have found signiﬁcantly more engineers, scientists, and accountants than average in the family history of children with autism. In my own case of autism, my family ﬁts this proﬁle. My grandfather on my mother’s side was an MIT-trained engineer who was co-inventor of the automatic pilot for airplanes, and I have several second and third cousins who are mathematicians. On my father’s side were many bankers and ﬁnancial people. Baron-Cohen looks upon the milder variants of autism and Asperger’s as differences in cognitive styles. Normal people are good at “folk psychology” (social interactions), he says, and people with Asperger’s are interested in “folk physics” (how things work).
One day a frantic mother called me, upset that her young child, who had an IQ over 150, had been diagnosed with Asperger’s. I told her that before all the labels were used, her child might well have been diagnosed as gifted. Both Osborne and I are concerned about medicalizing what may be a normal variation in personality. In American Normal, he describes his visits with several Asperger’s children who had “sky high” IQs. One ﬁve-year-old, for example, knew “the velocity of every famous tornado in history and was something of an expert on things like G forces and the statistics of tornado-related destruction.” Osborne goes on to quote Dr. Mel Levine, a professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina and nationally known author and consultant on learning disorders, who said that American psychiatry seems unable to conceive of healthy eccentricity or complex individuality. Instead, psychiatrists have evolved an elaborate coding system, which, he fears, gives them undue control over families.
I, too, am concerned that a diagnosis of Asperger’s may, for example, keep a talented child out of the gifted program at school. I wonder what would have happened to great geniuses in the past if they had been labeled with a disability. Norm Ledgin, the author of Diagnosing Jefferson, and I recently searched the literature to proﬁle famous scientists and musicians who displayed traits of Asperger’s and found many well-known names, including Charles Darwin, Gregor Mendel, Marie Curie, Carl Sagan, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Thomas Jefferson.
Osborne devotes two chapters of American Normal to proﬁling Thomas Jefferson and the famous classical pianist Glenn Gould. Jefferson is described as pacing back and forth and constantly singing under his breath. His lifelong tinkering with his mansion Monticello was an Aspergerish obsession, and he loved mechanical devices, constructing and using elaborate dumbwaiters. Gould was much weirder than Jefferson, and, as he grew older, his obsessions worsened. He was an intense hypochondriac, for example, and collected hotel keys. In many ways a child who never grew up, Gould had an odd, stiff gait. Clumsiness and an odd gait are common in people with Asperger’s, probably as a result of immature development of the cerebellum and vestibular system (a ﬁnding of Bauman’s autopsy studies). In my own case, a brain scan indicated that my cerebellum was 20 percent smaller than normal; this would explain my own problems with balance. Despite Gould’s oddities, Osborne writes that he had an “uncanny knack for instantaneously seizing the structure of complex musical pieces in their totality.”
People with great abilities in one area often are poor in another. Einstein had a brain abnormality that some researchers think made his genius possible. According to Sandra Witelson, a researcher at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada, the parts of his brain that processed visual and mathematical thought were fused together. He was in the right environment to express his genius, however; today, he might be shunted through the special education system. Not to mention that a young patent clerk today would have great difﬁculty getting published in a physics journal.
SALVATION IN WORK
Osborne interviewed many adults with Asperger’s, ranging from Jerry Newport, a number savant, to unhappy and bitter loners living on the outskirts of society. One computer programmer at a university was obsessed with clocks and time; he had drifted from odd job to odd job until he found an employer who understood his eccentricities and recognized his talents.
The happiest Asperger’s people I have met have intellectually satisfying work; many are computer programmers. If a boring job cannot be avoided, a good hobby can be a lifesaver, in part because Asperger’s and high-functioning autistic people often socialize best through shared interests. As Osborne comments, unhappy Asperger’s people have no work and no play. This is why it is so important to develop an autistic or Asperger person’s talents into enjoyable skills such as computer programming, engineering, architectural drafting, accounting, art, or music. The Asperger’s mind enjoys and focuses on details, while the normal mind is more skilled at assembling whole concepts from details. Some people with Asperger’s are visual thinkers and others are math, music, or number thinkers, but all think in speciﬁcs.
I found it painful to read the parts of Osborne’s book about unhappy, angry people with Asperger’s. Those proﬁled in the ﬁrst part of the chapter called “Autibiographies” (an expression used by some people with autism for biographies by those who share their condition) have severe problems with sensory oversensitivity to bright light or noise. One man was so sensitive to sound that he experienced the ringing of a cell phone as excruciating. These extreme sensitivities make functioning in a normal workplace uncomfortable or even painful. (I might mention that my own problems with sound and touch sensitivity were mild compared to some of those described by Osborne.)
One person with autism or Asperger’s syndrome may have few problems with anxiety or sensory overload, while another is crippled by oversensitivity. Even if we consider Asperger’s to be at the extreme end of normal variation in personality, the sensory oversensitivity problems are a real disability that interferes with normal activities. Fortunately, some problems with sensory oversensitivity can be reduced through special diets, medication, auditory training, or special glasses. (See Donna Williams’s book Autism—An Inside-Out Approach: An Innovative Look at the Mechanics of “Autism” and Its Developmental “Cousins.”)
BETTER LIVING THROUGH CHEMISTRY
Osborne correctly asserts that far too many young children are given medication, but he sometimes ignores the biological problems that medication can help. The old advertising slogan about “better living through chemistry” rings true. There comes a point in the lives of some people with Asperger’s or high-functioning autism where they can beneﬁt from pharmaceutical treatment. For example, obsessions and anxieties often worsen with age; many high-functioning people in their late 20s or early 30s experience crippling anxiety that can sabotage their jobs. Yet, some of the most miserable people with Asperger’s either refuse to try medication or are taking the wrong one.
In my late 20s, my anxiety steadily worsened. I had panic attacks for no reason and woke up at night with my heart pounding. I resisted the idea of taking medication until 1980, when I read an article in the Archives of General Psychiatry by David Sheehan and his colleagues about endogenous anxiety. They discussed the use of tricyclic antidepressants for treating anxiety, and their list of symptoms described me. Antidepressants saved me; I would not have functioned well after age 30 without them. All my stress-related illnesses were cured; my debilitating headaches and colitis stopped. I became a reluctant believer in biochemistry.
ENVIRONMENT AND CULTURE
Osborne believes that the social environment in which the child with Asperger’s grows up has a great effect on how well he will adapt, and I agree. In the distant past, some Asperger’s-type people may have been regarded as shamans, holy men, diviners, or simply oddities. In the days before calculators, Jerry Newport’s mathematical abilities would have been greatly appreciated by many employers.
Being a child of the 1950s may have helped me, because the structured lifestyle taught me social rules. Since I do not have much innate social instinct to guide me, I had to rely on logic to learn how to behave. Fortunately, I was brought up in an environment where I was taught very clear standards of right and wrong. A person with Asperger’s may in some ways be more affected by the environment than a person with all the normal emotional wiring. If he is brought up in a nurturing environment where there are opportunities for excelling at his talents, he will ﬂourish. If he is brought up in an environment with no such opportunity, he may end up a disillusioned loner, mad at the world.
Exploring further, beyond our individual environments, in the last chapter of American Normal Osborne discusses what are called culture-bound syndromes. For example, why do American women get anorexia nervosa but women in indigenous cultures do not? Osborne asks: “Was it possible that around a core of biological illness a large superstructure of behaviors and moods had been created by society itself?”
I am drawn to this concept. Extremes in biological variation can manifest themselves in different ways in different environments.
Genetically, people can be either high or low anxiety; I feel that my own nervous system was designed to be vigilant for danger. Depending upon the environment, an urban person with high anxiety might become a hypochondriac, but in a native society he might become a great lookout who could spot dangerous animals. Perhaps the low-anxiety (low-fear) person might be a criminal in one environment and a courageous war hero in another.
In his quest to understand the effects of culture on our deﬁnition of mental disorders, Osborne visited Dayak farmers on the edge of the jungle in Malaysia. His goal was to observe what are called “latahs.” Known in the West as “hyperstartle syndrome,” latah occurs mainly in elderly women. When they are startled by sudden noises or other surprises, they go into a trance, utter obscenities, and imitate any silly behavior they see or are asked to do—for example, hopping up and down like a grasshopper. They do not mind being latahs, and no attempt is made to cure them. The Dayaks live in a decorous culture, and playing games with latahs provides an outlet for their intense emotions.
The 1994 DSM-IV, the ﬁrst to include Asperger’s, also included latah, calling it a culture-bound syndrome: that is, a mental disorder that appears to be created by purely cultural rather than pathological forces. In my view, latah does have a biological basis and may be either a psychomotor epilepsy or a form of Tourette’s syndrome. The biology may be similar, but culture may determine how it is expressed.
Recently, we have learned a lot about this kind of complex interaction between biology and environment. For example, a 2002 study by Avshalom Caspi and his colleagues at King’s College in London concluded that genetic factors may help explain why some children who are mistreated grow up to victimize others, while other children, raised in the same bad environment, do not. Abused children with a gene that directs a high level of expression for a particular brain enzyme known as monamine oxidase A (MAOA) were less likely to become antisocial and violent. This suggests that both groups of children, if raised in a nurturing environment, would be likely to become good citizens, but if abused as children, those with one genotype were more likely to become good citizens than those with a different genotype. Both genes and the environment affect what we become.
How well an adult with Asperger’s will ﬁt into society will be partially determined by access to opportunities as a child to develop and use his talents. Osborne laments: “As the idea of genius has become increasingly discredited in a wider culture, it has simultaneously become increasingly medicalized. Talking to American graduate students, I often hear the casual remark: ‘There’s no such thing as genius; great men don’t exist...’ It’s a sentiment that appeals to American notions of equality. It is equality that is [viewed as] normal, not genius.”
MAKING A CONTRIBUTION
Although Osborne states “I have never had Asperger’s syndrome,” he frequently characterizes his interests and patterns of behavior as “Aspergerish.” Indeed, his obsessions with always staying at a Red Roof Inn, watching the Iron Chef cooking show, and walking in a certain way around lampposts are very Aspergerish. As I read American Normal, it became clear to me that it could be seen as Osborne’s quest to ﬁnd out more about his own kind. Osborne is a journalist who has written frequently for the New York Times and Slate. I have met many reporters with Asperger’s traits and think that news reporting is a good job for them because it requires them to pay careful attention to details.
Many hidden Asperger people are functioning well in their careers; I have interacted with them professionally. There is no way to turn a person with Asperger’s into a social being; he can only learn social survival rules and work to understand Asperger’s. I will always be a technical person who is more interested in science than in being social, and I have had to learn that I am from a land where people learn by logic and have few social instincts.
The world needs the Asperger’s people. After all, the social people who sat around the campﬁre talking were probably not the makers of the ﬁrst stone spear. It is also likely that the most social people did not create the great culture of our civilization, such as literature, art, engineering, music, science, and mathematics. Genetics and biology provide the world with different kinds of minds. Whether or not these minds make great contributions to society is determined by both biology and the environment.
The right wing media and pols have sold the idea that from CLINTON THROUGH BUSH OBAMA----all this defunding, dismantling, outsourcing of our public K-12 has created not only a really bad educational experience for all our 99% of citizens but it is hindering those GIFTED STUDENTS trapped in classrooms with all other students. Well, we used to have gifted staff in all schools----they used to have the attention and resources BEFORE CLINTON dismantled all that and pushed all students into an inclusion classroom. This is when teachers were told to do group lessons where 4-5 students worked as teams. This is what gave us students who could not read getting A's and B's-----while a more advanced or gifted student did all the work for the group. Yes, that structure did hinder progress for our advanced students but it also killed the rigor for our average students---it was simply education policy that did not work. These changes in education classroom instruction occurred under REAGAN/CLINTON along with other reduction of rigor responsible for our current achievement decline.
So Republicans were the ones installing those bad education policies and they are of course the ones using this failure to PRETEND TO CHAMPION EDUCATION FOR THE BEST OF STUDENTS.
Of course they are behind this today because it creates exclusivity and creates outsourced education businesses to designer lessons for this 2-5% of US students.
'For the U.S. to reach the upper echelons of educational attainment in an increasingly competitive global environment, it probably needs change that comes from both the bottom, through teachers like Tomlinson, and the top, from serious education reform focused on cultivating intellectual achievement'.
The upper echolons of educational attainment-----the US led the world for centuries as having just that attainment broadly throughout society.
America Hates Its Gifted Kids
By Chris Weller On 1/16/14 at 3:08 PM
Teaching to the middle has hurt the smartest students. REUTERS/David Mdzinarishvili
Education education Schools
It’s no secret that when it comes to education, America gets a D-minus. In the most recent global tests – scored on a 1,000-point scale – the U.S. scored a 481 in math, 497 in science, and 498 in reading comprehension. In comparison, international averages were 494, 501, and 496, and the U.S. lags well behind the world’s leaders, a list which includes some of the usual suspects like China, Japan and the Netherlands, but also has Latvia, Slovenia and Vietnam.
Why is the world’s largest economy so bad at teaching its children? One growing school of thought is that the U.S. education system, in its laudable quest to make sure the worst students reach minimal standards, is cheating its best pupils.
“Gifted children are a precious human-capital resource,” said David Lubinski, a professor of psychology and human development at Vanderbilt University, in a recent news release. They are the “future creators of modern culture and leaders in business, health care, law, the professoriate, and STEM [science, technology, engineering and mathematics].” With fellow researcher Camilla Benbow, Lubinski’s team at Vanderbilt is tracking some of our country’s best and brightest. His project, known as the Study of Mathematically Precocious Youth (SMPY), although something of a misnomer, since it tests verbal abilities as well, began in 1971 at Julian Stanley’s lab at Johns Hopkins. From there it moved to Iowa State in 1986, and then again to Vanderbilt in 1998, where it has been ever since.
His formerly precocious youths are now age 38, full-fledged adults who, according to Lubinski’s latest findings, have had success in a wide range of careers, from law and medicine to arts and humanities, and to engineering, business and pedagogy. Of the 320 participants, 203 earned at least a master’s degree. And 142 of them (44 percent) earned doctoral degrees, a ratio far higher than that of the average population, which adds the coveted Ph. D. initials at a rate of only 2 percent. Clearly, these kids are going places.
That’s great news, but these kids appear to have excelled despite their education. For years, teachers have operated under the assumption that gifted children – the tiny group smarter than 99.99 percent of their peers – need and deserve less attention than the kids in remedial classes. When the research team looked back at Stanley’s original assessments of classroom dynamics, they found that teachers more or less ignored gifted children, instead teaching to a one-size-fits-all curriculum that catered to the lowest common denominator.
It still happens today. A 2008 report found that the controversial No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 indeed helped low-achieving students rise to meet a more rigorous course load, but shifted teachers’ sights away from the gifted kids, who seemed capable of helping themselves stay on track.
Lubinski argues that gifted children are hurt by the race to the middle. “There has to be flexibility,” he told Newsweek. “That is the message I’d give to teachers.” But how can a teacher realistically instruct a classroom in which some students are light years ahead?
One solution is to group children by their rate of learning, rather than chronological age. For example, a gifted 9-year-old may share a geometry class with high school freshmen. A 15-year-old may hit the advanced placement ceiling at his high school, and head over to the local community college to take classes. The key is to personalize an individual’s education, even in preschool: If someone is a whiz at differential calculus but can’t discern between her pronouns and her prepositions, maybe moving her out of the 11th grade entirely isn’t the best move. Don’t raise the entire ceiling, in other words – just remove a few tiles.
Megan Tomlinson, a 10th-grade English and Journalism teacher at High School for Public Service in Brooklyn, N.Y., says she has seen too many talented students have their potential squandered because their school doesn’t foster growth. “It's frustrating, as a teacher, to watch students who could and should be challenging themselves, earning great grades, and potentially being rewarded with scholarships and entry into great colleges simply settle for doing ‘well enough’ to earn good grades because they're bored, unmotivated or have learned how to ‘do school’ without putting forth much effort,” she said.
Tomlinson tries to accommodate both ends of the spectrum by offering variations of each assignment, tailored to a student’s ability. “Other times, I pull gifted students aside privately and explain that because of their potential and ability, I expect them to complete the more advanced assignment,” she said. “If they are reluctant, I may reach out to parents for support.”
Tomlinson’s frustrations, much like those experienced by many of the nation’s public school teachers, are compounded by the larger forces acting on the environment in which she works. Figures released early last year showed 77 percent of entrants into City University of New York schools needed remediation math in order to enroll. But Tomlinson has been able to work within the constraints by balancing her time to ensure uplift on both ends. “I'm extremely grateful to be working at a school that consistently reminds me to continue to push my gifted and talented students,” she said. “They do not necessarily have the motivation, skills or access to outlets for growth to succeed on their own. They need me, too.”
After all, a gifted 12-year-old is still a 12-year-old.
But for every Tomlinson, there will be a teacher (or five) who can’t manage the delicate balance, or is uncomfortable teaching outside the norm. For the U.S. to reach the upper echelons of educational attainment in an increasingly competitive global environment, it probably needs change that comes from both the bottom, through teachers like Tomlinson, and the top, from serious education reform focused on cultivating intellectual achievement. Before innovative ideas like Lubinski’s can take hold, there needs to be a consensus among all the stakeholders that winning is important, and it isn’t enough to simply enter the race.
This story has been corrected to reflect that figures released early last year showed 77 percent of entrants into City University of New York schools needed remediation math in order to enroll.
We shout all the time that the goal of ONE WORLD ONE GOVERNANCE EDUCATION is to have only 5% of global citizens receiving the broad, citizenship, leadership democratic education all US citizens have had in modern times. Remember, these global IVY LEAGUE hedge fund campuses are going to be competing for the BEST OF THE BEST IN THE WORLD students to come to US cities deemed Foreign Economic Zones----so that 5% of GIFTED CITIZENS will be recruited globally.
We see below the breakdown that has been accepted for last a few centuries-----that IQ of over 135 is very small-----closer to that 1-3% but sometimes given as 5%. THESE ARE THE TOP TIER STUDENTS GLOBAL WALL STREET CLINTON/BUSH/OBAMA are building a structure to educate K-university attending that global IVY LEAGUE campus as Johns Hopkins in BAltimore---while the 95% of US citizens head for the lower tier K-career vocational apprenticeship with no ability to climb the income ladder---
THIS IS WHAT OBAMA AND CLINTON GLOBAL WALL STREET NEO-LIBERALS BUILT THESE SEVERAL YEARS OF RACE TO THE TOP. TRUMP WILL ONLY CONTINUE MOVING FORWARD.
This is why a Trump, a Hogan, a Baltimore City pol is pushing right wing policies like vouchers and school choice----this economic crash will be used to close all public schools and universities sending all Federal education spending to those very private schools.
'It really depends on what type of IQ test you look at. If it's a ratio test about 5% of the population have an IQ over 135; however, these tests are less common than deviated tests now because people scored too high. On a deviated test there are about 1-3% of the population scoring 135 and above. It is suppose to be about 1% but scientists have found the number to rest more around 2.2% of the population. I believe, as knowledge about health and child rearing increase so will IQ's.
The world average IQ is around 103, when it is suppose to be 100, so even with a deviated test intelligence isn't fitting onto the bell curve exactly'.
This article does a great job at how global Wall STreet pols are trying to PRETEND these policies are broad and inclusive when they are not-----trying to fool both Republican and Democratic voters. None of these categories will exist----they are only looking at that standard of IQ 135 as gifted. Let's pretend these education reforms are gearing towards 30% or more of US citizens when in fact it will be 5% and less.
'Today, lots of different definitions of giftedness exist. This wasn't always the case. Prior to 1972, practically every school used one criterion and one criterion only to identify giftedness: an IQ cut-off of 130. This criterion was heavily influenced by the pioneering work of Lewis Terman, who equated high IQ with genius'.
Who Is Currently Identified as Gifted in the United States?
By Scott Barry Kaufman | Jan 04, 2012
A recent national survey of state policies and practices reveals how the United States defines giftedness, identifies giftedness, and accommodates gifted minority students.
Today, lots of different definitions of giftedness exist. This wasn't always the case. Prior to 1972, practically every school used one criterion and one criterion only to identify giftedness: an IQ cut-off of 130. This criterion was heavily influenced by the pioneering work of Lewis Terman, who equated high IQ with genius.
Then the first federal definition of giftedness came along in 1972, which was undoubtedly an important step forward. Noting that only a small percentage of the 1.5 to 2.5 million gifted school children were actually benefiting from special education services, former U.S. Commissioner of Education Sidney P. Marland, Jr. proposed a broadened definition that went beyond just IQ to also include specific academic and creative aptitudes. That report was important in its broadening of giftedness.
A more recent report released by the National Department of Education in 1993 ("National Excellence: A Case for Developing America's Talent") kept the multidimensional definition of giftedness but once again lamented the sorry state of gifted education. In the report, Secretary of Education Richard Riley called gifted education the "quiet crisis."
Various psychologists have put forward their own pet theories of giftedness. Howard Gardner proposed eight independent abilities: verbal-linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, and naturalist. Robert J. Sternberg proposed a synthesis of wisdom, intelligence, and creativity. Other researchers have added psychosocial traits to the picture. In Joseph Renzulli's Three-Ring definition, giftedness is conceptualized as the interaction of high ability (top 15-20 percent of any domain), creativity, and task commitment. Francoys Gagne's Differentiated Model of Giftedness and Talent (DMGT) includes traits such as motivation and temperament as catalysts that help transform gifts (e.g., intellectual, socio-affective) to talents (e.g., academics, social activists).
This all well and good, but what's the reality of the matter? How do states actually define and identify giftedness in the United States? Has anything actually changed since the Terman IQ cutoff-only days?
To look at the current state of affairs, Mary-Catherine McClain and Steven I. Pfeiffer recently conducted a national survey of current state policies and practices (soon to be published in The Journal of Applied School Psychology) to assess how states define giftedness, identify giftedness, and accommodate gifted minority students. This is what they found.
Definitions of Giftedness
Nearly all states (48 out of 50) in the United States today have established definitions of giftedness. The two exceptions are Massachusetts and South Dakota, who have no current definition for gifted and talented students. Even so, states differ quite a bit in how they define giftedness. Some states stick with the label "gifted" whereas others use more broad and expansive definitions including "gifted and talent" or "high ability students". There is also indication of a change: 24 states changes or modified their definition of giftedness over the past decade. For example, Indiana's definition changed from "gifted and talented" to "high ability".
What areas of giftedness are included in state definitions? Here's the breakdown:
As you can see, intelligence and high achievement are two of the big winners. 45 state definitions (90%) include intelligence as an area or category of giftedness, and 39 include high achievement. Interestingly, 27 states include creativity (54%). I didn't expect such a large number of states to explicitly include creativity in their definition of giftedness and was pleased to see this. 28 states include a specific area of giftedness, and 15 states include leadership skills. Motivation and the performing arts are seriously lacking in definitions of giftedness, with only three states thinking either of these were an important part of giftedness.
Looking at the chart, you can also see that there have been some changes in the past 10 years. But I don't think all the changes are necessarily positive. For instance, more schools now include intelligence in their definition of giftedness, and less schools view creativity as a form of giftedness. Some other notable changes: since 2000, New Jersey, New Hampshire, and Minnesota developed state definitions for giftedness, Maryland added the category of "leadership" and Georgia removed "leadership" and "artistic" from their state definition.
Identification of Giftedness
So that's how states define giftedness. But what methods do they actually use to identify giftedness? Do they practice what they preach?
Here's the breakdown:
Again, the clear winners are IQ and standardized achievement tests. The biggest losers are tests of creativity, teacher rating scales, indicators of actual performance, and the use of behavior checklists. Compared to earlier reports, there was only a small overall change nationwide with respect to how states identify gifted students.
Interestingly, no state reported using a single IQ score alone to determine whether a student is gifted. This is actually a pretty big deal, and a huge change from just 20 years ago. Most states (54%) use a multiple cutoff or averaging approach. The multiple cutoff model requires that students score above a set score on two or more different measures. The averaging approach is similar to the multiple cutoff approach but the student doesn't have to show the same level of threshold across different domains. Seven states (14%) use a single cutoff: flexible model, in which only one outcome is considered, but school districts can be flexible in terms of which test and threshold is allowable. Sixteen states (32%) report that they do not require, recommend, or adhere to any one specific criteria for identifying gifted students. It should be noted that there is no one best way of identifying gifted students, as each approach has both advantages and disadvantages (more on that in later posts).
Most states (64%) do not use specific tests or cut-off scores for gifted eligibility in their state. With that said, Eighteen states do use a specific cutoff on IQ tests, with 15 of those 18 using specific cutoff scores on standardized tests of achievement and 10 of the 17 using cut-off scores in one or more specific areas of giftedness.
It is no secret that minority students are seriously underepresented in gifted education programs in the United States. About half of the states recognize that some groups of students are less likely to do as well on traditional methods of gifted identification and would benefit from flexible and non-traditional gifted identification procedures. Most states (26/50) have specific policies for identifying culturally diverse students, and the rest of the 24 states have no specific cultural diversity mandates. To give an example of such a mandate, Georgia allows educators to use a measure in any area of giftedness when there is clear evidence of culture, language development, disability, or economic disadvantage and the initial test score is within one standard error of measurement or standard deviation of the qualifying score.
Implications for School Psychologists
In looking at these results, a couple things stood out to me. First, there seems to be a mismatch between state definitions of giftedness and how they actually identify gifted students. In other words, many schools talk the talk but don't walk the walk. For instance, I was excited to see that 27 states include creativity in their definition of giftedness, but nearly cried when I saw that only 9 states actually use tests of creativity to identify gifted students. Second, and this is perhaps related to my first point about creativity, the performing arts get the short end of the stick in gifted education. But why? Why are other areas of achievement considered a form of giftedness, but extraordinary musicians, actors, dancers, comedians, puppeteers, etc. aren't considered gifted? Makes no sense to me. Gifted performing artists may be academically unconventional, nonconforming, even sometimes an annoyance for teachers to deal with, but many of those students, with the right support, will end up being part of the next generation of entertainers.
Second, I lament that nearly every single state in the United States ignores motivation as a form of giftedness. After all we've learned about the importance of intrinsic motivation, passion, and inspiration in driving success and greatness in the real world, this is a serious poblem. As I've argued before, passion is a gift. In my view, it's just as much of a gift as ability. Third, I was surprised to see that so many states still use specific cut-off scores on IQ and standardized acheivement tests. After all we know about standard errors of measurement, at the very least IQ bands or ranges should be considered, not the precise score. Using a precise cut-off ridigly is neither accurate nor fair and is a form of what I call "testism".
I was also bummed that no schools used a dynamic approach to identify gifted students. In a dynamic approach, giftedness is assessed by the amount of growth and improvement over time. The student's score at initial testing is compared with their score(s) at a second testing session, and the amount of change determines their placement. Such an approach moves away from such an intense focus on comparing one student to the next, and appreciates individual development and flourishing.
Finally, I was bummed to see that there is still so much disagreement in terms of definitions of giftedness. While it can and has been argued that such a diversity of definitions is acceptable, I agree with the authors that it is not. The psychological research clearly points to a developmental way of thinking about high ability, and there ought to be some sort of unity in terms of how schools align their practices with the latest scientific findings. In fact, the only thing all schools do seem to agree on is that giftedness is a fixed phenomenon-- because no schools explicitly include provisions to constantly re-test all students (those who made the cut as well as those who didn't). Unfortunately, this is the opposite of what the latest research shows about the malleability and constant ongoing development of different areas of expertise.