The charter crowd in Baltimore wants more public funding coming to charters as more and more public schools close and charters open. The problem for citizens is this battle of policy is between which national charter chains will be subsidized and win and which will lose and it is all driven by venture capitalists and who they are allowed to make large donations to. None of this is about students and quality education----they are simply fighting it out to see which national charter chain wins market-share in Baltimore. When you have a direct line to NYC Bloomberg you will see his national charter chains moving into the Baltimore market rather than others from around the nation.
'Santelises served for three years as chief academic officer under Andres Alonso, Thornton's predecessor. Until Santelises takes over, Tammy Turner, the system's chief legal counsel, will lead the city schools. The system educates more than 80,000 students in 186 schools and programs with a $1.2 billion budget'.
Baltimore schools CEO to be replaced by former academics chief
Sonja Santelises will replace Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton. (Baltimore Sun video)
Erica L. GreenContact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun
Baltimore schools CEO to be replaced by former academics chief.After months of searching for a new leader amid criticism of city schools CEO Gregory Thornton, the school board announced Tuesday that he will be replaced by a former administrator who oversaw improving academic performance in the district.
Thornton will step down Friday, and Sonja Santelises will take over July 1.
"We believe Sonja has the ability to lead the district for the next 10 years," said Marnell Cooper, the school board chairman. "Her background as an educator is clear, she's incredibly strong, she understands the challenges of the school system."
Sonja Santelises in a 2011 photo while she was Baltimore City Public Schools Chief Academic Officer.
(Kim Hairston)The decision ends Thornton's divisive tenure less than two years into a four-year contract. State lawmakers, religious leaders and education advocates have said he lacks vision, direction and follow-through, and a growing number of lawmakers and community activists in recent months have called for his ouster.
Thornton, who came to Baltimore from Milwaukee in 2014, grappled with a litany of financial and operational mishaps as head of Maryland's fourth-largest school system. He leaves the district embroiled in a bitter legal dispute with more than a dozen charter schools.
In a statement, Thornton said he was proud of his work in Baltimore, saying he helped the district operate more efficiently and launched programs that provide all students with free breakfast and lunch and that encourage dropouts to return to school.
Per-pupil funding sees bump in budget passed by Baltimore city school board
"It was an honor working with and serving the students of Baltimore City Schools," Thornton said. "In less than two years, we made great progress, and I am proud of the accomplishments."
Santelises served for three years as chief academic officer under Andres Alonso, Thornton's predecessor. Until Santelises takes over, Tammy Turner, the system's chief legal counsel, will lead the city schools. The system educates more than 80,000 students in 186 schools and programs with a $1.2 billion budget.
Santelises emerged as Thornton's replacement during a national search that began in December, Cooper said. She was one of four finalists out of 8 candidates vetted by the city school board.
The board did not announce publicly that a search was underway. The board made its offer to Santelises on the last day of the Maryland General Assembly session in April, when lawmakers approved legislation that established a partially elected school board and required one lawmaker from the House of Delegates and the state Senate to take part in selecting the next CEO.
That bill has not been signed by Gov. Larry Hogan and has not become law.
Historically, superintendent searches in the city have been announced publicly but were kept confidential. The board that hired Thornton held public forums during the search process.
Cooper said the board did not announce the search, conducted by the local firm EntreQuest, because board members did not want it to become a distraction for teachers, students and administrators. Job candidates signed a nondisclosure agreement.
"This was not an attempt to be underhanded," Cooper said. "Just because the adults had to figure things out, we couldn't let that affect the kids."'
New Baltimore schools chief navigated complex terrain in Milwaukee
State Sen. Bill Ferguson, a Baltimore Democrat who called for Thornton's resignation on the floor of the Senate and supported legislative input in the CEO search, said he understands that the district needed to move quickly.
"I am pleased to see the school board take decisive action and demonstrate urgency to move the city schools forward," he said.
Andrew Foster Connors, co-chairman of Baltimoreans United In Leadership Development, said the community group is "ready to do our part to rebuild the trust between North Avenue and community partners."
Jimmy Gittings, president of the union that represents principals and central office staff, said the quick succession of superintendents is disruptive. But he said he has the "highest regard" for Santelises and found her to be a "very fair and cooperative person" with respect for the unions.
State Sen. Catherine E. Pugh, a Baltimore Democrat who is expected to win the general election for mayor in November, said she looks forward to meeting Santelises and sharing her vision for the school system with the new CEO. While her interactions with Thornton "have always been positive," Pugh said, "there were some shortcomings and maybe some were insurmountable."
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, who did not run for re-election, is thankful to Thornton for his service and has confidence in the school board, a spokesman said.
Since Santelises left the district in August 2013, she has served as vice president of K-12 policy and practice at The Education Trust, a Washington-based think tank.
Santelises, 48, told The Baltimore Sun she is looking forward to returning to work in Baltimore, where she lives and her three children attend public charter schools.
As chief academic officer under Alonso, who resigned in May 2013, Santelises was credited with putting the system ahead of the curve as the nation rolled out more rigorous education standards known as the Common Core.
Her tenure coincided with a slight rise in standardized test scores among elementary school students.
Before she came to Baltimore, Santelises held several positions over 10 years in the Boston public school system, including assistant superintendent for pilot schools and assistant superintendent for professional development.
The Harvard-educated native of Peabody, Mass., also served as executive director of the Algebra Project, a New York-based nonprofit that works to improve mathematics skills for low-income minorities. She began her career as director of professional development and teacher placement with Teach for America in New York, and taught at a school in Brooklyn.
At the Education Trust, Santelises has been studying policy implementation in schools across the nation. She said the perspective she has gained inspired her to take the schools CEO position.
She said she was not looking for the job, and knows that it will be "incredibly hard work," but it comes "in the right place at the right time."
The unrest that gripped the city last spring after the death of Freddie Gray from spinal injuries suffered in police custody helped to cement her desire to go back to work serving Baltimore's children, Santelises said.
"This is one of those times, where it's not about me, it is really about the potential of this school system," she said. "I don't see our schools as being totally incapable and totally dysfunctional. Those are not the people I worked with.
"I worked in a city system that was not perfect, that had incredible challenges, but had critical masses of people who wanted to do right by kids."
Santelises said she would prioritize resetting the direction of the district, getting control of its finances, and better connect schools with city and community services.
She said she would focus on staffing and restructuring support for the lowest-performing schools.
She also said she would do a lot of listening.
"I am not re-entering the system with an attitude of 'I'm picking up where I left off,'" she said. "Because it's a different system now."
The board is scheduled to vote next Tuesday on a four-year contract that would pay Santelises $298,000 a year.
Thornton's deal was worth $290,000 a year. He will receive his third-year salary under a separation agreement negotiated by the board, Cooper said.
On Tuesday, the school board also approved an annual budget that cuts central office staff, including school police officers, and funds literacy and math initiatives.
Critics of Thornton pointed to poor academic performance. Dropout rates are up, and the results from new standardized tests were worse than expected.
The system also saw an unexpected drop in enrollment of 1,900 students after years of growth. Thornton has launched an internal investigation about whether sloppy record-keeping kept former students on attendance rolls.
Charter school operators sued the school system last fall, alleging that the district fails to fund their schools in accordance with state law.
Amid the upheaval, Cooper pointed to Thornton's accomplishments. The schools chief managed sizable budget shortfalls, worked to implement a $1 billion school construction project, and launched a five-year strategic plan for the district.
Cooper said Thornton's greatest strength was focusing on equity for all students. Securing the free-meal program and his efforts to reach dropouts illustrated Thornton's dedication to students, Cooper said.
"The objective is to try to build upon the efforts of CEOs, and we selected someone who could build upon some of the operational things that have been started under Dr. Thornton," Cooper said. "But there's more to education than operations. We believe Dr. Santelises can really use the strategic plan to improve academics and achievement."
Here you see an article from Clinton era when this attack on our public universities and K-12 started. It is not only the schools themselves that have global education corporations fighting---it is the after-schools programs that then are sold to parents and students desperate not to fall into the LOWER TIER OF GLOBAL FACTORY WORKER.
One of the recurrent themes in US cities like Baltimore as regards the privatization of public schools with charters is-----WE DON'T HAVE THE RESOURCES-----from the newly created charters saying the same thing as the public schools. Meanwhile what we are watching is a Maryland Assembly and Baltimore City Hall and its funding agencies-----the Maryland Assembly Appropriations committee led by MAGGIE MCINTOSH for example and Baltimore Board of Estimates are doling out what should be education funding sent to Baltimore to be distributed with equity to all public schools instead finding its way to funding only schools in city center deemed healthy communities and then these funds are finding their way to those schools as potential charter chain schools. This is why Maryland Assembly passed a bill allowing a corporation to fully fund scholarships for KIPP in Baltimore as is happening around the nation to promote that national charter chain and encourage more students to come to that charter business. Then we see foundations allowed to donate $1 billion to an individual school as happens in East Baltimore and Harbor East-----with those schools no doubt to be part of this national charter movement. One is targeting the poor students and one is targeting the advanced placement or gifted student----each having completely different resources.
A lady tied to a corporate charter with 500 female students deemed troubled or at-risk has the job of being that charter's leader and states she cannot get any resources. Meanwhile, charters in city center are seeing the funds for WRAP-AROUND services channeled to those soon to be affluent schools---The charter chains getting those SUBSIDIES will of course have the advantage over other people wanting to get into breaking down public education in America and simply make it a free-for-all Wall Street pay-to-play winners with 99% being big losers game.
This is what an Alonzo and a Thornton as Baltimore School Superintendent were working towards-----and since global pols intend to end Federal, state, and local funding for public schools----the average students will not see any money thrown at their 'public' schools.
Corporate-Sponsored Public Schools
Applied Research Center
July 8th, 1998
- American Bankers Insurance Group operates a K-2 "learning center;" the building is the company's, but the books, teachers and furniture are supplied by Dade County (Miami) taxpayers, even though the school is only open to the kids of ABIG's employees. Honeywell operates a similar school in Clearwater, Florida.
- Legislation has been passed in FL legislature providing for property tax exemption for corporate buildings that house these schools.
- American Express funds "Academies of Travel & Tourism" for four New York City public schools where "students study geography and foreign cultures in preparation for employment in the tourist business." (Z Magazine)
- Celebration School in Walt Disney Company -- founded town of the same name in central Florida. School operated by the Disney Company in collaboration with the Osceola County School District and Stetson University. Terry Wick, education manager.
Corporate Charter Schools (EMOs)
Wall Street calls them "Educational Maintenance Organizations," for-profit firms that contract with local school districts to manage public schools. Of the 500 charter schools created in last few years, 10% are operated by private companies like: (NYT, 6/2/97)
- Edison Project -- Headed by Channel One founder Chris Whittle. Currently operates 25 schools in 8 states with revenues of about $70 million. Expects to operate 47 schools in 24 locations by fall 1998. This will nearly double current enrollment from 12,500 to 23,000 and expand annual revenues to $127 million. (Education Week, 5/27/98.)
- Advantage Schools Inc., Boston, MA, runs 8 charter schools in 7 states.
- Sabis Educational Systems, Choueifat, Lebanon.
- Education Alternatives Inc., now Tesarac, had its contracts with the Baltimore and Hartford schools cancelled.
- Alternative Public Schools, founded by Bill DeLoache and John Eason, former investment counselors; contract to manage schools in Wilkinsburg, PA. see Nation, Sept. 8-15, '97. School board in this case represented by Landmark Legal Foundation. (see below)
"Education-related corporate philanthropy last year ['96] added up to $1.3 billion, or 20 percent of the $6.5 billion corporations gave overall, according to Craig Smith, director of Corporate Citizen, a research group based in Seattle. A decade ago, education accounted for only 5 percent of corporate giving, Mr. Smith said. He defines the education category as 'K-to-12 education plus school-related non-profits like the PTAs or Junior Achievement.'" (NYT Education Life, 1/5/97)
Marketing & Investment Firms Targeting Education
- Montgomery Securities, Michael Moe specialist in investing in 'education and training market.'
- Lehman Brothers, sponsored the first educational investment conference in 1996. Mary Tanner is their in-house specialist in educational investing.
- EduVentures, Michael Sandler's "investment banking service for the education industry";
- Education Industry Report, co-founded by Michael Sandler, monthly newsletter that announces mergers and acquisitions, new education markets, changes in charter school legislation and major players in government or business. EIR also analyzes about thirty publicly traded companies that constitute the 'education index.' (Nation, Sept. 8/15)
- Youth Markets Alert, marketing industry newsletter published by EPM Communications. Gene Newman, Associate Editor.
- Kid Connection, Saatchi & Saatchi Advertising's youth marketing unit. Julie Halpin, Senior Vice President.
- Education Industry Report: David Kearns Former Deputy Education Secretary and Xerox, CEO, Michael Moe from Montgomery Securities and Dennis Doyle who works on school vouchers and charter schools for the Hudson Institute and the Heritage Foundation.
- EDU Ventures: David Kearns.
Sponsored Educational Materials (SEMs)
- Lifetime Learning Systems creates and disseminates corporate-sponsored educational materials: Tootsie Rolls, etc.; Dominic Kinsley, editor in chief. Owned by Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts KKR, which also owns Channel One Communications, and P.E. TV (see below).
- Channing L. Bette Company, Inc., publishing company develops materials marketed to schools via direct-mail catalog
- Enterprise for Education, publishing service for utilities and energy industry, produces and distributes sponsored booklets on energy and environmental topics
- Interactive Design & Development, IDD designs and develops computer-based, interactive, multimedia courseware and information systems; clients include Dole Foods, Lufthansa, etc. Blacksburg, VA.
- Learning Enrichment, Inc., non-profit produces and distributes SEMs; clients include Mobil and Procter & Gamble. Bruce Barton and Clayton Westland (formerly of Scholastic Inc) founders.
- Mazer Corporation, develops SEMs: Hershey's, etc.
- Media Management Services, MMS develops SEMs, specializing in developing materials for the science, social studies and language arts curriculum. Also conducts market research, direct mail campaigns, special events and contests. Clients include GTE.
- Media Options, Inc., Public relations firm, produces educational materials for corporate clients. Clients include Fortune 500 companies, predominantly in restaurant and insurance industries. Jon Harris, Vice President Chicago.
- Modern Talking Picture Service, Develops and distributes SEMs, also conducts product sampling.
- Youth Marketing International, Casper and Little Engine that Could materials Roberta Nusim, director.
Book covers, billboards in school corridors, calendars, and broadcasts --these are some of the places corporate America places ads for kids to see in school. Commercial messages also reach kids in the classroom through ad bearing and corporate-sponsored educational materials.
- Cover Concepts Marketing Services Inc, book covers with ads to over 8,000 public schools; advertisers include Nike, Gitano, FootLocker, Pepsi. Steven Shulman, President. Braintree, MA.
- Sampling Corporation of America. SCA distributes 'goody bags' filled with product samples, coupons and educational pamphlets. Clients include Procter & Gamble, General Mills and Hershey. Steve Kaplan, president. Glenville, IL.
- Scholastic Inc. Offers corporations the opportunity to advertise in its Teen Network of magazines, distributed to 23 million students. Also publishes books, textbooks, supplementary educational materials and SEMs. Rick Delano, Director Education Marketing Group. New York.
- Star Broadcasting, Radio broadcasts with local commercials solicited by students; participating schools get $5,000-10,000. Pat DiPlacido, President. Bloomington, MN.
- Adopt-A-School, Hallway posters with corporate logos; schools get 50% of ad revenues. Jerry Coleman, President. Winter Park, FL.
Eight Million students are required to watch a commercial filled current events program every day. Schools get satellite dishes, VCRs and TVs in exchange for providing a captive audience
- Channel One Communications, Founded by Chris Whittle who sold it to K-III Communications, Inc., which is in turn a property of Kohlberg, Kravis & Roberts. KKR also owns: PE TV, promotional single-sponsor TV program for schools
- American School Food Service Association estimates that about 13% of nation's 86,000 public schools now sell fast foodWSJ, 9/15/97
- Some items don't meet USDA nutrition standards and thus aren't eligible for reimbursement under the federal school-lunch program.
- Pizza Hut / Taco Bell (Pepsico)
Conservative Think Tanks that Shape Education Industry Policy
- Heritage Foundation
- Educational Excellence Network, founded as a smaller think tank within the Hudson Institute by Chester Finn and Diane Ravitch-former Education Department. officials in Reagan / Bush Administrations-to serve as "a clearinghouse and resource center" for the Institutes's projects. One Such project was The Modern Red Schoolhouse [see below], designed by the New American Schools Development Corporation (NASDC), which was formed during the Bush Administration 1992 to funnel business dollars to education reform. Former Education Secretary Lamar Alexander placed David Kearns, former Deputy Secretary of Education and Xerox Chief, in charge of NASDC. (Nation, Sept. 8/15, '97)
- Modern Red Schoolhouse is one of nine prototypes that schools can purchase for curriculum, assessment, professional development and technology 'as a learning and instructional management tool' (Nation, Sept. 8/15,'97 )
- Landmark Legal Foundation, whose mission is to challenge "arbitrary, government-imposed barriers to entrepreneurial opportunity."
- Fundamental Change in Education, Massachusetts. CEO, William Edgerly also on board of Pioneer Institute, which promotes charter schools in the state. Pioneer publishes the Massachusetts Charter School Handbook, and sponsors seminars bringing together entrepreneurs selling curriculum packages, management systems and assessment and evaluation programs. "Conservatives want to 'outsource' these functions as part of an effort to neutralize 'the government monopoly on education."' (Nation, Sept. 8-15,'97) Pioneer Institute founder Steven Wilson also founder of Advantage Schools, a for-profit education company whose board Edgerly chairs.
There are indeed monitors for gifted students embedded in each public schools and that is what testing and evaluations at pre-school is designed to identify. Are the students found to fall into this category REALLY from the population groups now feeling the worst of education reform---Latino and black communities? The designation GIFTED is itself a very small percentage of every population group. Advanced placement students right below are again a small percentage but more in number than gifted. Then, 90% of students fall into the average and below average where none of this funding is directed. In Baltimore this works by students taking that pre-school test and then being directed to what has become a Hopkins'-based gifted student 'PUBLIC' school. Hopkins has always directed the advanced placement to its higher-education scholarship programs----so now it is extending it to K-12 and all this leads to building a pool of what would be community leaders to its own graduate degree programs. This is to where all Federal, state, and local funding for our public schools is going because the goal is to move that 90% of American students to those global corporate campus schools.
- Below you see an article that describes building advanced placement and gifted into each public school----this is not what we are seeing in Baltimore as most public schools are being taken to vocational tracking K-12.
High-potential students thrive when school districts develop sustainable gifted services
Dina Brulles, Ph.D.
March 16, 2016
- The goal of gifted programs should reflect that of any other educational program: to engage students with appropriately challenging curricula and instruction on a daily basis and in all relevant content areas so that they can make continual academic growth.
Over the past several years, the Paradise Valley (AZ) Unified School District has continued to expand gifted services in response to identified need. The district provides a continuum of services designed for the specific learning needs of gifted students from preschool through high school.
With a student population that is 30 percent Hispanic and 37 percent eligible for free and reduced-price lunch, Paradise Valley uses a multifaceted identification process and embeds a gifted specialist in each of the district’s elementary schools to train teachers and staff to recognize high potential. The result: 32 percent of the district’s gifted population is non-white, a doubling of this portion since 2007.
Strong gifted programs take time to develop and will change over time. Developing sustainable services requires that we continually modify our programs to respond to many factors. Educational trends, district initiatives, state policies, shifting student demographics and staffing all can significantly influence how programs develop and evolve. Embedding gifted services into what is occurring throughout the school or district helps school administrators and teachers recognize the necessity of considering the needs of gifted students when planning.
The process begins by sharing information with all stakeholders: parents, teachers, school district administrators, and principals. To draw attention to the need for change, it’s critical to demonstrate the learning needs of gifted and talented students and provide evidence that these needs are not being met within the current structure or system. Change takes time and begins with small steps—in this case, by sharing information and modifying the message to gain support from each stakeholder group.
Before discussing the development of gifted programs, I will describe our approach to identifying candidates for placement in a gifted program in our district. Every year, we continue to refine our testing procedures. After we identify students as gifted, we determine whether programming adjustments or modifications to curriculum and instruction are needed to best serve these students. This process requires that we continually enhance our existing programs to more inclusively serve identified gifted students. We provide a comprehensive review process that strives to recognize all students with high ability, with special attention paid to those from minority populations.
Far too often, schools identify students to match a specific program. This practice stymies progress and perpetuates underrepresentation. It also dismisses the fact that some gifted students need something different from the existing programs. Unless the programs in place are sufficiently comprehensive in addressing the wide-ranging, diverse needs of gifted students, underrepresentation of certain groups will continue. Identifying students, then designing appropriate services, is the best way to begin the process.
Schools that effectively support their various gifted students tend to identify them using measures that include standardized assessments free from cultural and linguistic bias. They then construct services designed to develop the potential and talents of their students. Similar to those who qualify for special education, gifted students’ needs vary.
In the case of students who possess innate ability that hasn’t yet been actualized—this is often true of culturally and linguistically diverse students—the emphasis needs to rest less on achievement and more on potential. With highly and profoundly gifted students, the focus should be on radical acceleration. In meeting twice-exceptional students’ needs, the process can involve collaboration with special education authorities.
Our goal as educators is to facilitate daily challenge with a goal of student growth. Methods for achieving this goal can look different for gifted students, which means that teachers require administrative support. District administrators support school principals; principals support teachers; and teachers support students and their parents. Gifted services thus become integrated into school and district culture when each level assumes responsibility. While state funding helps, building effective gifted services does not require additional financial support. School districts can provide this support by allocating existing resources and offering ongoing training to administrators and teachers.
Aligning gifted services with school district initiatives increases attention to gifted students at the district level. Gifted education then becomes part of administrators’ conversations when they are planning. Administrators must always consider how their practices impact all students, including the gifted. At the school level, aligning gifted services with school initiatives helps nest gifted programs within school culture. Planning for gifted students therefore becomes part of every conversation, meeting, and training session.
Districts should offer training to any teacher wishing to participate, as all instructors may have gifted students in their classes.
Professional development should be aligned toward:
- The needs of the district’s student populations
- Methods for modifying the district’s curriculum and instruction for high-ability students
- Special populations in gifted education
- Differentiated instruction for all students
- Sustaining services
Building and sustaining strong gifted programs throughout a district requires the integration of gifted services into the district’s major departments. This occurs when the needs of gifted students become part of all discussions and considerations. We need to make connections and draw ties between gifted education and other district departments, especially language acquisition, special education, curriculum and instruction, assessment, and professional development. Accomplishing this fusion will provide gifted students a voice in district-level meetings and demonstrate the benefits of collaboration. The connection leads to collaboration and training, allows for better access to resources and funds, and demonstrates that this population of students is deserving of recognition and attention.
Establishing procedures at the district level improves consistency in services throughout the district. Consistent programming throughout all schools allows for more comprehensive support for teachers. Parents appreciate that their gifted students can receive services while attending their home schools.
Advice for building comprehensive gifted programs:
- Place gifted education under the direction of a district-level administrator who oversees other vital departments (such as special education, language acquisition, curriculum, and/or assessment.
- Establish procedures whereby all gifted students’ abilities are recognized and served, systems are in place for the development of that potential, and teachers have access to training and resources that address the needs of all high-potential learners.
- Reference the interests of gifted students in every staff conversation about curriculum and instruction the general education, special education, and English language learner populations. With repetition, the group’s needs’ become a natural component of planning.
- Invite all staff members to participate in any training directed toward gifted and talented learners. With exposure to this training, teachers become better at identifying students with high potential.
- Hold informational evenings on topics to educate parents and teachers about gifted students’ learning needs, as well as services and resources available to them.
- Be aware that most states do not require coursework in gifted education for teacher certification. Therefore, many teachers have limited understanding of gifted children’s learning needs. Promote local workshops, classes, and conferences.
- Find ways to connect your goals to the school’s and district’s initiatives. Be a strong, yet subtle, voice for high-ability students at every meeting, in every newsletter, and at every function.
- Be humble and sincere in your approach. Advocates for other special needs groups gain support by demonstrating need. Attention to the wide range of our diverse gifted student populations may help decision makers understand that we seek equity in services, not elitism.
- Seek and consider input from your stakeholders: parents, teachers, administrators, and students.
- Get plans and/or program “scope and sequence” formally board-approved. Policy provides support when others oppose implementing gifted services.
- Making all this a reality necessitates that we provide information on how gifted identification affects learning and teaching. With this information, stakeholders can understand that we are attempting to ensure that all of our students are developing their potential and achieving academically. We can do this with little or no additional costs to schools by establishing our goals, grouping students according to learning needs, educating them appropriately, and providing professional development to teachers and administrators (and information to parents). Gifted students thrive when provided with the attention, setting, and instruction they need, and this is only possible when schools develop sustainable gifted services.
I cannot copy this entire chart to my page but please look at what was research data compiled BEFORE THIS CURRENT PUSH TO REDEFINE WHAT GIFTED MEANS. It is 2004 ---2006 while we still had some structure in our Federal government doing actual data. It is great to see Maryland as an asterik as usual because its data is ALWAYS JUKED----and as that asterik states these data are simply what schools reported. Maryland installed an abundance of advanced placement in each school around this time and school administrators were pressured to see students in each school be placed into these programs and teachers were then pressed to make sure these student received good grades. So, Maryland does not have a super-amount of gifted as this data shows. Again, this is all politics in Maryland and the people losing are the students, teachers, and administrators having to deal with bad education policy while being pressed for high grade scores.
Look at NY for example and see a realistic data number for gifted-----2-3% of students. That has always been the norm in student populations. Then another 10% may be advanced placement.
After looking at this chart go to the article below this and now see what they tell us GIFTED PERCENTAGES ARE----and know they are POSING PROGRESSIVE with those higher percentages to hide the fact that all the funding being directed now to gifted are really only going to a few percent of our student population. REDEFINING GIFTED TO MAKE IT SEEM MORE US STUDENTS ARE GETTING INTO THESE PROGRAMS.....and we will see it especially in the Latino and black communities because they historically score the lowest in grading and standardized tests.
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Table 49.Percentage of gifted and talented students in public elementary and secondary schools, by sex, race/ethnicity, and state: 2004 and 2006
This was the theme of Obama and Clinton neo-liberals and Republicans in Congress----we were neglecting our gifted students in public schools. If that was so it was because a state like Maryland did not provide the RESOURCES for those students----as we fought for simply all resources for all students. The point is this-----not only will what was hundreds of billions of dollars in Federal public school funding disappear and instead a portion of it directed at only high-achieving students-----but those gifted programs as at Hopkins in Baltimore will be recruiting GIFTED students from around the world. They will keep putting out data that they are including Baltimore students in programs but they are not. This excludes across population groups-----but hits students of color and immigrants the most. Not every community will have gifted or advanced placement students so they need those funds to arrive as resources for our underserved low-achieving students. This was where the funding goals set for our K-12 failed these students again. This is what killed rigor in our under-served K-12 as teachers and administrators were forced to move students into these higher-achieving programs while dismantling the structures that allowed teachers support in classrooms for 99% of under-achieving students.
US public education funding has always provided good resources for all levels of student in each public school until the Clinton era defunding and dismantling of all these structures in our public schools made worse during Bush.
- The article below sounds to come from a parent simply wanting the decades-old defunding and dismantled public school system to work for what are simply good students.
Ending Our Neglect of Gifted Students
By Chester E. Finn, Jr. 07/03/2014
The following is an excerpt from What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools, a new book edited by Chester E. Finn, Jr. and Richard Sousa for Hoover Institution Press. This excerpt comes from a chapter called “Educating Smart Kids, Too” by Chester E. Finn, Jr.
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney both attended elite private high schools, as did George W. Bush, Al Gore, and John Kerry. Both are undeniably smart and well-educated and owe much of their success to the strong foundation laid by excellent schools. Every motivated, high-potential young American deserves a similar opportunity. But the majority of smart kids lack the wherewithal to enroll in rigorous private schools. They depend on public education to prepare them for life. Yet American public education is failing to create enough opportunities for hundreds of thousands of these high-potential girls and boys.
In Ohio alone, some 250,000 current pupils—about 15 percent of all children in public education there—have been identified by their school districts as “gifted” (using the several metrics that the Buckeye State employs for this purpose, including superior “visual or performing arts ability”). Yet barely one-fifth of these youngsters actually receive “gifted education services” from their schools. (Such services take various forms but most commonly involve separate classrooms with more challenging curricula and specially prepared teachers, at least for core academic subjects.)
Imagine the outcry across the land if just one in five children identified as “disabled” was receiving “special education services” from his school!
Yet gifted youngsters are widely neglected. Because they’re already above the “proficient bar” in academic achievement at a time when most federal and state policies are fixed on boosting low achievers over that bar, schools and teachers have little incentive to focus on their educational needs or to devote resources to their schooling. And if we can extrapolate from the Ohio data—that state accounts for about 3.7 percent of all K–12 students in the land--the United States may contain as many as six million high-ability youngsters whom it is not educating to the max. (The National Association for Gifted Children estimates about half that number. The fact that nobody really knows also attests to the vagueness of these definitions and to disputation even among advocates as to what exactly qualifies as giftedness.)
This neglect isn’t just a matter of fairness and equal opportunity for kids. It’s also a matter of long-term societal well-being.
- EQUAL OPPORTUNITY BECOMES ABOUT GIFTED AND TALENTED.
- America’s ability to compete economically on a shrinking planet, as well as our national security and cultural vitality, depends to a great extent on whether today’s ablest girls and boys are well-prepared to become tomorrow’s scientists, inventors, entrepreneurs, engineers, and civic leaders. Yes, it’s important to impart proficiency to every young person in the land. But it’s at least as important to equip those likely to be the next generation’s path-breakers with all the learning they can absorb. Our education system at every level needs to view human capital development more comprehensively than it has. The system also needs to be able to “walk and chew gum at the same time,” i.e., to tackle the challenge of underachievement even as it devotes concentrated attention to youngsters with enormous high-end potential.
Compared with the rest of the world—at least the parts we’re most apt to compete with—we’re not doing this very well. Roughly 6 percent of US students score at the advanced level in core subjects on the National Assessment of Educational Progress. When this is equated to other countries via the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), we find (in math, for the high school graduating class of 2009) that sixteen other nations had at least twice as large a fraction of their fifteen-year-olds scoring at that level. World leader Taiwan was at 28 percent but even Germany clocked in around 13 percent.
- THE REASON THE US TESTS LOWER IS DECADES OF DEFUNDING AND DISMANTLING OF OUR PUBLIC SCHOOL SYSTEM. THESE PISA SCORES ONLY REFLECT NATIONS THAT LOOK TODAY HOW US PUBLIC SCHOOLS LOOKED BEFORE CLINTON/BUSH. THESE ARE NOT GIFTED STUDENT TOTALS.
- (To their credit, several US states, led by Massachusetts, did notably better than the American average. Ohio—discussed above—was just a hair above that average. In the spirit of rising tides lifting boats, states that did well overall also generally showed gains at the high and low ends of the achievement distribution. )
Most apt to be neglected are those who are smart but poor. Upper-middle-class families with educated parents, by and large, do an acceptable job of steering their high-ability daughters and sons through the education maze. It’s surely possible for smart kids to get a strong education in today’s America—but most of the time that requires adults in their lives who are education-minded, ambitious, pushy, well-enough connected (and confident enough) to “work the system” and, in many cases, to buy their way into private schools or posh suburban districts.
Smart poor kids seldom have those assets at home. They are generally educated not according to how much they could learn but according to the norms of the public schools in their neighborhoods. Since these are usually poor neighborhoods, the schools are apt to concentrate energies and resources on the large numbers of students below the proficient line.
Poor parents may not know what their children are capable of and probably lack the resources to purchase supplemental courses, educational software, weekend and summer programs, and much else that similarly gifted youngsters from more prosperous circumstances are apt to have showered upon them.
One consequence, as economist Caroline Hoxby and colleagues have shown, is that high-ability, high-achieving youngsters from poor and minority backgrounds tend not even to apply to the country’s elite colleges and universities, although they could likely gain admission, obtain financial aid, and thrive academically. 
- KNOW WHAT???? PARENTS IN UNDERSERVED COMMUNITIES WOULD LIKE TO JUST GET THE NORMAL FUNDING AND RESOURCES IN CLASSROOMS
A Four-Part Problem
Today’s systemic failure takes four main forms:
1. We’re weak at identifying “gifted and talented” children early unless their parents push for it. Without early identification, youngsters are apt to lose out on opportunities to accelerate, to get into such special classrooms and supplemental programs as do exist, to enroll in magnet or charter schools designed to challenge them, and to gain access (when they reach high school) to Advanced Placement courses, International Baccalaureate programs, and other offerings that typically presuppose a solid education in the early grades. Those that do get spotted and invited into gifted and talented classes and such are less apt to be poor and members of minority groups. In Ohio, for example, where 48 percent of all public-school students qualify as “economically disadvantaged,” among those flagged as gifted that figure is 21 percent. As for race, while 18 percent of white youngsters in the Buckeye state are deemed gifted, along with a whopping 28 percent of Asian students, that’s true of just 5 percent of black pupils and 6 percent of Hispanic children.
2. We don’t have enough gifted-education classrooms and specialized schools (with suitable teachers and curricula) to serve even the existing demand, much less what might be induced by more thorough talent identification. Faced with budget crunches and federal and state pressure to close achievement gaps and turn around awful schools, many districts are cutting their advanced classes. In political, policy, and philanthropic circles alike, educating high-potential children ranks low on the priority list. It seems faintly elitist—and there’s a widespread belief that “these kids will do fine anyway.”
3. Surprisingly little is known about what strategies, structures, and programs work best in educating high-ability youngsters. Educators and parents alike tend to assume that if it carries the “gifted” label or is academically selective at the front end, it must be effective. Yet the (all too meager) research and evaluation that have been conducted in this realm—both in the United States and overseas—yield a mixed picture when it comes to the academic “value added” by gifted-and-talented programs and selective-admission schools. This poses a challenge for scholars, advocates, and policymakers alike, a challenge that is deepened by the immense variability of programs dubbed “gifted” within American public education. 
- THE US HAS THROUGH MODERN HISTORY CREATED SO MUCH EDUCATION DATA AND PROVIDED FOR ALL OF THE ABOVE AND YET----THE FAR-RIGHT IS NOW JUST COMING TO SELLING THE IDEA OF ACTUALLY EDUCATING STUDENTS.
4. When students finally reach high school, especially if they live in poor neighborhoods, they may find just a smattering of honors or AP classes, nothing like the ample course offerings of well-resourced suburban districts and elite private schools.  Some public high schools do focus exclusively on high–ability, highly motivated students. But when Jessica Hockett and I searched for them in connection with a Hoover-Fordham study that led to our book, Exam Schools, we found just 165 that met our criteria within a public-school universe of more than 20,000 high schools.  These specialized institutions educate about 1 percent of students. Nineteen states have none. Only three big cities have more than five such schools (Los Angeles has zero). Almost all of these schools have far more qualified applicants than they can accommodate. Hence they practice selective admissions, turning away thousands of students who could benefit from what they have to offer. Northern Virginia’s acclaimed Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, for example, receives about 3,300 applicants a year—two-thirds of them academically qualified—for 480 places.
Many such schools are urban—a few are even statewide residential schools—and they’re free, making them terrific opportunities for high-ability youngsters from straitened circumstances. Critics call them elitist, but we found the opposite. These are great schools accessible to families who can’t afford private alternatives or pricey suburbs. We learned that 37 percent of their pupils qualify for the federal subsidized lunch program, almost the same as the 39 percent in the national public high school population.
The schools we studied, by and large, are educational oases for families with smart kids but few alternatives. They’re safe havens, too—schools where everyone focuses on teaching and learning, not maintaining order. Yes, they even have sports teams, but their orchestras are better. Yes, some have had to crack down on cheating, but in these schools it’s fine to be a nerd. You’re surrounded by kids like you—some smarter than you—and taught by capable teachers who welcome the challenge, teachers more apt to have doctorates or experience at the university level than high school instructors elsewhere. You aren’t searched for weapons at the door. And you’re pretty sure to graduate and go on to a good college. Many more students could benefit from schools like these—and the numbers would multiply if our education system did right by such youngsters in the early grades. But that will happen only when we acknowledge that leaving no child behind means paying as much attention to those who’ve mastered the basics—and have the capacity and motivation for much more—as we do to those who cannot yet read or subtract.
It’s time to end the bias in American education against gifted and talented pupils and quit assuming that every school must be all things to all students, a simplistic formula that ends up neglecting all sorts of girls and boys, many of them poor and minority, who would benefit from more challenging classes and schools. Smart kids shouldn’t have to go to private schools or get turned away from Bronx Science or Thomas Jefferson simply because there’s no room for them.
Chester E. Finn, Jr. is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute and senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution.
Reprinted from What Lies Ahead for America’s Children and Their Schools, edited by Chester E. Finn Jr. and Richard Sousa, with the permission of the publisher, Hoover Institution Press. Copyright © 2014 by the Board of Trustees of the Leland Stanford Junior University.
Call me skeptical -----but as in Baltimore where Hopkins has the K-12 tied to advanced placement and now gifted-----teachers have known since the Clinton era education reform that the push towards group learning in all classrooms created the conditions where the students with the higher grades always ended being the ones doing the work that gave that group an A or B. Meantime, the lower-achieving students not able to work at that level sat back and did not engage in many of these lessons. This created the condition for students unable to read or do math to graduate and having A and B grade averages while doing it. This made the higher grade students mad of course and this dynamic has existed in public schools since the 1990s. As a teacher back in the 1990s I FOUGHT THIS knowing it would break the rigor in classrooms as it did----but this does not mean American public schools failed the higher achievers---IT WAS THE EDUCATION REFORM POLICIES IN THE 1990S. We simply need to return to the education policies that gave the rigor and that means all students must have a dedicated part of a school day of lessons where they achieve that grade on their own.
We already know national charters created to attract the high-achievers will be those who earn the most money in the Wall Street stock market. They will see venture capitalists invest in them-----so this is the beginning of winners and losers---
WESTMOUNT CHARTER SCHOOL
To meet the learning needs of gifted students and promote their social-emotional development in a congregated setting.
Westmount Charter School will be recognized as a centre for excellence in gifted education.
The mandate of the Westmount Charter School is to provide qualitatively differentiated educational programming for students who are gifted.
Our Charter School Goal:
Each gifted learner is provided with opportunities to optimize his or her own unique potential.
At Westmount Charter School, we define Giftedness in this way: "Students are gifted when they perform, or show potential for performing, remarkably high levels of accomplishment in learning rate, depth of knowledge, and reasoning and problem-solving abilities when compared to others of their age, experience, and environment." For more information about Westmount's innovative approach toward gifted education, click here.
Another Definition of Giftedness
"Giftedness is 'asynchronous development' in which advanced cognitive abilities and heightened intensity combine to create inner experiences and awareness that are qualitatively different from the norm. This asynchrony increases with higher intellectual capacity. The uniqueness of the gifted renders them particularly vulnerable and requires modifications in parenting, teaching and counseling in order for them to develop optimally."
- the Columbus Group (1991, in Morelock, 1992).
Charters for the gifted and talented?
March 21, 2013
In Ohio, there were 368 charter schools open during the 2011-12 school year. Of these charter schools, there were 26 e-schools, 87 drop-out recovery schools, and 35 special education charter schools. And, there was one charter school dedicated to serving gifted students.
Menlo Park Academy, located in Southwest Cleveland, is the Buckeye State’s lone public charter school for the gifted. The school has consistently earned strong academic marks from the state, rated “Excellent” (A) for the past three school years. Menlo Park enrolls over 300 K-8 students, who come from forty plus school districts. The student body is nearly entirely White and Asian (over 90 percent).
Yesterday, at the invitation of school director Mrs. Paige Baublitz-Watkins, Checker Finn presented findings from Fordham’s 2011 study Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? and fielded questions about gifted education from a group of Menlo Park parents and educators. In the High Flyers report, Fordham found that nearly half of America’s top-shelf students “lose altitude”—failing to remain at or above the ninetieth percentile in test scores—from third to eighth grade.
Can opening more schools such as Menlo Park provide an antidote to the declining opportunities that Ohio’s gifted students have to reach their full potential? It very well could. But, of course, it will require concerted efforts from the parents of gifted children to push for, establish, and sustain charters that serve the needs of their kids. (We found that many of Menlo Park’s parents drive a decent distance to get their kids to school, and it’s not uncommon for parents to volunteer and help raise funds for the school.)
Nearly one-third of Ohio’s charters serve primarily at-risk and disabled students—student populations with unique needs. Likewise, gifted students also have unique needs, such as faster-paced and challenging curricula. Given the success of Menlo Park, surely Ohio’s parents of gifted students, and the educators who teach them, can consider ways to grow more schools dedicated to serving gifted and talented students.
Since the Wall Street stock market money will go with the national charters tied to high-achievers we see what should be programs built into each public school----being broken down. There has always been a track in our public schools for high-achievers and yes it does follow a break along white and Asian when public schools are truly diverse. Cities seeing a look of segregation will not have seen this break ----the point is this----if these programs are inside each school then the populations historically being disadvantaged in resources and funding will now have that pathway for black and Latino students who often score lower on standardized tests. Taking this program out of a diverse public school sounds more driven by wanting those students in a national charter for high-achievers. That's where those students in the STUDENTS OF ACADEMIC RIGOR will move to leaving the other students no resources for this pathway.
THINK THIS POLICY IS A BOON FOR THOSE STUDENTS NOT YET ACHIEVING AT THIS HIGH LEVEL? OF COURSE NOT.
Brooklyn school cutting gifted program to boost diversity
Ditmas Park's P.S. 139 Principal Mary McDonald told parents the elementary school would no longer accept kindergartners applications for the SOAR program. Future classes will be 'heterogeneously grouped.
BY Doyle Murphy
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, January 30, 2014, 2:30 AM
Doyle Murphy/New York Daily News
Public School 139 in Ditmas Park will do away with a program for gifted students in hopes of boosting diversity.
A popular gifted program will get the axe after Ditmas Park school officials chose diversity over exclusivity.
Citing a lack of diversity, PS 139 Principal Mary McDonald informed parents in a letter that the Students of Academic Rigor and two other in-house programs would no longer accept applications for incoming kindergartners.
“Our Kindergarten classes will be heterogeneously grouped to reflect the diversity of our student body and the community we live in,” McDonald told parents in a letter posted on the photo-sharing site flickr and obtained by Ditmas Park Corner.
More than two thirds of the school’s roughly 1,000 students are black or hispanic while Asian-American and white students made up 28%, according to Education Dept. records.
At least one parent described the small gifted program, Students of Academic Rigor — or SOAR — as overwhelming caucasion, although others disputed that characterization.
Lew Robertson/Getty Images/Brand X
Hand filling in multiple choice answer sheet - scan tron test, generic, regents test
McDonald didn’t respond to numerous requests for comment. A city Education Dept. spokeswoman said cutting the programs was the decision of the school.
One mother, a Sudanese immigrant, said the program was brimming with white students — but she was looking forward to her daughter joining after years of high test scores.
“Where are they going to put the higher-level students?” asked the woman, who declined to give her name. “Sometimes, there are different levels, and teachers can’t handle all the levels in one class.”
Parent Lisa Draho has one daughter in the New Visions Flatbush Academy — one of the two smaller learning communities that will be phased out — and another who just moved on to middle school. Parents have questions about the decision, Draho said, but she has faith in McDonald.
A letter from P.S. 139 Principal Mary McDonald informed parents the school planned to axe a popular gifted program and two in-house academies to boost diversity in the school.
“Mary is very much a principal who really wants the best for the kids,” said Draho, who nonetheless disagreed that the programs lacked diversity.
“I feel like the classes are already inclusive,” she said.
Other parents and relatives picking up students on Wednesday said the school should keep the program as is.
“It’s been running like this for so long,” said 16-year-old Maruful Hossain, who attended the school as a child and now picks up his little brother there. “It will always be diverse — no matter what.”