Article about education for the gifted

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Registered: 05-18-2005
Article about education for the gifted
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Tue, 09-25-2012 - 7:28am

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Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 5:43pm
As others have said, it's all about weighted classes. What's frustrating, is that it's not uniform. College prep in our area isn't weighted at all in our area. The first 2 years of high school, DD was in advanced/honors everything which MOST schools would weight but hers only weighted AP's. In DD's current school, every grade she gets will be weighted. This is why kids take AP classes and so many of them.... "C's" are 3 points, "B's" are 4 and "A's" are 5 points.

GPA isn't everything. From the college admissions officers I know, they actually like to see "improvement." This is what they say but then you look at their enrollment statistics and wonder how that can actually be.

You'll also find that gifted students aren't typically your 4.0+'s.
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Registered: 05-18-2005
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 3:15pm

Ladybug, in our area lots of schools have unweighted grade points.  That is to say, general track is 4.0 for an A, college prep is 4.0 for an A, and honors/AP is 4.0 for an A.  Creates some interesting incentives.

Gwen

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Registered: 12-06-2010
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 2:32pm
Wow, things have really changed from the old days when honors was worth an extra .5! Thanks for filling me in!
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Registered: 12-06-2010
Tue, 10-02-2012 - 1:19pm
hmmm...that makes sense, turtletime. I had no idea state universities were only taking straight A students! And with education being so expensive.

A side question - is it possible to get straight A's without being gifted in most high schools? Just wondering about the grading systems.
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Registered: 04-09-2006
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 7:08pm

I think it probably depends a LOT on where you live.  ds went to high school in a) a low population, low income semi rural state (lots of small towns) and then in a remote area of a large state and to be quite honest, most of the impetus for achievement in both places seemed to come from the kids themselves.  The standout kid with lots of AP classes and also an excellent violinist (not my student)  who took freshman calculus at a semi selective college as a high school senior was driven purely by herself...but her dad was a prof and her mom had a business, so she saw what being a high energy driven person could do for her.  The kid with the $1,400 violin was a "sleeper"...the kind of kid who seems to have a lot of talent in a quiet sort of way, but not much motivation: she went to a pricey selective college and then did graduate work...despite her inability to find even five minutes a week for violin practice.   One of the most talented low achieving students I ever had went to college on a soccer scholarship...sports won out over violin lessons eventually but he played in orchestra through high school.   I can't think of any of my long term students that quit orchestra...but to my knowledge most of the ones that are still playing came from musical families.  The only kids whose parents "pulled the plug" did so for economic reasons...they could not pay for lessons, and when I told the mom to not worry about it, she told me that she didn't want her kids "taking things for granted"...wanted them to know the "value of hard work".  And she is still a very good friend.

Deborah

Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 5:30pm
Haha, yes, it's much easier to be idealist when your in the beginning of any journey. There are still plenty of wonderful kids who reach high level of achievement because they are driven to do so by passion and joy. Those tend to be the ones you meet at the younger years when you have exceptional children yourself. It's not until high school when the realization that the local state university didn't take anyone under a 3.7 GPA and 97 percent of those accepted were 4.0 and higher that the freak out occurs in the general public. That's when you get kids doing community service that doesn't matter to them, joining clubs they don't like but can be racked up at lunch period and look good on paper and push for titles and merits. Not pretty.
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Registered: 12-06-2010
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 4:21pm
Maybe I'm just not seeing it because my kids are still too young. Or maybe it's because I'm in a community of expats where conformity is impossible because the "norm" is too diverse. But I just don't see it. The kids I know who are high achievers are, despite the occasional tiger parent, just stellar kids who have their own passions. I have met the occasional tiger parent who wants to force-feed a grade skip, and experienced the stereotypical "manufactured" violin kid in the Suzuki community. But they remain the exception to the rule, imo. I'm not ready to feel jaded just yet - up to now, the kids I see who research stem cells and build robots in their spare time do it because they love science and building robots and, thank God, not for any other reason.
Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 2:50pm
I totally agree. It's not high achievement in itself. My kids are very high achievers and so that would be rather hypocritical of me. No, it's manufactured high achievement in arenas that only exist to be a platform for youth high achievement that bother me. It's when kids are encouraged to collect positions and accolades outside where their own passions and interests lay just to have them.
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Registered: 12-06-2010
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 1:09pm
I live abroad so the ethnic and cultural setup are totally different from the US. There is a sizeable expat/diplomat community here. The prevailing culture is gigantic in classical music. Both of these factors probably factor in.
Here it's not so much that violin isn't big as that all instruments are. Kids play flute, sax, drums, clarinet, guitar, cello...
From the posts I read here, people sound frustrated with the focus on high achievement where they live. I don't think that'll be an issue for us. Maybe what pushes families so hard in the States is the huge cost factor involved in getting a college education. University is still free where we live, as long as your grades are good enough. My kids aren't focused on grabbing an Ivy League scholarship, though they do have friends who are.
Avatar for turtletime
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Registered: 05-13-1998
Mon, 10-01-2012 - 11:02am
Out of curiosity, for those where violin isn't a big instrument, what is your asian community like? In our area, the youth orchestra scene is dominated by asian children as are our more elite schools. We have some large bio-tech communities and it's no surprise that they are the only schools outside our local district and the arts magnet that have orchestras. I'll add these kids do all the academic league stuff too. I have no idea how they find the time!

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