How competitive are your GT programs?

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
How competitive are your GT programs?
12
Mon, 04-23-2012 - 11:25pm

I was just reading this NY Times article about the city's GT programs and how the gifted children outnumber seats in the program 4 to 1.

Are programs that competitive where you are? Do your kids attend private GT programs or take part in the programs offered at their public school?

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iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 12:44am

Ours are not competitive. There has always been spots for anyone who qualifies. Granted, the programs have varied greatly from one to another. DD's elementary didn't have one until she was in 5th grade and it was a GATE cluster. In middle school, she had a daily GATE class which was social studies. In high school, she was in the "Seminar" program which is for highly gifted teens. DS had GATE starting in 3rd grade and it was a pull-out 3 times a week (though not an academic pull-out.)

Some districts used different measures. Some were straight scores. Others took into account parent/teacher evaluations. I've never heard of a gifted child in our county not getting a position in whatever GATE program a school offered.

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-23-2002
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 1:04am

Well, "competitive" isn't exactly the term I'd use, since having a really high IQ isn't exactly something you can strive for, kwim? The article says the cutoff is the 97th percentile, which may be the issue. That's a pretty low cut-off compared to what is used in my area. That means 1 in 30 kids would be included, and that seems like a lot to me! No wonder they don't have room for them all. Here the definition of giftedness is the 99th percentile (IQ=/>135), so only 1 in 100 kids.

Miranda
in rural BC, Canada
mom to three great kids and one great grown-up
unschooler, violist, runner, doc 

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 2:47am

From the discussions I've had with a New York friend, I actually wonder how accurate most of that testing is anymore. You don't "magically" get a 47 percent increase in qualifying applicants. They start testing in preschool. It's not unusual for these preschoolers to have private tutors (based on what my friend has experienced in her more affluent community.) They use the OLSAT which is not an IQ tes and a test that can be schewed by a well-trained preschooler.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 11:52am

Ours is now considered "highly gifted" and is based on a 2-phased testing.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-18-2008
Tue, 04-24-2012 - 12:00pm
That sounds similar to the program in my school growing up. Anyone who qualified was put into the program. It was a little weak, but it was a small school in a small town. Now, though, I have a friend whose son is highly gifted and they went through interviews and a selection process, but it was at a private school.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2000
Wed, 04-25-2012 - 5:50pm
We are in a high-achieving school in high-achieving district and honestly MOST kids are capable of far more than the standard curriculum. Given that there are only three elementary gifted teachers for maybe 10 K-6 schools, the competition for those few slots can be wicked. So much so that school officials go to great lengths to keep parents from knowing that gifted programs exist.

It's top-secret info, but I have found out that to get into the program they want a kid to score at the 98th or 99th percentile on MAPS (out-of-level achievement test) in both reading and math. (My DD was at the 99.95th percentile in math but they wouldn't let her in until her reading score was up to the 95th percentile, or something like that. I forget the particulars.) Kids also have to complete a big project before they can start-- I know DD used her science fair project.

I'm not sure what the process is for middle school, but I know a lot more kids get identified in midlle school than in elementary.
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Registered: 09-13-1999
Wed, 04-25-2012 - 8:45pm

We need Gwen (gwennyc)!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2012
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 4:23am

I think that part of the problem comes in when parents start trying to prep their kids for GT program testing. I see a great deal of this in my DDs' school, where it is incredibly easy to prep a smart kid anough at home so that he or she will qualify for pullout. Many of these children are doing at least an extra hour to two hours of homework a day with their parents and work through the summer as well.

Theoretically that wouldn't be a problem if these kids could keep up later.

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-16-2001
Thu, 04-26-2012 - 9:15am
Our district was incredibly strict about the cutoffs, in an effort to avoid this problem. Kids could re-test after a year, but even if a child missed by a point or two, there was no flexiblity. No system is perfect, however, as not all kids with high IQs are good students or interested in the same kinds of work. In our old district, the system was routinely gamed and if a parent asked and the teacher agreed, students were let into the program. Thus, close to half the class was "gifted". That district recently changed to a much more restrictive program (IQ results greater than 135).
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Fri, 04-27-2012 - 4:07pm

Are programs that competitive where you are? Do your kids attend private GT programs or take part in the programs offered at their public school?

Our schools are moderately strict on criteria. There is a matrix of scores on COGAT and ITBS, plus some "checklists of gifted characteristics," etc. No actual IQ tests are used.

In elementary, it's pullout 4 days a week for an hour. Some grades do grouping (so, in 3rd grade, my ds had all of the gifted kids in his homeroom, which was nice).

In middle school, you either qualify for Reading strand (Science, Social Studies, LA block) or Math (7th grade Algebra). There is also a middle school matrix - for reading it's the COGATS, ITBS, Gates-MacGinitie, and a few others. For math, it's the IAAT and the DAT (just a few subsets). It's nice to be with other high-ability kids for all the core clases in MS.

HS is just honors and AP.

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