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Florida releases new plan for gifted education

After more than two years of development, the Florida Department of Education has issued a new plan for gifted education for the state's public schools.

The goal, according to the document, is to "(raise) the ceiling of potential and high achievement" for students and schools.

"While Education Week ranked Florida eighth (80.3%) among the states in 2010, two scores stand out of concern for the future of Florida's economy: Student achievement rated a D- and college readiness rated F, criteria that will be of interest for businesses hoping to expand or to relocate in the state. Florida must address these factors to ensure a talent pool prepared for college and/or careers and provide the opportunity for students to excel. "

Terry Wilson, president of the Florida Gifted Network, has been tracking this effort closely. Wilson said that while it's good that the state wants to put a spotlight on gifted education, it's unclear whether this plan, without any "carrots and sticks," will have any real effect.

"It's distressing to parents of gifted to see this further emphasis on the grade-level FCAT via the metrics in this Plan," Wilson added in e-mail comments to the Gradebook. "Even though this is part of differentiated accountability and NCLB, we'd like to see a valid and reliable way of measuring learning gains for gifted students. FCAT just doesn't do it. Plus, there is still real reluctance by districts/schools/principals to grade skip students, even though the research supports it."

Everyone talks about rigor. Time will tell whether change really comes.

Posted by Jeff Solochek at 12:09:34 pm on May 16, 2011