Rockwood Gifted Evaluator states “curriculum in the general classroom is not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students”.
January 12, 2012 3 Comments
There has been a growing concern among Rockwood parents for several years now that our standard classes are “not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students”. Many in the Rockwood community believe the curriculum has been completely neglected and pushed to the side for a several years now. However, now that their concerns have been validated by an independent source, no one is talking about it!
Hired by the Board of Education as a part of the Guiding Change: Gifted Education K-12 Program Evaluation, Dr. Carolyn M Callahan and co-facilitator, Karen Lelli Austin conducted an evaluation and review of Rockwood’s gifted education program in which they analyzed and compared it to the NAGC Standards
Amidst the 505 page report, of which the first 47 pages is a summary of Dr. Calahan’s findings and recommendations, we find her opinion goes beyond the gifted program. Buried in the report that can be found on our district website, we believe most parents are not aware of its existence and therefore have not read it.
The current definition, philosophy, identification and services results in identification of ~16% of students as gifted and more than half of the middle school student population in Challenge classes at the Middle School. If the general intellectual ability of RSD is this high, then there should be serious efforts to ratchet up the general curriculum. The appeal of the gifted program for such a large population of students stems in part from a curriculum in the general classroom that is not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students. (page 14)
“Curriculum is addressed first in the report because of the need to recognize that curriculum is the lynchpin of services to gifted students. All other components of a program can be perfectly conceptualized and implemented, but if the curriculum is inappropriate, then those efforts are wasted”. (page 17)
RS for RS feels, whether gifted, above average, average or below; the lynchpin to services for all students IS the curriculum.
Curriculum is the foundation to education and should always be at the forefront of every discussion about student achievement, evaluation and expectation.
If the curriculum in the general classroom is not sufficiently challenging and engaging for a significant number of students; everything else is a complete waste of time and money.