Recent studies have found that 84% of time in classroom settings is spent on activities where the entire class participates as a group. In other words, as little as 16% of time in your child’s day at school is spent receiving individualized attention catering to their specific level in any subject. That being said, the importance of gifted testing (gifted assessment) to determine if your child meets criteria for the Academically Gifted Program (AGP) is more important than ever.
The question for most parents is, “Do we wait for weeks to determine if our child meets criteria, or do we go ahead and arrange for private testing now?” There are many factors one might consider to make this determination. With the cost of a gifted evaluation running anywhere from $300-$650, often the decision comes down to finances.
Many parents ask, “Will I get a good return for my investment?”
Historically pull-out programs by focus area is the most common way to address the needs of gifted students at the elementary level. Conversely, the most utilized approach for catering to the academic needs of gifted students at the secondary level is special class grouping by subject. Special class grouping is one of the primary ways to deliver differentiated curriculum, and is an excellent way to prepare your child for more rigorous honors or AP classes later in their academic career.
Gifted instruction gives your child an opportunity to learn, grow, and be challenged in a way that is appropriate for their intellectual level. Additionally, gifted students benefit from classroom interactions with fellow students at similar performance levels.
Most teachers work very hard to challenge all of their students. However, The National Research Center on Gifted and Talented (NRC/GT) found that 61% of classroom teachers had no training in teaching gifted students. Additionally, researchers at the Fordham Institute found that 58% of teachers have received no professional development focused on teaching academically advanced students in the past few years. The unfortunate reality is that not all teachers are able to recognize and support gifted learners.
It is not uncommon for gifted students to be so far ahead of their same-age peers that they know 50% or more of the curriculum for their grade level before the school year begins. This is especially true if as a parent you have been reading or working with your child over the summer. Boredom or frustration experienced by the child can lead to low achievement, despondency, or unhealthy work habits.
The bottom line is that waiting for weeks to place your child in a gifted program may have potentially negative results. Behavioral problems can result if a child is excessively bored in a classroom. Children can exhibit unwanted behaviors of daydreaming, poor attention to detail, sloppy work, working quickly and not checking their work, and poor effort if they are not challenged. These behaviors if not addressed quickly can potentially develop into longer term habits.
Don’t wait to have your child tested / assessed for the Academically Gifted Program. Have your child tested today.