In response to TAGT’s quest

This entry is in response to Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented’s quest to support the gifted homeschooling parent. Thanks to Tracy Weinberg, Deputy Director of TAGT for asking what their organization could do to improve the academic situation of the gifted child in Texas.

“I have only been in the state of Texas and a member of the TAGT association for one year. So my suggestions come from that viewpoint.

First, I would find an accurate number of families who educated their gifted children in settings other than the public school systems. I would survey them to see the specific reasons (academically and socially) for their choice. I would also have them build the ideal educational environment (no limits on resources) for their child. This would force the parents to begin thinking about objectives or goals to meeting their child’s academic needs, rather than wallowing in the present lack of services.

I liked the commitment that Tempo stated in the last issue (Spring 2007) about providing a parent’s perspective in future publications. The article entitled, “A Parent’s Perspective….Enrichment Opportunities” is a good start but more articles that specifically address the issues that the gifted parent deals with are necessary. To find that out, you would need to survey those parents to see just what caused them to move their child out of the public school system. Specifically.

I like how you phrased “we need parents of gifted students to politely and persuasively demand….” That is so critical. In St. Tammany Parish were I raised my two gifted children then taught there for 3 years, parents played a critical role in improving the education for their gifted children. We volunteered in schools alongside our teachers and administrators to improve the environment for all children, not just our own gifted child. In the process, everyone benefited. The gifted program has been in existence for over 15 years, today it is strong but it must be protected from budget cuts on a constant basis.

Teachers are also critical to the process of change. Teachers of the gifted are extremely busy working to provide the best academic challenges for the unique population. If I were working full time, I wouldn’t have time to write this email….

I think the grand majority of Texas parents of the gifted just aren’t aware of the successful programs out there. When I came here I truly thought that all school districts provided the type of program that St. Tammany Parish did. Perhaps more case scenarios are necessary for both the parent and the principals.”