I was reading Scott Barry Kaufman's post on gifted education over at the Huffington Post, where he mentioned a report that will be soon published in the Journal of Applied School Psychology. The report surveys gifted policies in the various states, and makes recommendations.
One? The very sensible idea that gifted identification should "be a recurring phenomena, not a one-shot event." The old idea that you test once at third grade has a lot of holes in it. For starters, the "third grade" idea seems quite late to me. Apparently people were concerned that some kids learned more at home or went to pre-school, but by third grade, this would all come out in the wash. How arbitrary. Why not 2nd grade, or 4th grade? If gifted identification is about school accommodation (as it should be) then kids should be tested as they're starting school. That is, around kindergarten. If people really think everything will come out in the wash by third grade, then keep testing. And why not after that too? There's nothing magical about third grade.
Personally, I like the idea of individually-matched curriculum and pacing, as is becoming more possible through digital learning. In this case, you're constantly testing and figuring out what a child needs. You can also move at different paces for different subjects. Much of our approach to education is stuck in old mindsets, but here's hoping this is the year this starts changing.
As we start another year with Gifted Exchange, I'd love to hear what people would like to see covered. My oldest child will be starting kindergarten in the fall so, after years of shooting off my mouth about schools and curricula and testing and the like, I'll finally have some personal experience with it. Digital learning will be a big topic this year, and possibly education policy too, with it being an election year. Ideas are welcome!