I am so annoyed!
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I'm warning you all in advance, this post will be a long one!
Okay, I don't mean to sound like one of "those" moms, but I need to get this all out. My 13 year old is a bright boy. A very bright boy. Before he was 2 he came up to me with a book one day and showed me the letter "O". By shortly after his 2nd birthday he knew all of his letters. And I was NOT the type of mom to sit and drill this with him, because I know it's not even developmentally appropriate to expect a 2 year old to know his letters. He just somehow learned it on his own. Letters, numbers, colors, shapes, he knew them all at 2. At 7 he became very interested in US history, particularly the Presidents. I bought him a couple of books about the Presidents since he was so interested. After reading them a few times he was able to name EVERY President in order and could tell you lots of facts about them. To this day he knows more about US History than most adults. In 3rd grade he started reading the Harry Potter series, quickly making it through all the ones that were out to that point. When the next one came out, which was 700 pages or so, he preordered it to arrive on the day in was released. He was done with it in 3 days. He still reads avidly and has actually read the entire series several times over. He gets nearly straight A's (he had two B's on his report card this whole year) and has NEVER studied for a test. Well, he does "study" for Spanish, with "studying" defined as looking over his notes a couple of times. He has had 3 grades this entire year in Spanish that were not 100's. He is a very bright boy.
His Kindergarten and 1st grade teachers were very impressed with his intelligence and creativity. His first grade teacher told me he was her MOST creative writer and she loved that he thought outside of the box. In 2nd grade he was nominated by his teacher for the school's gifted and talented program and was found to have an IQ in the gifted range. Actually, in the highly gifted range. So how did he do in the program, you might be wondering. Well, he was rejected. Here is the process for acceptance -- the kids are scored in 5 areas : IQ, grades. standardized test scores, teacher evaluation and parent evaluation. They are then ranked and depending on how many spots are open in the program they pull that many kids from the top of the list. He did not make the cut because the teacher evaluation was too low. Yes, this was the teacher who nomimated him, so I have never understood that. In 3rd grade he started to become very careless about his work and did not make it in because he had too many B's on his report card. In 4th grade I spoke to his teacher about the fact that he was not in the program and not being challenged. Don't worry she said, the program really doesn't matter in the long run; he WILL be one of the kids picked for the algebra class in 8th grade and he WILL be on the honor's track in high school, and that is what counts in the long run. Lo and behold, however, he finally made it into the program in 5th grade and did very well. But, the kids have to recompete once they enter middle school, so again he did not make the cut for 6th grade because his test score was too low. In 7th grade, he did not make it in because the teacher evaluation was too low. Now, lest you think he is not liked by his teachers, all they tell me when I go for conferences is how hard-working, bright and polite he is, how he is an active participant in class, an asset to the class, etc. etc. I just don't get it. It truly feels as if he is just cursed. This year he told me he did not want to try again and I allowed him that, because I simply could not bear seeing that look on his face one more time, that look of sadness, rejection and failure. Anyway, I thought, he will be in the algebra class as I was assured in 4th grade, so he will finally be challenged.
So, the letters went home this week for the kids who were accepted into the algebra class, and guess who didn't get one. They chose 50 kids out of 140, and my son was not one of them. How can this possibly be? For the algebra class, they are scored in 3 areas -- math grades, teacher recommendation, and a score on a test they take. Did the one B he got the first marking period because he was not trying keep him out? Did he bomb the test for some reason? Did his teacher not recommend him? Well, I don't know, because despite leaving two messages for the Principal and one for the guidance counselor I have not heard back from anyone. And I couldn't make an appointment to see the Principal because apparently she makes her own appointments so I have to wait for her to call me. I am so angry! I have a lot of questions. Not only why he was not accepted, but does this mean, as I have heard from other parents, that he will now be excluded from the honor's track in high school? Can I homeschool him in algebra and have him test into the honor's track for high school? I know he is more than capable of handling it, and I have a math degree so homeschooling him in it would not be a problem. Can I pay for him to take an algebra course elsewhere?
I am just so angry that he is not in to begin with, and double angry that no one will get back to me to discuss this. Do they think I will eventually go away? If I do not hear from someone by Monday I am going to the Superintedent on Tuesday. Oh, did I mention this is the same district I work for? Wouldn't you think they would do me the courtesy of calling me back to schedule an appointment? I am just so angry you cannot believe it. If this keeps him off the honor's track I will be even more livid! That simply CANNOT happen! I look back and I think how easy all of this should have been. It should all have been a no-brainer. I brought the school a bright, wonderful boy, and they have just not held up their end of the bargain. I just can't stand unfairness, especially when it affects my kids.
Oh, and because I am so angry I just keep eating things I should not. Somehow I think I'm getting back at them. Like they care if I get fat, right?
Ugh, I'm so angry!!!!!
Member Comments About This Blog Post
Please keep us posted....keep fighting for your child...
2806 days ago
Given my own experience with tracking in high school I would do whatever you can. Keep calling until someone calls you back and explains what's going on. Find out if he can test into the honors program when he gets to high school if he's not tracked into it now. Then yes, home tutor him or hire a tutor in whatever he needs. Tracking is one of the worst things the American schools do to students but its a fact of life that just has to be dealt with. Honestly, what I've always been told is never depend on the school system to teach your kids anything. If there's something they need hire an outside tutor or work with them at home. It worked for me and its worked for a lot of other people I know. It is expensive and frustrating but its worth it!! Good luck and keep us posted.
2807 days ago
Ugh, you have every right to be annoyed. And no, I don't think you are being one of "those" moms. As a teacher, I come across a lot of helicopter parents who try to get their kids on the honors track when they really shouldn't be there, but I don't think that is the case for your son. If he is consistently doing A level work, he should be put to the challenge at the honors level. Also, the principle and the teachers not getting back to you? That is just poor form. True, it is the end of the school year, and they are likely busy, but they should at least acknowledge your concern with a returned phone call.
You are doing what's best for your son and his education. Keep firm on those teachers and professionals--it would be unprofessional of them to keep ignoring you!
2807 days ago
I would be angry if I were in your shoes. I would home school him in Algebra over the summer. I like math and especially Algebra. The school system is a lot different here.
Your son sounds like my youngest son Jaurice. He is extra shy though. He was given a principal award and he was in the preschool program. Next school year will start before they go to Alaska. I wonder if they will go to school here? I need to stop thinking about them leaving.
I am in your corner. I wish I had the power to get your son into the correct program for him. I know persistence will pay off.
2807 days ago
Boy, the end of the school year brings out so many emotions doesn't it? Of course, you should persist until you get an answer from the counselor or the principal (but they're real busy too). I personally wouldn't call the Superintendent (for a while unless the others really don't get back to you.) Your son sounds like a young man that any parent would love to have, and I know you want the best for him. I was on the same side as you when my daughter was tested for gifted and didn't make it. She took it hard but as I can now look back it spurred her on to always do her best to prove she was comparable to her "gifted" friends. Now...I also have to say I was on the teacher side too. I truly believe that teachers do the best they can in their ratings; however, all those other aspects of the ratings can be dumbfounding. There's where you need to get an explanation. Sometimes as the kids get into a bigger pool the competition is heavier. How does your son feel about all this?
Though you might feel he has been very wronged, I think it is safe to say that there will be so many opportunities for him to shine. Try to be objective (I know you're his mom) and I'm sure it will work out. As middle school and high school go on there are so many different kinds of chances to do extra math or double math, I wouldn't worry about how this might affect him in the long run.
Let me know how it goes. Like I said, I've been on both sides. Carol
2807 days ago
I would be mad too. you are your son's advocate. my son is gifted in math. in fact next year in 6th grade he will take 7th grade math. so i went and bought him some math books for the summer to work on.
he's borderline gifted in reading. he needs to score a 95 on the state test. last time he took it he got a 91. so he's upset because he's not with his gifted friends but is high in his reading level. i've had him tested for gifted in reading. he almost got it in first grade. he missed by one point.
if you don't score well on the state test, they don't get classified as gifted even though their grades and Ohio achievement tests say he's advanced.
i feel your anger.
this too shall pass. take deep breaths. here, we will do it together.....
one two three! in thru the nose and out thru the mouth.
give your worries to the Lord. I'm still learning that.
2807 days ago
You have every right to be angry. Definitely talk to the superintendent. Let us know how things go.
co-leader stressed out moms/women gettin' healthy
2807 days ago
My son was also in the gifted program in elementary school and is now in honors/AP classes in high school. I agree that they should be challenged or they get bored and that can lead to them giving up or finding other (less appropriate) ways to amuse themselves.
I think you're absolutely right to question why he hasn't been selected for the program, and the fight for his right to be there. Good luck! Let us know how it goes.
PS. It's good that you recognize that you're using food to deal with your frustration. The first step to change is awareness...
2808 days ago
You definitely should go to the superintendent of schools. I worked in a high school for 30 years and the principal never made his/her own appointments. Good grief, they have enough to do without something as minor as that. That should be one of the duties of his secretary.
You might trying calling the school and see if he's in that day. If whoever answers the phone says yes, I would get in my car and head on over there and not leave until I saw him. Ask the teachers why the evaluation was so low.
Both of my (now adult) children were in the Gifted and Talented Program until there were budget cuts and it got axed. These brighter kids HAVE GOT TO BE CHALLENGED or they give up. My oldest grandson goes to a school that does not have a program and he just doesn't care about school anymore because he is not be challenged. I am so sad because he is quitting this year (he's a junior in high school) and will go to a technical school to get his GED. It breaks my heart.
2808 days ago
Sounds like you have the same problems we had when our oldest was a child. He started reading at a very young age and at two, many thought he was a mini adult.
Because of my husbands job, we moved a lot, but every other transfer were back in our old neighborhood. We wrote to the elementary school in advance of one move back to our old neighborhood, hoping to ensure that he would be placed in a class that would challenge him. Well, they said it was too late to place him in the gifted & talented program, but that he could be placed in a pull out program. Both my husband & I had were not impressed with the program.
So I started searching for a private school for his middle years. In doing that, I requested his school records. Guess what? The school principal had lied about having him tested for the gifted & talented program!! Oh, that principal was eventually fired for inappropriate conduct several years later.
I would suggest asking for a copy of his compete school records to see if there is a reason he was not chosen besides the ones that were told to you. Then ask for an appointment to discuss your son's placement.
PS. We did place our son in a very small private school for 7th & 8th grade & he did very well.
2808 days ago
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