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Sunday, August 26, 2007

Interesting Op_Ed in the Washington Post

A reader recommended an op-ed that appeared in the Washington Post by Patrick Welsh, Labels Aren't What Kids Need". I checked it out and thought it quite interested if a bit scattered. Basically, it is about the needs of gifted kids being on hold while the teachers focus on their state test. (This is for schools in Alexandria, Virginia.)

I think our system is fairer than theirs and their superintendent's remarks "that the students at the top of the regular classes -- i.e., the white kids who didn't get into TAG -- will help to "challenge, mentor and coach" the students struggling with the SOL material" are very sad and I don't believe reflect senior management here.

But the article's focus on when we stick labels on kids is problematic deserves some thought. I know many parents dislike Special Ed because of the stigma that label creates and why should that be so if it is to help students? Do gifted kids get lazy if they think they are "smart" and yet don't challenge themselves or fall apart at a challenge?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like Fernette and Brock Eide's take on labels -- they say something to the effect that labels are like lenses: the right one can help you see matters much more clearly, but the wrong one is worse than useless.

Helen Schinske