Gifted Education Case Study

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Often children struggle to understand the difference between ‘wants’ and ‘needs.’ This struggle found its way into gifted education with the case of C.C. v. North Allegheny School District (2011). In this case, C.C. was identified as gifted in elementary school and his academic strengths were noted as problem solving, higher order thinking and analytical thinking skills. At issue in this case was the district’s refusal to permit C.C. to take two Advanced Placement courses, AP Psychology and AP Economics, that are typically not available to students in C.C.’s grade level. Given that these courses do not align with the strengths previously addressed in GIEPs, the district instead offered the student introductory courses in psychology and…show more content…
It is not uncommon for high school GIEP teams to consider goals for students who have all honors and AP courses scheduled and little time or energy to take on additional goals. The Pennsylvania Department of Education Gifted Guidelines indicate that “honors courses or advanced placement courses provide options to meet the needs of some gifted learners” (Gifted Education Guidelines, 2015). Attorney Tom Warner (2015) addressed this scenario and stated “If the District has already existing courses that provide sufficient challenges when it comes to all of a child’s gifted needs (in other words, the courses themselves meet the child’s gifted needs), an argument can be made that the child is a candidate to have his or her gifted eligibility terminated.” In this region, Cumberland Valley School District takes this approach. If that’s truly the case, there are really only two options: (1) reevaluate and move to exit; or (2) decide not to fight that battle, and explore areas of giftedness through a supplemental independent study, for example. The goal will measure progress in the independent study, not progress as it pertains to how a student is performing in an AP course. Mr. Warner (2015) concluded by saying “From a technical standpoint, it sounds like option (1) is actually correct, but I do understand that taking the fight to all of your gifted…show more content…
The bulk of legal cases are in the realm of special education, but only time will tell if gifted education will challenge our highest courts. For now, district administrators and teachers must continue with due diligence to meet the needs of gifted learners, but they must always stay abreast of rulings from the Office of Dispute Resolution. By following the due process hearings, districts can identify commonalities with their own district practice and adjust as needed. Gifted education enrollment numbers are dwarfed by the special education numbers, but the parents of gifted students are no less vocal and often have more resources available to them. Regardless of what the law has said or will say, it is the school’s responsibility to grow all learners, but realize that is our gifted learners who have the innate ability to truly make a difference in our
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