New York children need gifted and 2e programs in every district!
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Giftedness is defined when a child’s ability is significantly above the norm for their age. Their giftedness may appear through intellectual ability, artistry, creativity, leadership, athleticism, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics or science. Gifted children exist in every demographic group, personality type, and across disabilities. (National Association of Gifted Children)
New York State is one of only eight states in the country that fail to mandate and fund gifted education services. (Davidson Institute). This has caused an inequity of sufficient, appropriate educational opportunities for gifted students across the state, as some wealthier urban and suburban districts may offer appropriate education to gifted students, many rural and urban districts may not. Often, children who are gifted are misdiagnosed with a mental health diagnosis due to their naturally occurring asynchronous, or uneven, development. (SENG) Misdiagnosis and misunderstanding of this asynchronous development can lead to unnecessary medications and inappropriate behavioral interventions for these children, which can lead to long term harm.
While the nationwide average for identified gifted students is almost 7%, only 1.7% of all New York students are identified. Within minority populations, only 0.9% Black, 0.6% Hispanic, and 1.1% Native American are identified as gifted. The number of gifted students with disabilities, also known as twice-exceptional (2e), is not even tracked. Even when students are identified, there’s no guarantee that services are provided in their district. (National Center for Education Statistics)
The NY State Legislature CAN remedy this inequity by requiring all school districts to:
- Establish a district-wide, gifted and talented program that would include, but not be limited to, the development of gifted individualized education plans, certified learning specialists, differentiated instruction, social-emotional support, academic guidance and counseling, and content-based acceleration.
- Provide an ongoing process to identify gifted students starting in kindergarten and continuing to grade 12. This process will feature developmentally appropriate and multifaceted criteria that are also inclusive of gifted students with disabilities, also known as “twice exceptional” students (2e).
- Receive NYSED guidance and assistance on development of local curricula for gifted students that is educationally challenging in all core subject areas.
- Support our schools by offering professional development and program evaluation, differentiated instruction, contact time, social-emotional support, academic guidance and counseling, and content-based acceleration and encourage active involvement by educational community to facilitate the development of an inclusive, gifted and talented program.
By identifying and providing gifted and talented students with an appropriate education, New York State makes itself more attractive for new technology industries looking for a highly educated workforce. Gifted students, including including 2e students, bring their innate abilities and potential to become the leaders, innovators, and problem solvers that New York State needs for a secure future.
The time to act is now! NY State Senator Joseph Addabbo, Jr. and Assembly Member Fred Thiele, Jr. have been leading the efforts to create legislation to provide equitable access to gifted programming. We are grateful for the additional support from Assembly Members Jeffrion Aubry, Ellen Jaffee, William Magnarelli, David McDonough, and Aravella Simotas who also sponsor legislation to support all gifted children. Please sign this petition to show the NY State Senate and Assembly Education Committees that New York children need gifted programs in every district!
Please show your support by 3pm, September 30th, 2019 to ensure your signature is included when we deliver this petition to our Senate and Assembly sponsors.
WHAT ELSE CAN I DO?
- Share this petition!
- Call or write to your NY State Senator and NY State Assembly Member to let them know that you want their support for gifted identification and educational programming in all NY State schools. Need help finding your NY State representatives? https://www.nysenate.gov/find-my-senator OR https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/
- Get involved! Join the Gifted Education Alliance of New York State (GEANYS) on Facebook or email us at email@example.com. We are seeking parents, professionals, and educators to help actively drive this important education issue forward.
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