Advanced Thinking for All Students, Gifted Programs In All Districts!

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Students: Are there some days when you feel bored or unmotivated in school? Do you wish your learning experiences were more meaningful? Would you love having the chance to explore your interests, gain deeper understanding and develop your personal strengths and talents to higher levels? 

Parents/Guardians: Do you wish that your children were more engaged and excited to learn? 

Business Owners: Do you want to be able to hire high school graduates who can think critically and work collaboratively in your workplace? 

Educators/Administrators: Do you want to close the achievement gap? Do you wish to have the tools to be truly innovative with your instruction and ignite deeper learning in your students? 

Opportunity: Legislation is being considered that would transform the way we teach and learn in Minnesota to strengthen instructional practices and move away from methods that were sufficient in the agrarian age and industrial age but are not effective in today’s Information Age. The jobs of today and the future require creative and critical thinking as well as problem solving and complex levels of collaboration. Pedagogy that was once reserved for high ability students now clearly is what all students need to grow to their fullest potential. 

Challenge: We presently face a serious danger that our gifted programming in Minnesota could disappear. The Governor’s School Finance Task Force has recommended that dedicated funding for identifying gifted students and providing appropriate programming to adequately meet the needs of our high potential students be folded into the basic general education formula. With insufficient laws to protect these services many existing programs such as A.P. classes, Young Scholars, robotics, STEM, and other advanced opportunities are very likely to disappear. Currently, only about 25% of districts have these programs, which is truly a shame. Tens of thousands of very bright students go through their entire school experience without being identified or educated appropriately and supported in the way they deserve. This is an economic concern as much as a moral one. It is also an equity issue. Many of our students from diverse backgrounds are under-identified for these specialized programs. 

Legislation: The proposed legislation increases funding from $13 per pupil to $39 per pupil to build strong gifted programs and to provide professional development in advanced thinking skills for all. It is a call for systemic change in the way we educate all students. We need to teach all K-12 students Advanced Thinking Skills including: Critical and Creative Thinking, Inquiry Learning and Problem-Based Learning and How to Work Collaboratively. We are committed to building and sustaining strong gifted programs that are inclusive and diverse all across Minnesota. 

Please consider signing this petition to show your support for the proposed legislation which will deliver Advanced Thinking Skills to every student in Minnesota. Please share it with your friends, family, co-workers and tell us why this issue is important to you in the comments!

Check out our website! http://innovateinstructionignitelearning.com

Follow us on twitter: @IIILMinnesota

Sincerely,

Innovate Instruction, Ignite Learning!

School Board Member: “We all want to provide the best possible learning experiences we can. It is hard to know what that really should look like without clear direction from state leaders and experts. I support this additional level of attention to excellence. It is long overdue.” 

Students: “This legislation ensures a brighter future for us. The requirement of teaching critical and creative thinking skills guarantees an avoidance of boredom and assures a stable job, because our world is constantly changing, and we need these skills to be successful.”

Parents/Guardians:  “Inquiry based learning provides our students opportunities to stretch their knowledge and facilitates experiences to help them grow into deep thinking, problem solving individuals who inspire those around them.  The need for this legislation cannot be ignored.”

Business Owners/Community Leader: “We cannot bring innovative business to our business park because they told us our high school graduates did not have the skills they needed.”

Educators/Administrators: “As an educator, I feel incredibly frustrated to find so few opportunities for students to thrive in  gifted programs within their given district.  In my classroom, I’ve stretched myself in an effort to accommodate every type of learner to the best of my ability, but find a true lack of opportunity curriculum-wide for our most motivated students.  Several families I’ve known have felt they needed to look to private schools to fill the need for a challenging, edifying experience for their child.  We must do better for all learners, in every school.”

“Illuminating and teaching advanced thinking skills, fostering strengths in every student, and providing programming for gifted students to ensure a brighter future for all.” 



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