Friday, April 10, 2015

Ability Tracking and the Gifted Child

        I grew up in a small town with one elementary school, one middle school, and one high school.  The students who were in my classes the day I started at the small private kindergarten that housed 3K, 4K, and 5K were the same ones in my advanced college classes when I graduated.  They are bankers, doctors, and  teachers.  I run into some of them in town even today.  At that time 5K was a half-day program in the public school and my mom had me enrolled in the private 5K in the morning and the public school 5K in the afternoons.  I credit my early high reading level and ability to do well on standardized testing to that private kindergarten which followed the Abeka program (but that will be a different topic).  All through elementary school I was challenged!  I had the best teachers and our class was known as 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, and 5A.  I consistently scored in the 96th-99th percentile on standardized tests.  I'm sure it helped that my parents were educators.  My mom a teacher and my dad a principal.  They made sure I could read before I entered school.  They made sure I behaved at school.  And they made sure I did my homework when I came home. Not doing and not behaving was not an option and the teacher never had to call home about my behavior or grades.  However, leaving the elementary and going into the  middle school brought a lot of changes to my life.