Home > Advocacy and policy, Parenting > How will Georgia’s new teacher evaluations affect your gifted child?

How will Georgia’s new teacher evaluations affect your gifted child?

The state is changing the way it evaluates teachers’ effectiveness, and the changes hold promise for gifted and high-achieving students.

The Teacher Keys Effectiveness System (TKES) is currently in pilot studies and is expected to be rolled out statewide for the 2014-15 school year. The system places new emphasis on academic growth for all children, and utilizes tools that can help you advocate for your child.

I’ve been researching TKES since fall, and I will present what I’ve learned in three upcoming lectures:

  • Tuesday, March 19 at 6 p.m. at Westlake High School in southwest Atlanta
  • Thursday, March 21 at 6 p.m. at Independence High School in Alpharetta
  • Saturday, March 30 at 9:15 a.m. at Saturday School at Georgia State University

The March 19 and March 21 lectures will be hosted by Fulton County Supporters of the Gifted. These sessions are free and open to the public. FCSG requests that if you plan to attend, you register at their web site.

The March 30 session is open only to parents with students enrolled in the GSU Saturday School program.

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  1. March 15, 2013 at 10:02 am

    I know this is semi-unrelated, but really it’s not. What I’m concerned with is how the sequester is going to affect gifted education in Georgia, since gifted education falls under special education, which looks likely to experience budget cuts as a result of the sequester.

  2. March 15, 2013 at 10:33 am

    In Georgia, gifted services does not fall under special education. In some ways, we’d be better off if it did, because if gifted students were considered special education students, they’d each be entitled to an IEP (Individualized Education Program). That would really be a different world!

    • March 15, 2013 at 10:34 am

      Interesting, Dori. The principal at my daughter’s school told me that gifted fell under special ed. Could it be a county issue? We’re in Douglas county.

      • March 15, 2013 at 10:51 am

        On the organizational chart, your county’s director of gifted services may report to the head of special education, but if you look at the Douglas County School System web site (which I just did), you’ll see that Special Education is a separate item in the navigation, whereas Gifted Program is located under Academic Programs. If they consider gifted students to be special ed, then I am under the impression they would be required to have an IEP under the IDEA federal law. And I’m guessing they don’t do that.

      • March 15, 2013 at 10:55 am

        Dori, thank you so much for checking on this for me. I agree with you; it would be great if gifted students could have the benefit of IEP. My daughter’s teacher recognizes her giftedness (particularly in reading – she reads way beyond 5th grade, but the highest they can test her, according to her teacher, is 5th grade), but she realizes she can’t do all she’d like to do for her in her classroom.

        Related to your original post, I wish I could attend one of the sessions, but will be unable to. Will you be offering additional sessions? If not, can you share if teachers will now be assessed similar to the way IB teachers are assessed?

        Thanks!

      • March 15, 2013 at 11:10 am

        It wouldn’t only be the IEP requirement that would be different. If gifted kids were classified under special ed, we could also qualify for the state’s special needs scholarship program that would pay private school tuition if our local public school wasn’t meeting our children’s special learning needs. Can you imagine?

        I don’t know anything about IB assessment.

        If I get additional bookings for the presentation, I’ll let you know. Thanks for your interest.

  3. Susan Belmonte
    March 15, 2013 at 1:14 pm

    Will there be professionals from the certification offices of Fulton County at these meetings? It is vital that the information provided is coming from those who are actually implementing the TKES. If not, misinformation, rumors, and undue anxiety will prevail.

  4. Shannon R
    June 18, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    http://www.gagc.org/eligibility.asp
    This states gifted students shall be under the Special Ed umbrella….

    • June 19, 2013 at 5:03 pm

      Thanks for pointing that out, Shannon. The page you linked to has a link to the law pertaining to special education (although their link no longer works). OCGA Title 20, Chapter 2, Article 6, Part 3 does state that “intellectually gifted” students “shall . . . be eligible for special education services.”

      I would first point out that this is a terrific law, and here in Georgia we’re actually doing well to have this in place. There are states where gifted students are *not* guaranteed special services. Our kids are lucky that the state requires all school districts to provide gifted services, and that the state sends school districts additional funding to support those added services, based on their gifted student population.

      Nevertheless, gifted students are not really under the special ed umbrella in terms of how services are provided. They are in their own category of special ed under the law cited above. A visit to the State Board of Education’s Division for Special Education (http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Pages/default.aspx) shows that the special education division doesn’t include gifted services, which is instead a sub-department of Curriculum and Instruction.

      Going back to the original poster’s concern, gifted students do not receive special education services under federal law. That’s why gifted kids don’t receive an IEP, which is mandated by the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). I maintain that the original poster’s concerns about the sequester — a cutback in federal programs — would not affect gifted services in our local schools.

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