Advocacy

Advocacy for gifted children takes place on many levels, from one-on-one meetings with a teacher, to national organizations that seek changes in federal education policy.

At your school

Most decisions about your child’s education will be made at the school level. So, when it comes to getting what your child needs, the most important decision makers for you to build relationships with are your child’s classroom teacher, assistant principal and principal, as well as the school’s gifted teacher, if you have one.

At the county level

Members of the board of education of your school system control the budget and create system-wide policies that all schools must follow. Professional advocates recommend that rather than showing up to deliver an angry tirade at a board of education meeting, you get to know the board member who represents your area and provide them with information that will help them understand the importance of gifted education. Try to stay positive and helpful, rather than attacking. If you have good news about what gifted children are doing in your local schools, share it during the public comment session at a board meeting.

At the state level

Although the day-to-day operation of schools is governed by the local school board, some overarching education policies are created by the Georgia legislature. For example, the requirement that children be 5 years old to enter kindergarten is a state law. Education legislation is guided by the House Education Committee and the Senate Education and Youth Committee, so issues related to state policy are best addressed to members of those committees, possibly with the advice and help of your local state representative.

The State Board of Education is charged with creating rules to implement the laws enacted by the Georgia legislature. The state board has authority over curriculum, teacher certification and other statewide regulations, such as class size. The board is under the direction of Superintendent Richard Woods. The Georgia Department of Education has established broad guidelines for gifted education (see the State Requirements page on this site), and the state has a Gifted Education office, but since implementation is up to each county’s board of education, approaching the state agency as an advocate is rarely useful.

At the national level

While national elected officials often talk about giving more control to local schools and teachers, some sweeping educational policies — such as No Child Left Behind — have come out of the U.S. Congress. Concerns about such national policy should be shared with your senator or representative. You can also contact members of the House Education & the Workforce Committee or the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions.

Advocacy organizations

Advocates for gifted education have formed associations from the county level to the national level. You can find a list of these organizations on the resources page of this site.

Links on this page were verified January 4, 2015.

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