7.05.2008

Help Needed

I don't ask for stuff like this a lot. In fact, I don't think I ever have. But your help is needed, and it won't take but a few moments of your time; no money, I promise.

If you're from Virginia, or even if you're from elsewhere in the world, it would mean a lot to me and a lot of people locally if you could take a few minutes to read this and respond if you are so inclined.

An email from my mother regarding the changes:
Dear [Sam],

Please read the proposed revisions to the state regulations for the gifted. If you are so inclined, post a comment. From my perspective, if passed, they will be incredibly damaging to the progress that has been made on behalf of gifted students. It will be like going back in time.

There is a link below where you can post a comment. You can read the others that have been written. Sadly, the last time there was a public forum regarding the gifted, less than 50 people statewide, responded. The government took that as a "go ahead" to do what they wanted, as there was no outcry to the contrary. The same will be true with this, as well. I'm trying to get a grass-roots movement of folks to respond so the state will have to listen to our concerns.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could pass this on any other students or people you think might be pro-active.


And when I think pro-active, I think of my readers ;) Moving on...

Here are the specifics:
8VAC20-40-70. Funding

Department of Education officials have informed us that the funding portion of the regulations, 8VAC20-40-70, was repealed because the language was redundant and gifted funding is covered in the Appropriations Act. How many of us know where to find the specific language in the Appropriations Act? Why not have this same language repeated in the regulations where parents and educators can more easily find the information? If we don't know it exists, how can we monitor it? We still believe the funding language should be included in the regulations.


8VAC20-40-60. Local plan, local advisory committee, and annual report

The repeal of the language stating "Each school division shall submit to the Department of Education for approval a plan for the education of gifted students" would result in a loss of the peer review process which is likely to result in more discrepancy of gifted program services across the Commonwealth. Educators will lose a valuable learning process. Parents will no longer be able to check with the Department to see if their local school division's plan for education of gifted students officially complies with the state regulations.


Essentially, the changes (if approved) would put the control of the Gifted Program (which helps teach advanced students in the public school system) with the School Board. As a teacher within this program, my mom has worked hard to keep this from happening. The school board is made up of good people, but these people are not educators, and it would remove the peer review process that my mom relies on so heavily.

Please, if you could please take a look and post a comment, it would mean the world to me and my mom. As a graduate of this program, I would hate to see anything negative happen to it. And no, you don't have to live in VA to comment on this...in fact, input from those who aren't directly affected by it would probably mean more.

If our gifted students don't get the challenge, education and attention that they need to excel, we may never see their potential realized.

Thanks again,
Sam

2 comments:

tracy said...

Please leave the decisions with those who know best...the teachers!!
Coming from someone who is married to a teacher...in Virginia...so i do know what the situation of a teacher is like. best of luck!
Take care,
tracy

Silent Owl Scribe said...

Sam,

From what I have read thus far, it would seem that this decision may hurt the current progress that is currently going on. I have not commented as of yet...you knowing me, I can not comment or sign anything without reading and studying it...so I will do that...and I will comment back to you at a later date of what I think...for now, I am so happy that your dad is okay...I did my fair share of praying for your family and you...and I hope that you have gotten back to the east coast in one peace...later and take care.