greatmadisonschools.org, via a kind reader’s email:
Fifty Madison School District parents filed a formal complaint on September 20, 2010, with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (“DPI”) against the Madison School District for violating State statutes for gifted education. The complaint targets Madison West High School‘s refusal to provide appropriate programs for students identified as academically gifted.
State statutes mandate that “each school board shall provide access to an appropriate program for pupils identified as gifted and talented.” The DPI stipulates that this programming must be systematic and continuous, from kindergarten through grade 12. Madison schools have been out of compliance with these standards since 1990, the last time the DPI formally audited the District’s gifted educational services.
“Despair over the lack of TAG services has driven Madison families out of the district,” said Lorie Raihala, a parent in the group. “Hundreds have left through open enrollment, and many have cited the desire for better opportunities for gifted students as the reason for moving their children.”
Recognizing this concern, Superintendent Dan Nerad has stated that “while some Madison schools serve gifted students effectively, there needs to be more consistency across the district.”
“At the secondary level, the inconsistencies are glaring,” said Raihala. “There are broad disparities among Madison’s public high schools with regard to the number of honors, advanced/accelerated, and AP courses each one offers. Also, each school imposes different requirements and restrictions on students seeking advanced courses. Surprisingly, Madison’s much touted West High School offers the fewest advanced course options for ninth and tenth graders. While the other schools offer various levels of English, science, and social science, Madison West requires all students to follow a standardized program of academic courses, regardless of their ability. This means that students with SAT/ACT scores already exceeding those of most West seniors (obtained via participation in the Northwestern University Midwest Area Talent Search program) must sit through the same courses as students working at basic and emerging proficiency levels.”
- Outbound Open Enrollment
- English 10
- Small Learning Communities
- “They’re all rich, white kids and they’ll do just fine” — NOT!
- Google News Search
- Are Honors Classes Racist?
- Bruce King’s evaluation of the Small Learning Community Project at Madison West High School
- Examining the data from Small Learning Community Grants, more here and here.
- Madison School Board member Marj Passman, briefly discusses curriculum, perception and school climate on WTDY radio yesterday (mp3 audio): “We must keep our talented and gifted in the District”. The interviewer mentions “the tripling in transfers out of the district, even as the District posts higher college placement scores than other districts in the area”. Marj responds: “and that’s why I don’t understand the perception people have that their children are not being challenged in the Madison schools”. I will post the rest of the interview if someone finds it.
Gayle Worland:Parents file complaint over ‘talented and gifted’ school programming.