The state Department of Public Instruction must write more specific rules for how Wisconsin school districts should identify gifted and talented students, a Dane County circuit judge ordered Friday.
The ruling by judge Michael Nowakowski gave a rare court win to advocates for gifted student education. Yet the judge rejected a request that the DPI create rules detailing what programs districts have to provide to gifted students and provide a more vigorous enforcement of its standards.
Todd Palmer, the New Glarus parent and attorney who filed the suit, called the judge’s ruling “a tremendous victory for gifted students in this state.”
It comes at a time when Palmer and others argue that services for gifted children are in danger because of the twin pressures of school budget constraints and efforts to raise proficiency levels among low-performing students.
Currently, DPI’s rules on identifying students in need of gifted and talented services require only that school districts use “multiple criteria that are appropriate for the category of gifted including intelligence, achievement, leadership, creativity, product evaluations, and nominations.”