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Presentation on theme: "ACCELERATION: MYTHS, REALITIES, AND OPTIONS"— Presentation transcript:

First documented acceleration: St. Louis 1862 341 studies on acceleration So, you’d think it would be routine, ho-hum. But it’s not! Kiri Jorgensen & Barbara Geller October 2013

2 What is Acceleration? In general, acceleration is defined as the recognition of students’ prior achievement. (Southern, Jones, & Stanley, 1993) However, the practice also includes academic progress based on individual abilities without regard to age (Paulus, 1994) and Implies adjustment of the curriculum, as well as administrative procedures, for student placement (Schiever & Maker, 2003). Kiri

3 Types of Acceleration Whole-Grade Skipping Curriculum Adjustments
Early admission to Kindergarten or First Grade Grade Skipping Early College Entrance Curriculum Adjustments Subject Acceleration Telescoping Curriculum Curriculum Compacting Fast Paced Extracurricular Classes

4 Bailey, Rachel, Kaleb, and Ben

5 Christina & Jack

6 Early Entrance to Kindergarten
Should We or Shouldn’t We? 3 testors: absolutely not! Introvert Social repercussions Experienced G/T teacher: Humor Knowledge & behavior Attitude Principal: Problematic behaviors? Barbara Coppell criteria: Clay’s Observation Survey + Math Achievement Subtest (+Giselle development assessment) NAGC poster session: “Identifying the Gifted Using Personality” Carol A. Carman, University of Houston Clear Lake Three personality questions correctly identified 72% of gifted kids: It takes me longer than other people to get jokes (negatively correlated) I stay away from crowds. I find activities to perform in front of others (dance, music, etc.) So, if you’re trying to guess if a very young child is gifted, pay attention to his reaction to jokes.

7 Myths about Grade Skipping
“It hurries children out of childhood” “Acceleration hurts children socially” “Children must be kept with their age group” “It’s not fair to the other students” “They will have gaps in their learning / skills” Barbara Ask the audience. Why? Limited familiarity with the research on acceleration

8 NAGC: 20% of gifted kids drop out of high school
Realities When GT students do not move ahead at an appropriate pace, the results are: Boredom Poor study habits Underachievement Behavior problems Barbara NAGC: 20% drop out of HS NAGC: 20% of gifted kids drop out of high school

9 Realities of Acceleration
Students who are moved ahead tend to: Be more ambitious Earn graduate degrees at higher rates Say acceleration was an excellent experience for them Feel academically challenged Feel socially accepted Barbara

10 When is Grade Skipping Appropriate?
Kiri Using the Iowa Acceleration Scale

11 Iowa Acceleration Scale
It is a tool for use by a team of school professionals. It provides educators and parents with a systematic and defensible way to generate recommendations and guidelines to use for placement of highly gifted students. The IAS is not a test. Kiri $179 for IAS Manual and ten IAS Forms and Summary and Planning Records

12 Why IAS Recommends a Team Approach
Discuss strengths and potential difficulties of the K- 8 student. Designed to bring objective data to the discussion. Minimize any potential bias for or against whole- grade acceleration. Ensure that all who have relevant knowledge about the child will have input. Kiri

13 What Info Does IAS Require?
General info about student, family, team Ability (IQ, intelligence) test such as WICS-IV Preferably administered individually by a psychologist Aptitude (above-level) test Examples: ITBS, EXPLORE, SAT, ACT Achievement (at-level) assessment Examples: ITBS, CAT, Woodcock-Johnson Test of Achievement School & Academic Factors: attendance, motivation, attitude toward learning, and academic self confidence. Development: age, physical size, motor skills Interpersonal skills: emotional development, behavior, and relationships with peers and teachers. Attitudes: student’s attitude regarding the grade skip, level of parent support, and level of school system support Kiri

14 Interpreting the IAS Grand Total
60-80 points total Excellent candidate for whole grade acceleration. Acceleration is recommended. 46-59 points Good candidate. Whole grade acceleration is recommended. 35-45 points Marginal candidate. No clear recommendation. Consider curricular alternatives. 34 or fewer points Whole grade acceleration is not recommended. Kiri

15 Reasons to NOT Grade Skip
The student’s ability (measured by IQ) is less than one standard deviation above the mean The student would be accelerated into the same grade as (or a higher grade than) a sibling The student presently has a sibling in the same grade The student does not want to be whole-grade accelerated Barb …or dealing with other issues (e.g., a disability, a divorce, a move) that would result in delaying a grade-skip. We got around #2 by moving the younger child to a different school. Reasons to perhaps delay a grade skip: Divorce, move, disease or other temporary family disruption Disabilities English proficiency

16 When To Grade Skip Kindergarten Elementary Middle School High School
Mid-year or beginning of year? Barb K – easiest; the challenge of making new friends would only be encountered once 3-6: greatest research-supported academic & social effects Jim Delisle: middle school – it’s a social/emotional problem for all students; minimize it. High school: subject acceleration; early college programs easier than accelerating within a school, due to state butts-in-seats-for-4-years requirements. Texas history year (4th & 8th); know what parts of the curriculum can be skipped.

17 The Child Study Team Model: What We Did
Started meeting early in K year to plan for current needs Included parents, teachers - current and future, administrator, counselor, psychologist, GT Coordinator, mentor Progressed through the IAS systematically throughout the year, breaking the actual form into two meetings Kiri

18 The Iowa Acceleration Scale
The Iowa Acceleration Scale provided our school with an objective and defendable measure of the multiple aspects of whole grade acceleration consideration. We covered academic appropriateness, emotional readiness, social readiness, behavior and attitudes, the school itself, the family, and the thoughts of the student being considered. Many people were involved with the acceleration decision, and supported it. We are confident in our decision, and empowered by the plan we created. Kiri

19 Keys to Successful Acceleration
Once the decision is made to whole grade accelerate, then the team’s work starts. What happens next? Who will make sure it happens? Who will monitor and provide support? What is expected of the student? When will the team meet again to evaluate progress and address concerns? What will show the acceleration as a success or failure? What will happen next year? The year after that? Create an Acceleration Plan Ensure receiving teacher has positive attitude Trial period Kiri

20 Keys to Successful Acceleration
Our plan for Ben Accelerate to 2nd grade. Continue with his teaching mentor. Provide opportunities for quick advancement, or high grouping in subject areas of strength. Check in support from counselor, especially at the beginning of the year. Establish clear expectations with fine motor skills, specifically handwriting. Teach keyboarding. Make PE teacher aware of physical differences. Meet regularly as a team to discuss progress. Make necessary changes to curriculum as needed, including future acceleration. Kiri I’ll add to this what we have done over the years since his acceleration. We meet as a team at least once a year and discuss his progress and challenges.

21 No Policy? Presents recommendations in five key areas for components of an acceleration policy. Supports schools in creating a comprehensive and research-based acceleration policy that is compatible with local policies. Provides an easy-to-use Checklist for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy to guide policy development. Co-authored by Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration, the National Association for Gifted Children, & the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted either Free PDF from

22 Early College Programs
HS diploma not required Full fledged university student Preferably a program, not an ad-hoc solution “Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Early College Entrance from Davidson Young Scholars” _Guidebooks_375.aspx Not the same thing as an “early college high school” or a “boarding school” Barbara

23 Residential Early Entrance Programs
Bard College at Simon's Rock (MA) Clarkson School (NY) Georgia Academy of Mathematics, Engineering, and Science (GAMES) (GA) Mary Baldwin College Program for the Exceptionally Gifted (PEG) (VA; for females only) Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics, and Computing (MO) Shimer College, the Great Books College of Chicago (IL) State University of West Georgia Advanced Academy (GA) Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science (TAMS) (Texas residents only) University of Iowa National Academy of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (IA) University of Southern California Resident Honors Program (RHP) (CA) University of Washington Early Entrance Program (WA) Davidson Academy for the Profoundly Gifted (NV) – free for profoundly gifted local residents Barbara has a comparison chart of the programs

24 Who? What? Possible drawback: High achievers
Interested in math & science Ready for pre-calculus What? Take university courses Live in a dorm with (just) other TAMS students TAMS specific extracurriculars Possible drawback: If student doesn’t finish college and has no HS diploma Barbara Jack’s best friends are Tamsters Research on TAMS: Serving Gifted Learners Beyond the Traditional Classroom

25 Grade Skipping Isn’t a Total Solution

26 Alternative Forms of Acceleration
Subject Acceleration Telescoping Curriculum / Curriculum Compacting Fast Paced Extracurricular Classes

27 Subject Acceleration Decison
Option A: Administer an end-of-year, comprehensive subject exam Option B: Use state proficiency exam scores Option C: Belin-Blank “IDEAL Solutions® for STEM Acceleration” report: Gather recent scores for at least one of the following tests: ACT     EXPLORE   Iowa Algebra Aptitude Test $49 for one student; discounts for multiple students Can be done by parent or teacher Most common for math, science & foreign language

28 Logistics of Subject Acceleration
Walk to another class Zero hour class Independent study / mentor Online courses Or a flexible teacher! What happens when the class is in another building? You need a long-term plan.

29 Telescoping or Compacting Curriculum
Telescoping = Complete the curriculum in a shorter time period than normal Example: Finish 3 years of science in 2 years Gifted kids can learn in 1-3 repetitions Typically done in middle or high school Typically done for a group or class together Compacting = Eliminate repetitive material or material already mastered Pre-testing Based upon individual’s gaps & strengths Time saved is commonly used for enrichment Kiri Telescoping lets the kids progress at their own pace. Compacting gives them credit for what they already know. Combined, these two acceleration techniques are very effective.

30 Extracurricular Acceleration
Summer camps Math camps explore non-curricular subjects, like number theory, game theory Regional talent search summer programs (Center for Bright Kids) Online courses Mentorships Advice & resources: For the profoundly gifted: Davidson Young Scholars For minorities: The Next Generation Venture Fund For 7th Graders: Jack Kent Cook Scholarship No credit earning acceleration summer camps in Montana, but lots elsewhere Carroll college program. Kiri: talk about the Jack Kent Cook Scholarship

31 Effect Size of Acceleration
Option Academic ES Socialization ES Psychological ES Early Entrance to School .36 .12 .14 Grade Skipping .78 .46 Early College .44 -.06 .11 Residential HS (TAMS) 1.04 Subject Acceleration 1.02 (.49)* -.16 Curriculum Compaction 1.48 (.45)* Grade Telescoping .56 .22 Mentorships .42 .50 (.01)* .48 Adv Placement .29 .24** .07** Concurrent Enroll. .16 .05 .74 (.36)* Define “effect size” Results of Karen Rogers’ meta-analysis of 314 studies, 81 of which had enough data for calculating effect sizes Socialization and Psychological ES either positive or not statistically significant, except for Grade Skipping & Mentorships Other research on TAMS and Northwestern Univ: initial blow to self esteem, but later recouped (change from big fish in small pond to small fish in big pond) Bold = statistically significant. (ES> +.30) *1 study may have overly influenced outcomes. 2nd # has study removed. ** Based on 1 study Karen B. Rogers: 10 “Things” That Work; A best-evidence synthesis of research on acceleration options

32 How is acceleration working for our kids?
Why didn’t we grade skip Christina? Disabilities; humanities interests; wants to take all the courses; Instead, she took GT classes, DMNews internship. Took 5 courses instead of 4 most semesters in college. Jack spent 5 years in college, to get his Chinese major and to reapply to PhD programs. College admission might be a problem: too young and inexperienced to interview well; too many credits; underage drinking

33 60 Profoundly Gifted - Outcomes
Australian researcher Miraca Gross followed a group of 60 students with very high IQs for two decades. She found that those who were allowed to skip ahead at least three grade levels tended to do well academically and socially; most got PhDs, settled into professional careers, formed relationships, and developed good friends. The 33 who were not allowed to accelerate in school had less charmed lives. Most ended up at less rigorous colleges and several never graduated high school or college. They also had more trouble forming social relationships. Having spent so many years feeling alienated, they had no practice connecting with people, Gross speculated. “IQ like Einstein” by Susan Freinkel

34 Resources & Further Reading
A Nation Deceived – free download Re-Forming Gifted Education by Karen B. Rogers $11.50 Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy – free download Iowa Acceleration Scale $179 for 10 students Belin-Blank “IDEAL Solutions® for STEM Acceleration” <=$49/student “Considering the Options: A Guidebook for Investigating Early College Entrance from Davidson Young Scholars” – free download In Coppell, we gave A Nation Deceived to each school board member. (Free on special request)

35 For Further Reading free Karen B. Rogers

36 Questions? Kiri Jorgensen
Barbara Geller


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