Dr. Steve Reed: We all know that our most precious resource is our children. We also know that we have an obligation. We need to do everything to educate our children to the furthest extent possible. To develop those young minds and brains and watch them learn, watch them grow, watch them conquer. It’s the most inspirational thing that we can see. Other states are doing everything they can to develop these young minds, to inspire these young minds, to nurture them, and help them grow; and accomplish great things. They in turn stay and help the state reach its potential. They do all that they can do. We have an obligation to do likewise, and we have the opportunity to do likewise. So let’s do it, for our children.
Dr. Julia Roberts: In Kentucky, we have taken a definition of gifted children that is very broad, and of that I’m proud. That means that children may be identified as intellectually gifted, gifted in a specific academic area, in creativity, in the visual and performing arts or in leadership.
Dr. Mary Evans: The most compelling reason to advocate for appropriate educational opportunities for children who are gifted and talented is because all children deserve that, and gifted and talented children particularly deserve that because it’s not happening, all the time, every place, right now.
Dr. Daksha Mehta: All students-elementary, middle, and high school level students- should be academically challenged every single day. A lack of challenge academically can result not only in underachievement but also in psychosocial problems.
Dr. Mary Evans: We want all children to be provided with a rigorous curriculum, bur rigor means different things for different children. It means providing a depth and a complexity of learning for these children, and that is very different from one gifted child to the next.
Mr. Joe Napier: To treat children as a math grade and to only look at average scores and decide that it’s more economically feasible to raise the bottom up and achieve a better average. Of course, that’s fantastic in its own right, but to neglect the accelerated learner the ones that are talented and skilled, to put resources towards those types of children really pays back to society many times over.
Mrs. Kelley F. Crain: I think it’s really important that we do not forget our gifted learners as we march towards proficiency, many of the students are already proficient but need to have expectations that those student achieve at distinguished levels in the areas of their giftedness. In exceptionally gifted students at that early age, I think teachers see a real enthusiasm for learning. In order for that enthusiasm for learning to continue in all of our gifted students as they progress P (preschool) through Twelve (12th grade), we really see there needs to be an individual learning plan in place for that student, and mentor teachers that are advocating for that student to ensure they take advantage of all the opportunities.
Dr. Mary Evans: All children deserve to make continuous progress and unfortunately what sometimes happens with our gifted population is that they don’t even make one year’s progress during a year’s time, but if they come to school and the curriculum is just a grade level one-size-fits-all for all curriculums for all children and it’s not their size then they may not make even a year’s progress when they can do so much more than that. So we’re really cheating them if we don’t find out what they know and what they’re ready to learn.
Mr. Tim Eaton: We just think that those students still need that extra, extra, over-and-above instruction and opportunity more than anything else to develop at higher levels.
Ms. Harrie Bueeker: We must do things to address the needs of all students and that includes the gifted and talented students because it is our moral and professional obligation to take the students wherever they are we get them and propel them as high as we can in order to help them reach their potential.
Sam Crocker: The gifted students of today will go on to lead the Commonwealth and hopefully the country in the next few decades. If you try to sell them short and not give them what they deserve and force them to their potential then you lose that and the potential captains of industry and scientists and lawyers and politicians that that you just… you lose that! And that’s just something that can’t be tolerated.
Mr. Ed Hamilton: It’s important that we’re able to identify gifted and talented students. I look back on my childhood when I was coming up and I remember my teachers saying that I had something and I knew not what that was, but what that was when she was talking to my mother. She saw something in me that she wanted to be able to address and pull out and I think back what if she had not been able to see what I was able to do in art class.
Ms. Susan Cooke: It is so important that we provide those same kinds of learning experiences for our gifted and talented children in the state of Kentucky so that we’re developing those future leaders who not only become good citizens, but are good, thinking citizens who truly can make a difference as we look to the future.
Mr. Dale Brown: There’s a direct economic link between educating our children early on and also educating our students as they continue through this process to make sure that we take them to the highest level in an effort to maintain their services in the state of Kentucky.
Mr. Brady Link: Quite honestly, the gifted and talented have been neglected in Kentucky. And you cannot see it any other way. We’re not blaming anybody, but we just need money.
Dr. Daksha Mehta: A school providing individual in-depth and challenging courses is sought after by professionals in any community because they are looking to challenge their children so that each child has their educational needs met at the highest professional level.
Mr. Dale Brown: All stake holders must pick up the torch carrying forth the academic progress of students and the real emphasis on academics. It’s important for the superintendents’ organization to pick up this arch and deliver to the individual districts and to be the actual banner carrier for the individual school districts. If we do a good job with that then the parents will be informed and then the sky’s the limit.
Dr. Mary Evans: I can’t emphasize enough the need for a strong professional development program and gifted education in a school that is ongoing; it cannot be a onetime workshop over the summer, but each year and throughout the year we must provide a continuous professional development for the teachers who are working with the gifted students on a daily basis.
Ms. Harrie Bueeker: Proficiency, to me, is a parallel to Jim Collins’ book “Good to Great” where he says good is the enemy of great when you’re trying to focus on being a good organization oftentimes you don’t make it to become a great organization. When we simply focus on getting students to proficiency, to me, that’s sort of a metaphor to a competency goal. What we want to really do is to get them beyond proficiency.
Dr. Daksha Mehta: Gifted students are the gems of our community as well as our nation and we should do all that we can for them.