Bartlesville, OK – Gifted/Talented Committee members fail to show up for meeting

I found the following story quite amusing – A Bartlesville Public Schools Gifted and Talented Local Advisory Committee meeting […] didn’t take place because the only person who showed up was Vicki Walker, BPS director of special services. (see Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise “Gifted/Talented Committee members fail to show up for meeting,”)

Interestingly, according to the Bartlesville Public Schools’ web page titled “Gifted and Talented Education,” the number of BPS students qualifying for the gifted and talented program is far above the state average of 12.8 percent, in Bartlesville Public Schools, 17.2 percent of students qualify. On average the district serves approximately 1,300 students annually in the program.” I wonder what their criteria for admission into the program are. It seems they count everyone who’s taking the Advanced Placement classes.

Of course it’s important to know that Oklahoma is one of eight states where gifted programming is not only mandated (identification begins in first grade) but also funded by state (in 2004-2005, the state allocated $42,200,030 for Gifted and Talented programming). (Davidson Institute’s GT-CyberSource, Oklahoma’s Gifted Education Policies page)

What I find curious is that according to the web page titled “Bartlesville Public Schools’ success in Special Education,” the district has only 727 students (less than 10% of their student population) currently enrolled in Special Education Services (much fewer than the students in the gifted programs), while in 2004-2005 the state’s average was 13.79%. (according to the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services information) I wonder what the reason for these discrepancies is.

By the way, I really liked the Oklahoma’s “Special Education Parent Handbook,” especially the “Questions to be Answered during the Multidisciplinary Evaluation Eligibility and Team Summary (MEETS)/IEP Meeting” form on pages 12 and 13 (18 and 19 of the pdf document), “My Personal Directory” form on page 15 (21 of the pdf), and sample IEP form on pages 19 through 25 (25 through 31 of the pdf). I need to bring that to our next IEP meeting.

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