Local News

Audit: Gifted Students May Be Short-Changed

Posted February 14, 2008

An audit released Thursday showed that spending on and the quality of programs for gifted students statewide are largely unmonitored, and some academically gifted students may not receive the intended educational benefits.

According to State Auditor Leslie Merritt, "Our audit reveals that a portion of these funds were diverted away from gifted students and that the state did little monitoring to ensure that intended ... benefits were actually delivered."

The audit began in May 2007 after parents raised concerns that funds intended for the Academically or Intellectually Gifted program were being used for other purposes while AIG students were being left underserved.

Merrit's investigations confirmed those concerns.

"As a father of two kids who were in the NC Public School System, I believe that taxpayers’ money should be used to educate students on every skill-level, and for some AIG students this just isn’t happening as it was intended,” Merritt concluded.


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  • stephba Feb 15, 2008

    ohmygosh - I unfortunately posted a similar statement at 7:02 pm about the bell curve. Pretty much society in general focuses on the bell curve, but especially schools. Those at either end are going to be left with less than appropriate educations. Does that mean it is fair, nope, but they sure arent teaching to the 'lowest common denominator'. And I speak as one who participated in the gifted programs in the 80's as a student. Even in a well run gifted program there are still some more gifted than others who need more challenges. Quite a bit of what I learned was outside of classrooms, gifted or mainstream. My parents challenged me and I strived to learn things on my own. Schools must do the most good for the most children, hence the bell curve. Amazing how people can speak so definatively about things of which they are not informed.

  • bartcow Feb 15, 2008

    "this article is such a crock of bull. poor gifted kids complaining they are not getting enough. well, look at the other end with autism and it's worse. at least the gifted kids will still have a chance in society." - ProzacDispenser

    "It's hard to feel sorry for someone labelled as superior to begin with." - djofraleigh

    Please try to understand the subject before you comment on it. The kids aren't complaining; they probably don't even know. Money is being misused. And I'm sorry if neither of you qualified for your schools' AIG program, but that's no reason to lash out against people you don't know who you assume are labelled "superior". AIG children come with their own problems, just like anybody else. Some will try to "act dumb" to try to fit in, others will develop an ego, while others will withdraw from society as much as possible in order not to draw any more attention. Behavior problems often follow. The program is designed to help them reach their potential.

  • ohmygosh Feb 15, 2008

    Why are so many people afraid to acknowledge the "Bell shaped curve"?

  • stephba Feb 14, 2008

    "Lowest common denominator"??? You have got to be kidding me, right? I hope that NONE of you who refer to a CHILD like that is a parent. Is there not one ounce of restraint among those of you who would label a child? I just dont understand the cruelty of people when it comes to children. My son (adopted recently by us at 16 years old) came to us as one of these 'lowest common demoninators'. I would thank you to not label him and belittle the tragedy that put him in the care of the state. He has been here less than 3 months and he is getting A's and B's! Why? Because WE, not the school challenge him to do more. No child left behind forces teacher to teach to the 'test'. Curriculum is based on the schools getting good grades, not the student. Blame the 'no child left behind' program. If your school isnt challenging your student then do it yourself.

  • S82R Feb 14, 2008

    wiseowl said "we didn't need an audit for this. public schools cater to the lowest common denominator and that's it. period."

    For many reasons, including "Probably because parents of gifted students don't complain as much and don't expect to have everything handed to them.- fyiarp"

    IDEA, ADA, etc have resulted in a watering down of the education system in this country. There are cases where there are teachers earning full salaries who are responsible for one child per day (since IDEA, ADA, etc and resulting parent lawsuits have essentially said that schools must babysit children who have severe disabilities) while another teacher has 100-200 students and earns the same paycheck. Now, who is giving the taxpayer the most bang for our buck?

    I'm telling you people, until the parents of the "Average" and AG students start complaining the situation will never improve. It is a classic case of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, although in schools its the parents with the best lawyers.

  • djofraleigh Feb 14, 2008

    It's hard to feel sorry for someone labelled as superior to begin with.

  • ohmygosh Feb 14, 2008

    Interesting that this displaced the "Advocy group" blurb on how socio-economic integration is good for us.

  • Steve Crisp Feb 14, 2008

    When I was in high school during the late 60s and early 70s, we had something similar to what is now called AIG. Except we called it high school.

    High school back then was assumed to be college prep and designed for those who were actually capable of going on to be a success at a university. The dregs were weeded out and sent to reform school or one of several county schools designed to deal with slow or distrutive (but non-violent) students. We also had a system of trade schools where academics was de-emphasized over learning marketable skills.

    When I graduated high school, I received what today is the equivalent of the first two years at a four year university or an associates degree at a community college.

    Academic high schools need to be for college prep students and we need to get rid of those who do not fit into an academic environment, sending them to other educational units for teaching more appropriate to their ability level.

    Let's leave "schools" for actual students.

  • yg58 Feb 14, 2008

    AG seemed to all but go away in middle school for my child. AG continued in math with class differentiation, but is non-existent for all other subjects. In fact, the principal proudly proclained in orientation that there was no Language Arts AG and that the classes were evenly divided with low, medium and high performers. My high performing 6th grader now has the same vocabulary words as she did in 2nd grade, when her teacher was allowed to differentiate. Teachers definitely teach to the lowest common denominator in the room so that all can be "successful."

  • Carolina MeerKat Feb 14, 2008

    Boingc wrote:
    "I learned more about grammer and sentence structure than most of the posters on this site. I still love postings from homeschooling parents chock full of mistakes. "

    Apparently what you didn't learn is how to spell the word "grammar." So before you go classifying homeschoolers for their mistakes, you might do some proofreading.

    - A homeschool mom who knows how to spell