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Are Kids Missing Out By Not Skipping A Grade?

KQED News Mind/Shift – Linda Flanagan

“Saxon Scott was 5 years old when her parents decided she could do without kindergarten. She’d sailed through a series of tests that measured her acumen, and moved directly to first grade once preschool ended. Now she’s 15 and a high school junior, and Scott thinks nothing of her relative youth. She continues to shine in the classroom, is friendly with students in her grade, and only briefly laments the fact that she won’t be driving until the end of her freshman year in college. “As someone who skipped kindergarten, I can say it wasn’t a big deal,” Scott said. Skipping grades used to be a common strategy to keep gifted or very bright children engaged in learning; it was a simple intervention that worked well when schools were smaller, more flexible and lacking enrichment programs. But today, according to a recent report by researchers at Johns Hopkins University, just 1 percent of students jumps a grade level.”(more)

Report: States not making the grade on report cards

E-School News – Staff Writer

“States are failing to effectively communicate essential information to families, educators, and communities about how their schools are doing, a new report finds. The report, Show Me the Data: State Report Cards Must Answer Questions and Inform Action, released today by the Data Quality Campaign (DQC), finds that states are not meeting basic expectations for producing report cards that are easy to access and understand for all community members.”(more)

Getting Restless At The Head Of The Class

NPR – Anya Kamenetz

“They read a book quietly under their desks, pester the teacher for extra credit, or, perhaps, they simply check out and act up. Every classroom has a few overachievers who perform above their grade level and don’t feel challenged by the status quo. A new report suggests they are surprisingly common — in some cases, nearly half of all students in a given grade. “The start of this was a little embarrassing,” says Matthew Makel, who researches academically gifted children for Duke University’s Talent Identification Program.”(more)

9 Out Of 10 Parents Think Their Kids Are On Grade Level. They’re Probably Wrong

NPR Ed – Anya Kamenetz

“In a recent survey of public school parents, 90 percent stated that their children were performing on or above grade level in both math and reading. Parents held fast to this sunny belief no matter their own income, education level, race or ethnicity. The nationally administered test known as the Nation’s Report Card, or NAEP, suggests a very different reality. About half of white students are on grade level in math and reading by fourth grade; the percentages are lower for African-Americans and Hispanics. Bibb Hubbard founded the new organization, Learning Heroes, that commissioned the nationwide survey of 1,300 parents of kids in grades K-8. She calls this result “shocking.” “There is this cognitive dissonance happening,” Hubbard says. “We’ve got to find good, productive ways to educate and inform parents.””(more)