Why Gifted Programs Need Community Support:

The educational needs of the nation’s gifted students continues to be a controversial topic. The general public holds many different attitudes and beliefs relating to gifted and talented students. Unfortunately, there are also a number of misconceptions about gifted students. For example: they need no special programming, that they will succeed anyway, that their families are always supportive; they are not aware of their abilites unless they are tested, and that they enjoy being examples for other students.

Many community members perceive gifted programs as elitist. However, it is neither fair nor reasonable to provide equal educational programming and hold equal expectations for all students, regardless of their abilities. By providing enrichment and acceleration experiences for gifted students, we are providing them with what they need, not superfluous or unnecessary education. Helping the community see and value the educational needs of gifted and talented students will help generate support for their special needs.

Strong public support will encourage teachers to enter the field of gifted education and to sustain, perhaps increase, the number of teachers pursuing degrees and certification in gifted education. It is essential that student/teacher ratios be kept low in the gifted classroom to ensure that the needs of these exceptional students can be adequately addressed.