At the beginning of March this year, Dr. PJ Sedillo (NMAG President-Elect) and I attended the annual State Affiliates Conference in Washington, DC. Attendees (teachers, administrators and gifted specialists) from across the country met to talk about issues related to children identified as gifted, both in our respective states, as well as nationally. Our report focuses on the new ESSA.
One topic, in particular, was of great interest to those of us in gifted education, that of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In December 2015, President Obama signed this federal legislation into law. As you likely already know, this is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and will replace No Child Left Behind, beginning in the 2016-17 school year. There are some great provisions in the law that relate to gifted students, which have not been there previously. Continue reading
Many of my friends are teachers. In New Mexico, we’ve all received our annual performance reviews, based on observations of the Danielson teaching characteristics, classroom surveys, and in some cases, value added modeling of test results or “VAM” scores. Some were given their evaluations just days ago, in the final hours of the school year.
Talk of those evaluations has dominated end-of-year parties, walks, and phone conversations, because most of my friends are either disheartened by the results and/or disillusioned about the validity of the whole system.