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Gifted/Talented Programs

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    History


     

    1951
    Los Angeles Unified School District was one of two districts in California to develop an extensive educational program for the gifted in 1951. However, there was no legislation to provide school districts with funds to develop programs for gifted students.
     
    1957
    The California Department of Education conducted a "State Study of Educational Programs" sponsored by the State Legislature in 1957-1960. The study proved conclusively that "special provisions made in these programs are beneficial for the gifted... participating pupils made striking gains in achievement with accompanying personal and social benefits."
     
    1961
    AB362 provided minimal funding for excess cost reimbursement for Mentally Gifted Minors (MGM). There were insufficient funds to cover all school districts in California. A new district could only apply if a district dropped out of the program. The Intellectual Category was the only category for identification in California.
     
    1980
    The California Legislature provided legislation (AB1040) to adopt the federal definition of gifted. The program was renamed Gifted and Talented Education (GATE). The Marland Federal Report on gifted education adopted the following: "Students who are identified as gifted/talented exhibit 'excellence' or the capacity for excellence far beyond that of their chronological peers. They require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their ability to contribute to self and society." This definition expanded the identification categories of gifted to include intellectual ability, high achievement ability, specific academic ability, leadership ability, creative ability, and visual and performing arts abilities. The Legislature deemed that each school district determine categories for identification. It also provided for 200 minutes a week of differentiated curriculum.
     
    1986
    It was the intent of the Legislature in passing AB555 in 1986 to ensure that programs for gifted and talented students were continued and improved. AB555 provided funding for all school districts upon application and approval from the California Department of Education.
     

    2001
    AB2313 supported unique opportunities for high-achieving and underachieving students who are identified as gifted/talented. Its intent is that special efforts be made to ensure that students from economically disadvantaged and varying cultural backgrounds be provided with full participation in unique learning opportunities.
     
    The 200-minute per week minimum requirement for differentiated instruction was eliminated and replaced with a more rigorous standard that requires instructional programs be planned and organized as integrated, differentiated learning experiences throughout the regular school day, and may be augmented and supplemented with other differentiated activities related to the core curriculum.
     
    AB2313 devised new standards for program design, identification, curriculum and instruction, social and emotional development, professional development, parent and community involvement, and program assessment.
     
    Program features included:
     
    -Accelerated or advanced content
    -More complex understandings of generalizations, principles, theories, and the structure of the content area
    -Abstract concepts and thought processes or skills
    -Level and type of resources used to obtain information, acquire skills, and develop products
    -Appropriation of longer/shorter time span for learning
    -Generating new information and/or products
    -Transfer of learning to new/different disciplines and situations
    -Development of personal growth and sophistication in attitudes, appreciations, feelings, and intuition
    -Independence of thought and study
     

     
    2013
    As of today, GATE program funding is now included in the Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF), authorized by the 2013-14 Budget Act, in place of most previously existing K-12 state funding streams. Funding for this program is to be determined at the local level and the California Department of Education GATE funds previously allocated to the schools have been eliminated.
     
    Budgets for gifted programs support and provide for all the components of the District's GATE program and meet the related standards. Categorical education programs, including funding for Gifted/Talented Education are in constant need of public support. Existing federal and state accountability systems redirect funds away from GATE to other purposes. The result has been a severe reduction in services to GATE students.