If you haven't read me lately at my other blog, then this will be the first time you find out that I am now homeschooling the Munchkin.
This was a fairly agonizing decision, and my family (especially my sister, the teacher) fought me every step of the way. Even though I've been doing it for almost a month and a half now, my sister refuses to speak to me about it. Anything having to do with school or homeschool is verboten with her.
Boo to that, I say.
But that isn't really what I'm here to talk about.
I'm here to vent.
Because isn't that what blogs are really all about? A place to vent?
Now, anyone who's ever met the Munchkin knows that he is a very smart boy. His former teachers thought so too, and recommended that he be tested for the gifted and talented education program in our district.
Great, exactly what I was hoping for because damn, homeboy was really starting to hate school. He was bored as hell, and due to the class size increase and the fact that due to money issues his school was no longer clustering high achievers meant that he was sitting alongside children with learning disabilities. Which is fine, but it meant that overall the class had to move slowly, and that was making him annoyed with the entire experience.
So he took the screening test for the gifted program, which happens to be a little test called the Naglieri. The Naglieri is best known for being a test that is unbiased towards non-English speakers, as it has no words. However, the problem with this test is that it can fail to catch students such as my son, whose area of giftedness is verbal. You know, because he reads at about an 8th grade level, and takes standardized tests on those types of books and passes, so you know it isn't just me being a proud mama.
So today I get the letter from the district. Now, I had personally asked the woman who runs the gifted program if indeed it was true that the Naglieri could miss identifying someone like my son, and she agreed that yes, it could very well happen.
Well, happen it did. Not only did my son not get into the gifted program, he scored a spectacularly low score, in the 31st percentile. The 31st! Grade-level profieciency is between the 40th and 60th percentile, so according to the test, my son is not even functioning at grade level.
Which to be honest, is ridiculous. His grades are stellar, and if nobody thought there was anything upstairs, he would never have been referred to take the test in the first place.
So now, what to do?
I wanted him to qualify for the gifted program in case he ever chose to go back to a traditional school. He will be tested again next year with a different test, but I'm going to be honest, I am so flabbergasted at his score that I want to do something to FIX it. Like NOW.
So I can try to contact the district and see what my options are. I suppose I could point out the acknowledged problem with the test itself. I suppose I could ask that he re-take the test, but I still don't think he would score high enough to be accepted into the program due to the inherent issues with the test and his area of strength.
I don't know what to do.
I am homeschooling, so it isn't as if he is attending a traditional school and will miss the opportunity, but we were waiting to find out the results of the test to discuss with him if he wanted to attend the gifted program or continue the homeschooling. I can guarantee you that if he does not get placed in the program, he will not go back to a traditional school next year.
I know this is fairly inchoherent at this point, but I just needed a place to register my shock and utter lack of awe at how badly he performed on this test.
I guess I need to decide if I'm going to go all bitchfest on the district or lay low for a year.