>What makes you think that any of this you want to see >happen would actually happen for all gifted and >profoundly gifted without it being legally mandated?
Wayne, of course, can speak for himself. I believe appropriate education for TAG children cannot happen at the hands of the Education Mafia, with or without a legal mandate.
- -------------------------------- Before we continue, let us be clear that we are talking about "real" TAG education and we know what it looks like. To see real TAG education, you can look to Johns Hopkins' CTY and to Stanford U's EPGY. There are some other examples around the country, like NYC's Stuyvesant High School.
The common denominator in all these cases is an "optimally matched" (this is a term of art) challenging academic curriculum with measures of achievement and the possibility of failure. - -----------------------------------
Now, let me remind you about the legal mandate for special education ("sped"). The Education Mafia wanted the sped laws. The Education Mafia want to do what is required for sped, and the laws themselves are merely the device for extorting money out of the public fisc to finance sped. So, the Education Mafia are happy with all of this.
The Education Mafia do not want real TAG education. (Remember, we are talking about "real" TAG education.) TAG law would not work like sped law. As several people have pointed out, TAG education would not require extra money (it would probably save money), so the only purpose of TAG law would be to mandate the behavior of the Education Mafia.
This would immediately put the courts in a bind. It is one thing for a court to order the state to cough up more money. It is quite another thing for a court to tell a principal how to run his school. On the whole, courts are reluctant to tell people how to do their jobs. A court does not tell a doctor how to practice medicine; a court will not tell a government bureaucrat how to run his department. That is why the state can prosecute a bureaucrat for taking a bribe, a distinctly criminal act in and of itself, but you cannot sue a bureaucrat for making a stupid decision. (You would have to write stupidity into the law. Good luck with that.)
Furthermore, what would a claim in court look like, under a TAG mandate? "Judge, my son's math teacher would not know a trig function if it bit him on the nose." To which the school would respond, "Judge, the teacher is fully credentialed." You lose.
Believe me when I tell you, I could go on, and on, with the problems that would attend a TAG mandate in law. It's never going to happen. And if it did happen, it wouldn't make any difference.
The only way real TAG education can happen is for schools to be created that are protected from the Education Mafia, by one mechanism or another. In times past, I have discussed the "Protected Schools" of NYC (of which Stuyvesant High School is one).
In other words, there could be a TAG mandate in law, but it would not be anything like the SPED mandate in law. We would not be mandating the Education Mafia do the right thing by TAG children. Rather, the mandate would be on the state (or the federal government) to create a system of schools independent of the existing school system and insulated from the Education Mafia. And that, dear friends, is what I have been calling for all along. (Don't hold your breath.)