In the recent required review of Chapter 16, the State Board of Education made recommendations to the Department of Education that support improvements for gifted education across the state. These recommendations were passed on September 11 with instructions that the Department of Education will report back on its progress on the recommendations in one year to the Board of Education.
The Board of Education sub-committee on gifted education held 3 Round Table discussions across the state. A total of 45 participants including PAGE board members. IU representatives, parents of gifted and district professionals testified expressing concerns with the current status of educational services for Pennsylvania’s gifted students.
The Board of Education sub-committee also received a presentation from the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee on the findings from their study of gifted education, House Resolution 139 of 2013.
Although the Committee recommended that Chapter 16 not be opened for a full review, they did make recommendations that reflected the concerns of the testimony and reports presented.
Key among the 15 recommendations were:
1. The PA Dept. of Education should establish a voluntary Program Endorsement Certificate for Gifted Education consistent with the parameters established for endorsement certificates in Chapter 49 section 49.62b (12 credits).
2. The PA Dept. of Education should incorporate instruction in the needs of gifted learners as part of the programs offered to meet the continuing professional education requirements of school and system leaders per Act 45 of 2007.
3. The Department of Education should allocate resources to enable the Bureau of Special Education to increase the frequency with which it conducts focused monitoring of districts when complaints are filed with the Department related to a district’s provision of gifted education
services and compliance with requirements of Chapter 16. (Currently only 10 are done per year)
4. The Department of Education should post the Executive Summary and Corrective Action Plans resulting from its cyclical monitorings of school districts’ gifted education programs on its website for public review.
Other recommendations included continued training in gifted education through the IU network; add resources to the SAS system for gifted; to clarify district responsibilities for evaluating gifted referrals; and to align the wording in Chapter 16 with recent changes in Chapter 4.
The full report is attached. There is one recommendation that will require legislative action and further support from the public and PAGE.
The State Board of Education should consider issues raised by stakeholders related to qualifications of educators providing gifted instruction – pertaining to certification, pre-service education requirements, requirements for earning a Level II Instructional certificate, and ongoing professional education requirements – as part of its next comprehensive policy review of Chapter 49 (Certification of Professional Personnel).
This recommendation will support that all educators demonstrate abilities in fulfilling the needs of gifted students and indicates the next initiative for legislative action. PAGE will continue to work with state legislators to support the Department of Education in this endeavor. If you would like to help with this action, please join PAGE and contact by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
PAGE’s rationale on supporting the reopening of Chapter 16 can be found here
View or print the pdf version of this post: PAGE State Board Recommendations