October 2, 2008
Just a quick update. I attended a TAG information meeting tonight where the TAG coordinators announced that all 2nd graders in Title 1 schools will be screened this year for TAG through “culturally fair, non-verbal” assessments. Kids who appear to be potential TAG candidates will then go through a more formal assessment process. Next year, all 2nd graders District-wide will be screened. I hadn’t heard this before and I know nothing about the nature of the screening tool they will be using, but it seems to me that this is a positive development that deserves some good press.
This new initiative is in addition to the existing process by which parents and teachers can nominate students for testing.
It’s a small step, no doubt a response to the state finding that PPS was not in compliance with state TAG standards, and certainly won’t redress the longstanding disparity in TAG identification, but I’m very pleased to see PPS taking to heart some of the critiques of the program.
Rita Moore has a Ph.D. in Political Science and taught at universities in the US and Europe for 18 years. She now works as an advocate for children in the child welfare system and volunteers as a mediator and facilitator. She has one child in PPS and recently ran for the zone four position on the Portland Public Schools Board of Education.