ERIC Number: ED315211
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Mar
Take Two: Lessons in Program Revision.
This case study describes a rural school district's problems with its program for academically gifted and talented students and illustrates the process and outcome of a program evaluation. The program came into being in a hasty and expedient manner that satisfied the superintendent's desire for the notoriety accompanying school improvement while avoiding resource allocation for curriculum reform. The original admission standard was a standardized test score of 85th percentile or above for total basic skills. In the first months of practice, however, the principals supervising program implementation chose to admit students on the basis of subtest, rather than composite scores. Then, the superintendent bowed to pressure from the board and agreed to admit any student whose parents requested it. As the teachers found that their "gifted students" could not handle the challenges of accelerated materials, they responded by presenting regular college preparatory materials but with more assignments. This response frustrated the brightest students and angered their parents. During program evaluation, teacher workshops, surveys, and interviews revealed that five program aspects were troublesome: (1) organization and coordination; (2) course requirements; (3) student selection procedures; (4) curriculum; and (5) standards for student retention. Values conflicts centering around student identification standards and the nature of program content paralyzed the staff's ability to take any action with respect to the program and led to program deterioration and teachers, parents and students disaffection. (SV)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: In: Education and the Changing Rural Community: Anticipating the 21st Century. Proceedings of the 1989 ACRES/NRSSC Symposium. See RC 017 257.