August 10, 2009
By KAREL HOLLOWAY
The Dallas Morning News
Identifying teachers who are best qualified to teach our brightest children is not an easy task. And, advocates for gifted students say, it's getting harder.
Enrollments are dwindling in graduate education programs that focus on training teachers to work with gifted students. The state doesn't require the programs, few school districts pay teachers to take them, and teachers who get the training generally are not paid higher salaries.
That leaves gifted students – those with higher-than-normal intelligence who are particularly motivated – in classes with teachers who may have little training in their special needs.
"Gifted students are the only special population in the state that doesn't require a special certification to teach," said Kathy Hargrove, director of the Gifted Students Institute at SMU.
Teachers must be specially certified to teach disabled students or bilingual education, but no special credentials are needed to teach gifted students, Hargrove said.
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