2. As early as Kindergarten, request for your child to be tested for gifted. Keep a record of all communication. If you have the economic means, also consult with a private psychologist, preferably of the same racial and/or cultural background. Prep your child for the IQ or Ability Test evaluation. Find out the minimum Ability Score OR full scale Intelligent Quotient score your state requires for gifted placement. However, they may have to meet additional criteria, such as high academic scores on the report card and standardized tests, and high scores on the teacher-rated gifted characteristics and creativity checklists.
3. Prior to meetings with school officials, request advanced copies of student records to be discussed. This gives you a chance to review the data for accuracy, and prepares you to intelligently discuss your child’s education. Take a knowledgeable family member, friend or advocate with you to take notes and lend support at meetings.
4. If your child doesn’t qualify, find out why. Know your rights to appeal. Find out if the IQ instrument used by the psychologist is culturally appropriate. Also, check for inconsistent or disparate scores in the psychological report that could indicate a disability that may qualify for federal Section 504 Accommodation. Closely review the teacher-rated checklists, because they are subjective. Be aware that districts generally fail to provide teachers with adequate training on identifying gifted characteristics.
5. Network and form alliances to stay abreast of scholarly research and news articles about gifted education. Seek advice and support from school educators, academics, parents of gifted children, religious organizations, social media bloggers and civic groups that focus on education equity issues.
6. Speak up! Attend advisory council meetings. write elected officials and the school superintendent to report any discrepancies in the process. Write newspaper editors, and radio and television stations to tell your story