I'm researching the state of gifted education in my district. I was shocked to see that after 5th grade, no services are provided. The idea is that the "gifted" kids will take the honors classes and the AP classes, and go to the magnet schools and get the services that way. That might work for the high achieving kids, but it leaves many of the gifted students out in the cold.
Not only does this reasoning fall short in assuming that every gifted student will take honors courses and thus receive accomodations, it falls short in at least two other critical areas.
First, in order to be able to take upper level courses, students must take lower level classes first. Thus, even if gifted students who are on the honors course route will still need to take non-honors classes first. I see this in my own classroom as would be honors students are in level one courses hammering out the basics.
Second, not every honors teacher is trained to teach gifted students or uses appropriate accomodations for these unique kids. Honors is often seen as harder, more rigorous... but not necessarily more creative, more flexible.
The more I think about it, the more I realize that honors classes as the sole outlet for gifted and talented students is not an adequate solution.
5 hours ago