We have reviewed the TAG strategic plan and strongly support the initiative to improve TAG services across the District.  We are in favor of efforts to improve the identification of gifted students, particularly those that will increase identification of under-represented students.  We also support the objective of providing more professional development to teachers and principals.


We do, however, feel that the strategic plan is lacking in one crucial area: programs and services.  Programs and services are the substance of TAG, yet the actions in the plan are not clear and specific.

The strategic plan also appears to envision that the requirement for individual TAG plans be dropped in schools that adopt curriculum maps that address advanced learning options.  We believe that TAG plans are an essential component of accountability.  As such, we recommend that they be retained and modified to include measurable learning outcomes and that, where appropriate, they specify the accelerated learning pathways through which the needs of advanced learners can be met.


Finally, we strongly believe that advanced placement assessments should be conducted, and individual learning plans should be in place, much earlier in the school year.  Under the current schedule, schools are not required to formulate, much less implement, appropriate levels of instruction until one-third or more of the school year has passed.  In other words, the current requirements allow advanced students to be provided inappropriate levels of instruction for much of the school year.