AL Redux

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. The GCS Advanced Learner program is about to be audited…yet again. This time, according to today’s High Point Enterprise, to quell complaints that these students are not being challenged enough.

HPE Excerpt:

Guilford County Schools is reviewing the ad­vanced learning program, hoping to quell complaints that the district’s gifted students are not being chal­lenged enough. Jane Fleming, the executive direc­tor of the advanced learning depart­ment, said the review will help pro­vide consistency in the way schools follow AL guidelines. Part of the review includes revamping the dis­trict’s AL Web site and developing an aggressive parent and commu­nity outreach program to help the public understand more about the needs of gifted students.
Parents and school representa­tives have been lobbying the dis­trict to look closer at ways to im­prove options for high-performing students. Complaints have been surfacing that services for strong learners are being watered down to accommodate more underrepre­sented students. In contrast, school leaders say the district has strug­gled with “creating” AL classes of all-white students in schools that are predominantly black.


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Readers will recall the last time we had an extensive discussion on AL and VSN (Very Strong Needs), we listened to very choice words from Deena Hayes, who contributed nothing to the discussion.

I’m not hoping for a repeat of this. This time around, I’m hopeful for more intelligent dialogue.

E.C. 🙂


5 Responses

  1. Don’t hold your breath, Erik. Deena Hayes is quite literally a babbling idiot.

  2. John, you are being to kind.

  3. Does anyone know the particulars about this review? Who is conducting it? What is the stated purpose? How long will the study last and when will results be available? I will be contacting Dr. Fleming as well.

  4. Good questions, GSO_Mom. Let’s start trying to find out. The article didn’t answer a lot of questions.

  5. Here are Dr. Jane Fleming’s, GCS Director of AL/AP/IB, responses to my questions. I find a couple of points interesting…how can a thorough review be conducted witihout involving the recipients of the services (students) and parents? Also, how can the system justify reviewing the AL program at each school 3 times per year?

    From: Fleming, Jane []
    Sent: Thursday, February 07, 2008 10:18 AM
    To: Ruth E. Spaulding
    Cc: McCary, Mack
    Subject: RE: County reviews gifted program

    Dear Ms. Spaulding:
    A program review is conducted for any program to ensure that services detailed in the statute and/or approved plan are being implemented as indicated. Please see my responses to your questions below:

    • Can you please provide more details on the details of this review referred to below?

    I have defined the nature of any program review above. Each point, as defined in this case by the approved AL plan for 2007-2010, is cited in the program review. Evidence of completion is defined by appropriate documents. These physical documents are examined by the assigned program facilitator at each school to ensure that the details of the plan have been implemented.

    • What is the stated purpose of the review?

    A program review is conducted to ensure that a site is in compliance with the statute and/or approved plan.

    • Who will be conducting the review?

    Program Facilitators

    • If students and parents are to be involved, how will they be selected?

    A program review does not involve active participation by students or parents.

    • Are you looking at all levels of service of the AL program (moderate, strong and very strong) and all grade levels?


    • How long will the study take and when are results expected?

    This is not a study. Please refer to the second bullet above. If a school is not in compliance with the approved plan, the program facilitator and appropriate school personnel develop a plan to bring the school into compliance as soon as possible.

    • How do you anticipate the results being used?

    To ensure that a site is in compliance with the statute and/or approved plan is in the best interest of our students, parents, and schools.

    Program reviews are conducted for the purpose stated above. It is standard practice for most programs with which I am familiar; and I have worked with federal, state, and local educational agency programs. I was honored when a program I coordinated for the State of Maryland was a point of inquiry on Capitol Hill, and I was asked to testify before the House; the purpose of the invitation was to investigate the successful implementation of a complicated federal statute. I credit the reason for that invitation and the success of that program to the program review I created. That program review continues to be praised by USDE and used as a model for the nation.

    I am unaware of any plan for reviewing implementation of the approved AL plan in GCS before this time. I strongly believe that this program review, to be conducted 3 times a year in each school beginning in the 2008-2009 school year will assist us in better serving our children and ensuring consistent implementation of our approved plan. Thank you for your inquiry. Please let me know if you have further questions.

    Part of the review includes revamping the dis¬trict’s AL Web site and developing an aggressive parent and commu¬nity outreach program to help the public understand more about the needs of gifted students. This statement is incorrect. Plans for the more user-friendly website and our outreach program are NOT part of the program review; however, they are initiatives that are under development. Also not mentioned in the piece you forwarded to me is an extraordinary information system developed in collaboration with the Department of Information and Special Services that will allow us to collect data that will translate for us as ways to better serve our children. I am unsure where information came from for other statements in the forwarded article. One statement credited to me was taken out of context.

    I hope all is going well with you,

    N. Jane Fleming, Ed.D.
    Executive Director, Advanced Learning
    Guilford County Public Schools
    120 Franklin Blvd.
    Greensboro, NC 27408
    336-370-2320 (Fax)

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