Letters to the Editor

Fighting for our gifted children

Re the Nov. 22 opinion piece by Adeyela Bennett and Bradley Bennett, Are all the smart kids at our daughters’ school white?: Their story made me relive our experience with Miami-Dade County Public Schools when we moved here from out of state with a second-grade child. I phoned the neighborhood elementary school principal before moving to make sure that everything was in place on our daughter’s first day of school. She had been actively enrolled in a gifted program for the previous year and a half.

The principal assured me that there would be no problems; our daughter would go directly into the gifted program in the Miami school when we arrived. This was not the case. When we asked for our daughter to be tested, numerous road blocks were set in place.

After waiting several months with no test, I arranged for her to be privately tested, as did the Bennetts. Again, several months passed with no communication, so I made phone calls to force a meeting to find out her status.

I remember so clearly at the meeting being asked why we conducted the private test. It turns out that our daughter had been tested in the school. But we were never informed. The next fall, she entered the gifted program in her elementary school.

I then pushed for her to be enrolled in the Spanish-immersion program. Once again we faced road blocks; we were told that she would be in class with children who had already completed two years in the program. Reluctantly, the administration admitted her — she maintained straight As in that program throughout elementary school, continued in gifted and graduated from the Scholar’s Academy at Miami Beach High School.

Our experience was nearly 20 years ago. It is terribly discouraging to learn that Miami-Dade County Public Schools remains resistant to allowing the advancement of all students who show their capabilities.

Annette B. Fromm,

Miami Beach