AP students, others no longer automatically listed as gifted

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JEFFERSON CITY - The Office of Quality Schools in the Missouri Department of Education sent out an administrative memo on Tuesday to school administrators, saying students who take Advanced Placement (AP) and International Baccalaureate (IB) classes will not automatically be considered gifted students starting in the 2016-2017 school year. Also, those classes are no longer automatically part of a state approved-gifted program.

The State Advisory Council for the Education of Gifted and Talented Children recommended this to the State board of Education on May 19, 2015.

“One of the things the advisory counsel was hoping to accomplish is that school districts would look upon advanced placement and international baccalaureate as more wide open and available to all students," David Welch, Director of Gifted Education Programs, said. 

Students who wish to be a part of the gifted program will still be able to do so through the normal certification process.

"Usually it takes the form of an IQ test at the ninety-fifth percentile or above, [or] a norm-referenced achievement test at the ninety-fifth percentile or above," Welch said. "Or some other documented evidence that the district uses it to determine that.”

Welch hopes that more school districts will offer AP and IB classes as a result of action.

"School districts and counselors who schedule students will stop thinking of advanced placement and international baccalaureate as only for gifted students," Welch said. "And I’m hoping students themselves will stop viewing AP and IB as something just for the gifted kids, but something that any high ability student can take and be successful at."

Welch said the new rules will not have any negative financial impact on the schools.