I was in a gifted program at my schools as well, and it was called Encore
; I say schools because it
overlapped Elementary and Middle School, from 2nd grade through 6th (1999-2004). I'm not sure if it existed in 1st grade or not, but I doubt it. I
don't remember much except that most of what the people here have described seemed fairly similar. We had two classes for each grade, with each class
having about 15 kids or so, and two teachers. In my Elementary school there were only two of us that went, and I think in Middle school there were
three. Very occasionally the two classes would collaborate on something. I don't remember going on many field trips, but the location of classes
changed 2 or 3 times throughout the years.
It started when I would finish all my work in 1st grade early, and be completely bored the rest of the day. The teacher would ask me to help tutor
some of the kindergartners down the hall, but that wasn't much better. I mean, I may have been intelligent but that didn't mean I was a good teacher
lol. I'm not sure if that teacher suggested it, or if my mother asked someone at school about it but either during that school year or immediately
afterwards I took an IQ test, and next thing I knew I was told I'd be going to the gifted kids program. It was one day each week, either for the first
half of the day or the second half depending on which class I was assigned to each year.
Some of the stuff we did included very VERY basic Algebra (which made 7th grade Algebra I a breeze), model airplanes/aeronautical physics, marine
biology, and the last two years we primarily focused on Future Problem Solving. We were given a prompt which detailed a problem that usually took
place twenty or so years in the future, such as controversial nanobot technologies, genetics issues, etc. We would get into small groups once we read
over the prompt, discuss our ideas, and write a paper together. Then, one or two of us would present our paper and solution to the class and be
critiqued by the teachers. I believe the grading system was very similar to the AP essay grading system (1 is the lowest, 5 is highest, 3 is okay) but
I could be wrong. At the end of both years, one group was chosen to represent our class in the statewide competition. I didn't go the first year, but
the second I was one of four kids to go. We didn't win, and I have no idea what place we came in.
Overall the program was very enlightening; it helped me develop an investigative mind that always looks at every little detail before coming to a
conclusion. However I do remember thinking that there were certain days that could have been better spent further developing our minds. I know many
times we would just watch episodes of a certain TV show, something about a boat, and Mayan ruins... And it was on laser disc! If anyone has any idea
what that could be let me know
Anyways, to answer the OP's question, no I do not think it was part of a scheme to keep track of all the "gifted" people in the America. It was a
great program, and although I haven't heard anything about it in years I hope it's still going strong. But when I look back at some of my classmates
from Encore (a few of us are friends on Facebook) none of us are particularly advanced in society. One friend dropped out of college, one's in a gang
and as annoying as ever, and another is still in college. Not a great college, but not a bad one. I mean, I assume their intelligence hasn't waned any
since we outgrew the program, but none of us seem to be in a "gifted" position at the moment!
I hope that helps OP! Thanks for making me look back on that whole experience! :]
edit on 3/6/2012 by Evan_Dood because: Added