What if WA trained teachers in hicap education? Right now, it doesn’t.

by WaCoalition Treasurer Barbara Poyneer

Did you know that currently there’s no requirement for teachers in WA to have had any training in highly capable education? Not even for those who specifically teach hicap classes or hicap students in the regular classroom. Even though highly capable programs are part of basic education in WA, and have been mandated in grades k-12 since 2014, there is zero requirement for any teachers in WA to have any training in this area. WA state teacher preparation programs don’t cover highly capable education.

Nor is there state funding for professional development for all teachers, coordinators, counselors and principals on the nature and needs of gifted students. State law does not provide for pre-service education for prospective teachers in the identification and needs of gifted students. Only one private college in the state provides extensive training in this area and some of the top state universities and colleges do not provide any.

Clearly, we need mandates for pre-service and in-service training. This issue will be the focus of our work going forward. Any changes in the situation depend on actions of the Legislature. The Coalition is your representative to the Legislature in these matters. Our work takes funds to be successful. In addition to the outstanding support we have from advocates responding to calls for action such as commenting on a bill, signing in in support, and contacting your legislators or school board in support, the Coalition works year round to educate Legislators on the needs of gifted students and what actions are needed to allow every student access to an education that will help them to reach their full potential.

Please make a contribution NOW to support the Coalition in its vital work on behalf of our gifted students state wide. Let’s work together to see what happens when teachers are properly trained to meet the needs of gifted students!