As I continue to investigate the status of the gifted in BC, I have found another article that provides information about the declining numbers of formally identified gifted. You can find it at the Vancouver Sun, January 3, 2015.
This article states:
The Ministry of Education says the drop in students identified as gifted is because the label is no longer necessary due to the rise of personalized education.
No longer necessary? What is missing from this equation is the funding to hire teachers to provide the personalized education that would make identification unnecessary. Classroom teachers have a huge portfolio of responsibilities which are difficult to manage. So it is virtually impossible for them to provide differentiated learning experiences for one or two gifted children who are mixed in with all the other children needing attention.
Some BC school boards seem to support gifted learners better than others. Some individual teachers also do better than others. But there is a need for more teachers of gifted and more programs, for all the reasons that UBC Professor Owen Lo explains in the Vancouver Sun article. And at the root of this is the need for more funding to pay for the gifted identification process and the special education that should be provided for EVERY exceptional child.