How much faith should a parent put in a test that identifies whether or not a child is gifted? My wife and I feel he should be placed in a different class since the regular class is too easy for him. What should we do? Is he gifted or not?
I think you should talk to the school and have them go over the test scores with you. It will then be more evident if there was a problem in the testing, or if your son has weaker areas in his academic skills. He does have advanced reading and vocabulary skills, but perhaps his mathematical ability is not as advanced. In IQ tests (such as the Cognitive Abilities Test (CogAT) and the Wechsler Intelligence Test (WISC), the Verbal and Performance (or Qualitative and Quantitative) scores are combined in a composite score. Perhaps your son's composite score did not make the cutoff for the gifted classroom. Generally an IQ score of 130 and up is considered in the gifted range.
Recent research has indicated that parents are often very accurate in identifying giftedness in their child. Some districts are including parent identification checklists in their assessment for giftedness. Obviously your son "looked gifted" to the school in some way, or they would not have tested him. Again, I suggest you talk with the school about exactly what the scores were and how the testing went. (By the way, the examiner would have taken notes on the child's behavior during the individual testing indicating if there was a problem. These are found on the original testing protocol). If he does not qualify as fully gifted, it is quite possible he is sufficiently advanced in a certain subject, such as reading, to be subject skipped. That means he could take reading or language arts with the grade above his. If the testing results do not warrant gifted placement, the school can at least discuss with you how they plan to challenge your bright little guy in the coming year. Re-testing with the same test is not considered to be valid if it is done sooner than within two to three years.
You are right to ask questions. If a parent does not advocate for their child's educational needs, who will? I hope you find this data helpful. Good luck.