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Published: Saturday, 5/10/2008

Gifted students to be honored

About 140 of Ohio's bright middle school students will be honored today at the University of Toledo for high scores on the ACT or the SAT.

Not only did the students in grades six, seven, and eight score well on the college placement tests that high school students typically take, but some of them had perfect scores.

They took the advanced tests to get a better picture of their abilities, Laurence Coleman, professor of gifted education at UT, said. "The usual achievement tests were insensitive to the most sensitive, to the most brilliant students because they had an artificial ceiling," he said. "It tended to underestimate what they could do and made everybody clump together."

The students being honored with certificates and medals at 1 p.m. today in Doermann Theatre in University Hall took the tests through the Midwest Academic Talent Search program, based at Northwestern University's Center for Talent Development.

The program helps students and parents interpret the test results and compare them to those of high school students and others in the program.

MATS also informs students and parents what options are available to keep gifted children challenged and engaged as they finish their middle and high school education.

The ceremony at UT, in its fifth year, is for students from across Ohio. Eight states are involved in MATS, which has its own ceremony for the top 1 percent for all students it serves in grades three through nine.

It's important for these students to have both the recognition and access to resources to achieve their highest potential, Mr. Coleman said.

"Our purpose now in this case is to recognize students who have done exceptionally well, encourage them to continue schooling, and to realize this is just an indicator of what they might be able to do," he said.

- Meghan Gilbert

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