YCQM - Jake Perkinson - Nov. 27, 2011 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM - Jake Perkinson - Nov. 27, 2011

November 27, 2011 -- Jake Perkinson, chair of the Vermont Democratic Party, joins Darren Perron and Keith McGilvery to discuss the Democratic Party in Vermont.

>> Announcer: FROM VERMONT'S MOST TRUSTED NEWS SOURCE, WCAX BRINGS YOU YOUR NEWSMAKERS, YOUR NEIGHBORS. THIS IS "YOU CAN QUOTE ME."

>>> GOOD MORNING. EVERYONE. I'M DAIRP PERRON.

>> AND I'M KEITH. OUR NEWSMAKER THIS MORNING IS VERMONT DEMOCRATIC PARTY CHAIRP, JAKE PERKINSON.

>> THANKS FOR JOINING US THIS MORNING.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME. GOOD TO BE HERE.

>> THANK YOU. LET'S START WITH LOOKING AT THE ISSUES THAT THE PARTY IS FACING RIGHT NOW. WHAT ARE THE BIG TOPICS THAT ARE UNDER DISCUSSION AT THIS POINT?

>> WELL, I THINK THAT THE BIG ISSUES THAT ARE UNDER DISCUSSION ARE PRETTY MUCH IN LINE WITH THE ISSUES THAT THE GOVERNOR HAS HEAD LINED IN HIS LEADERSHIP AS GOVERNOR OF THE STATE AS WE HAVE THE BENEFIT OF A DEMOCRATIC GOVERNOR, HE GIVES THE LEAD TO THE PARTY AND THOSE ISSUES ARE HEALTHCARE, MOVING TOWARDS A SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM, WHICH OBVIOUSLY IS IN PROCESS, ENERGY, TRYING TO END OUR DEPENDENT ON FOREIGN OIL AND FINDING ALTERNATIVES TO SUBSTITUTE OUR ENERGY NEEDS. BUILDING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR COMMUNICATIONS AND PARTICULARLY CELL PHONE SERVICE AND INTERNET SERVICE SO THAT VERMONTERS HAVE ACCESS TO WHAT HAVE BECOME ESSENTIAL ASPECTS OF MODERN LIVING, AND I THINK ALL OF THOSE RELATE TO PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE, WHICH IS JOBS AND THE ECONOMY. IF WE CAN GET THESE PIECES TOGETHER, THOSE ARE GOING TO HELP FACILITATE GETTING US BACK ON TRACK AND OUT OF THIS RECESSION. VERMONT IS IN A GREAT POSITION TO BE SORT OF A LABORATORY AND ABLE TO DO SOME INNOVATIVE THINGS WITH A LOT LESS HASSLE THAN A LARGER STATE MIGHT HAVE TO GO THROUGH, AND SO I THINK WE'RE REALLY POISED UNLT THE LEADERSHIP OF GOVERNOR SHUMLIN TO MAKE GREAT STRIDES TO ADVANCE ALL THOSE GLIESHS NO DOUBT THAT THESE ARE SOME BIG ISSUES ON WHAT SOUNDS LIKE A PRETTY BIG PLATE. WHERE DO WE STAND ON HEALTHCARE, ON JOB CREATION, AND WHEN, YOU KNOW, THEIR OPPONENTS TO ESPECIALLY THOSE LAST TWO THINGS. NO ONE IS OPPOSED TO CREATING JOBS.

>> RIGHT.

>> BUT THOSE LATTER TWO ISSUES, THOSE SIGNIFICANT OPPOSITION OUT THERE.

>> THERE HAS BEEN OPPOSITION VOICED. I THINK STARTING WITH THE WIND OPPOSITION, THAT REALLY POSES SOME INTERESTING QUESTIONS AND SOME INTERESTING INTERACTIONS BECAUSE YOU HAVE TRADITIONAL ALLIES OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, ENVIRONMENTALISTS WHO IN THIS PARTICULAR INSTANCE HAVE VOICED OPPOSITION TO THE WIND PROJECTS, AND YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT IT IS REALLY IMPORTANT THAT WE LISTEN TO THOSE VOICES, THAT WE GIVE THEM AN OPPORTUNITY AND THAT WE HEAR WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY. IF WE HAD THESE CONVERSATIONS BACK WHEN THE FIRST AUTOMOBILES WERE BEING DEVELOPED OR WHEN THE FIRST COAL-FIRED PLANTS WERE BEING DEVELOPED, WE MIGHT NOT BE IN THE POSITION WE ARE TODAY WITH RESPECT TO THE ENERGY CRISIS WE FACE AND GLOBAL WARMING. SO WITHOUT CONCEDING THAT THE OPPONENTS OF THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT ARE ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, I THINK IT IS IMPORTANT THAT THEIR VOICE BE HEARD, THAT ANY TIME YOU LAUNCH INTO SOMETHING NEW, THAT YOU GIVE RESPECT AND A LISTENING EAR TO THOSE WHO HAVE AN OPPOSING POINT OF VIEW BECAUSE YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY'RE GOING TO BE RIGHT. I THINK THAT THE GOVERNOR IS CORRECT IN PURSUING THIS PARTICULAR PROJECT AT THIS TIME. YOU KNOW, NOT EVERY PROJECT IS PERFECT, BUT YOU NEED TO DO SOMETHING, YOU CAN'T DO NOTHING WITH RESPECT TO THAT. WITH RESPECT TO HEALTHCARE, THERE'S BEEN A LOT OF OPPOSITION AND I UNDERSTAND SOME OF THE FRUSTRATION BECAUSE IT'S REALLY A WORK IN PROGRESS. THE BOARD --

>> WE DON'T HAVE A PRICE TAG.

>> WE DON'T HAVE A PRICE TAG AND THERE'S STILL A CONVERSATION ABOUT HOW WE'RE GOING TO FUND THE OVERALL PROGRAM ONCE IT'S DECIDED WHAT THAT -- WHAT IT IS EXACTLY GOING TO LOOK LIKE. I KNOW THE ADMINISTRATION IS HAVING A LISTENING TOUR OVER THE NEXT MONTH. I THINK NOVEMBER 28th, IF I'M NOT MISTAKEN, DOWN IN BRATTLEBORO, AND THE TIMES ARE LISTED ON THE ADMINISTRATION WEBSITE, BUT IT'S JEFF SPALDING AND THE MEMBERS OF THE ADMINISTRATION INVOLVED IN HEALTHCARE AND WHAT THEY'RE DOING IS HAVING TOWN MEETINGS, ASKING PARTICULARLY BUSINESSES TO COME FORWARD, EXPRESS THEIR CONCERNS SO THAT THAT CAN GO INTO THE CONSIDERATIONS OF HOW THIS IS REALLY GOING TO BE FORMED. SO WHILE I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE'S SOME FRUSTRATION IN NOT BEING ABLE TO NARROW DOWN EXACTLY WHAT IT'S GOING TO LOOK LIKE, I THINK MUCH OF THE OPPOSITION IS PERHAPS PREMATURE. THERE SEEM TO BE OPPOSING THE IDEA RATHER THAN THE APPLICATION OF IT, AND NOT OFFERING ANY ALTERNATIVES THAT I HAVE HEARD OF. SO I THINK THAT, YOU KNOW, THE OPPOSITION IS TO BE EXPECTED AND ANYTHING NEW NEVER COMES WITHOUT SOME CHALLENGES. AND AGAIN, I THINK IT'S USEFUL AND I THINK THE ADMINISTRATION HAS TAKEN THIS TO HEART TO LISTEN TO OPPOSITION, TO, YOU KNOW, SEE WHETHER THERE'S LEGITIMATE CLAIMS ABOUT -- OR CRITICISMS ABOUT WHAT WE'RE DOING AND TRY TO WORK THEM OUT IN THE BEGINNING RATHER THAN GOING FORWARD WITH SOMETHING AND FIGURING OUT THAT YOU HAVE TO CHANGE IT LATER ON.

>> THE GOVERNOR HAS MADE IT CLEAR WITH GREEN MOUNTAIN CARE THAT WE ARE, THROUGH THIS SPEAKING TOUR AND OTHER ACTIVITIES, THAT WE ARE MOVING FORWARD TO THIS IN VAT AND -- IN VERMONT, AND I HEAR FOLKS SAYING HOW DO YOU EXPECT ME TO BUY INTO THIS WHEN WE DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S GOING TO COST. HOW DO WE GET VERMONTERS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF FENCE TO BUY INTO THIS WHEN THAT QUESTION IS STILL OUT THERE?

>> WELL, ONE WAY, AND I GO BACK TO MY EXPERIENCE AS A BUSINESS OWNER AND DEALING WITH THE EXPERIENCE OF RISING HEALTHCARE COSTS THROUGHOUT, YOU KNOW,th LAST 12 YEARS -- THE LAST 12 YEARS AND I THINK EVERY YEAR WE HAD AN INCREASE AND I THINK OVER THE LAST TEN OR 15 YEARS, IT'S TRIPLED AND BECOME A HUGE BURDEN ON EMPLOYMENT AND THAT'S ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I THINK IS A CHALLENGE FOR PEOPLE WHO RUN BUSINESSES. YOU WANT TO PROVIDE HEALTHCARE FOR YOUR EMPLOYEES, THAT'S A BENEFIT THAT IS PART OF THE COMPETITIVE EARN ENVIRONMENT OF WHETHER YOU CAN ATTRACT QUALIFIED EMPLOYEES, THEY LOOK TO THAT AS PART OF THEIR BENEFIT PACKAGE AND THAT'S JUST BECOME A REALITY OF ATTRACTING QUALIFIED WORKERS, SO I THINK THAT WHAT I WOULD SAY IN RESPONSE TO THE CRITICISM OF WE DON'T KNOW HOW MUCH IT'S GOING TO COST, WE DO KNOW HOW MUCH IT COSTS TO HAVE THE SYSTEM WE HAVE, WHICH IS THAT IT'S GOING TO GET MORE EXPENSIVE EVERY YEAR. IT HAS GOTTEN MORE EXPENSIVE EVERY YEAR AND THERE'S NO SIGN THAT IT'S NOT GOING TO GET MORE EXPENSIVE IN THE FUTURE. SO WHEN YOU'RE FACED WITH A PROSPECT OF YOU KNOW THAT SOMETHING IS GOING TO COST YOU MORE, I THINK THAT IT BEHOOVES YOU TO LOOK INTO ALTERNATIVES THAT POTENTIALLY WILL COST YOU LESS. NOW, THE SYSTEM THAT WE'RE LOOKING AT, THE SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM, I THINK IS NOT SOMETHING THAT DOESN'T HAVE -- IT'S NOT IMPROVEMENT. YOU LOOK AT A COUNTRY LIKE TAIWAN, WHICH I HAPPENED TO VISIT LAST WEEK, AND WAS ABLES TO, IN FACT, TALK TO THE MINISTER OF HEALTH OVER THERE ABOUT THE PROGRAM, AND THAT PROGRAM HAS BEEN IN EXISTENCE IN TAIWAN FOR 15 YEARS AND WHAT THEY USED TO HAVE WAS PRIVATE INSURANCE AND THEY WOULD INSURE FARMERS AND VETERANS UNDER DIFFERENT SYSTEMS. FINALLY THE GOVERNMENT IN TAIWAN DECIDED THAT THEY WERE GOING TO GIVE -- THEY WANTED TO HAVE HEALTH INSURANCE ACCESSIBLE TO EVERYBODY. WELL, AT THIS POINT, THE OVERALL SATISFACTION RATE WITH THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM IN TAIWAN AMONG THE TAIWANEES PEOPLE IS 85%, WHICH IS EXTRAORDINARY, AND I WAS PROVIDED A GRAPH THAT SHOWED THE VARIANCES IN IT, IN SATISFACTION WITH THAT PROGRAM, AND THE PEAKS AND DIPS CORRELATED EXACTLY WITH THE INCREASES IN PREMIUM, SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WHEN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT THEIR HEALTHCARE AND WHETHER OR NOT THEY'RE SATISFIED WITH IT, I THINK A LOT OF IT GOES BACK TO HOW MUCH THEY'RE PAYING FOR IT. AND ONCE YOU START PAYING A CERTAIN AMOUNT AND YOU GET COMFORTABLE WITH THAT, IF IT GOES UP, YOU KNOW, YOU'RE GOING TO BE DISAPPOINTED AND THAT'S JUST A REALITY OF LIFE. YOU'RE NEVER GOING TO HAVE PEOPLE HAPPY ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY HAVE TO PAY FOR SOMETHING. BUT I THINK THAT YOU CAN MOVE TOWARDS A SYSTEM WHERE WE HAVE MORE REASONABLE FEES AND CERTAINLY I DON'T THINK THAT THERE'S ANY QUESTION THAT YOU'RE GOING TO HAVE MORE EFFICIENCIES AND MORE COST SAVINGS IF YOU CAN HAVE A SYSTEM WHERE YOU HAVE A SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM WITH YOU'RE ELIMINATING A LOT OF ADMINISTRATIVE BURDEN ON THE DOCTORS' OFFICES AS WELL AS ON THE PATIENTS OF DEALING WITH A LOT OF PAPERWORK.

>> LET'S TAKE A LOOK AT THE MAKE-UP IN MONTPELIER. DEMOCRATS CONTROL THE LEGISLATURE, THE GOVERNOR'S SEAT. IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IRRELEVANT AT THIS POINT IN VERMONT?

>> I WOULDN'T GO SO FAR AS TO SAY THAT THEY'RE IRRELEVANT. IT'S CLEAR THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY CERTAINLY REFLECTS THE VALUES OF A VAST MAJORITY OF VERMONTERS. I THINK THAT THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY STANDS FOR A LOT OF VALUES THAT PEOPLE ASSOCIATE WITH THE TRADITIONAL VERMONT VALUES, THAT WE CARE ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE, WE'RE FOCUSED ON COMMUNITY, THERE'S HIGH IMPORTANCE ON MAKING SURE THAT EVERYBODY IS TREATED FAIRLY AND THAT THE MOST VULNERABLE AMONG US ARE GIVEN THE SAFETY NET THAT THEY NEED TO SURVIVE. YOU KNOW, AGAIN, I THINK THAT IT'S HEALTHY TO HAVE A VOICE THAT'S IN OPPOSITION, PARTICULARLY WHEN YOU HAVE A PARTY THAT IS AS DOMINANT AS THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. I WOULD NEVER SAY THAT WE SHOULD STIFLE DEBATE. I THINK WE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE DEBATE AND I'M ALWAYS INTERESTED TO HEAR WHAT THE OTHER SIDE IS SAYING, IF FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN TO TELL THEM HOW THEY'RE WRONG. SO I DON'T THINK THAT THEY'RE IRRELEVANT. THEY CERTAINLY -- THERE'S CERTAINLY A LARGE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO DO AFFILIATE WITH THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN THIS STATE. YOU KNOW, THEIR LACK OF SUCCESS IN RECENT YEARS, I THINK, IS, AGAIN, REFLECTIVE OF THE FACT THAT THE DEMOCRATS REPRESENT MORE CLOSELY WHAT MANY PEOPLE IN VERMONT WOULD LIKE TO SEE THEIR GOVERNMENT DO. I DON'T THINK THAT THE TRADITIONAL, WHAT HAS BECOME THE TRADITIONAL LINE FROM THE REPUBLICANS THAT GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE SMALL AND SHOULD STAY OUT OF OUR LIVES, IS SOMETHING THAT IS WHOLESALE ACCEPTED BY PEOPLE IN VERMONT. I THINK GIVEN THE WAY THAT MANY LOCAL TOWNS ARE RUN WITH A SELECT BOARD AND YOUR NEIGHBORS ARE ON THE SELECT BOARD AND RUNNING MANY ASPECTS OF THE TOWN, WE UNDERSTAND THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS MADE UP OF THE PEOPLE THAT LIVE IN THE STATE. WE UNDERSTAND THAT IT COMES FROM US, IT'S FOR US, THAT IT'S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO MAKE IT WORK RIGHT. AND THAT'S THE IDEA BEHIND MANY OF THE DEMOCRATIC PRINCIPLES THAT WE ADHERE TO, AND SO I THINK IT'S A NATURAL PROGRESSION THAT THE DEMOCRATS WOULD HAVE SUCH A STRONG POSITION AT THIS POINT.

>> DO YOU -- I KNOW THAT, YOU KNOW, OBVIOUSLY WE HAVE A REPUBLICAN IN THE LT. GOVERNOR'S SEAT AND YOU HAD MENTIONED THAT IT'S IMPORTANT TO HAVE THIS DEBATE, BUT DO DEMOCRATS REALLY LISTEN? I MEAN, YOU HAD JUST MENTIONED YOURSELF THAT IF NOT FOR ANYTHING ELSE, JUST TO SAY THAT THEY'RE WRONG.

>> SURE.

>> ARE YOU LISTENING TO SOME OF THEIR CONCERNS BEING RAISED BY REPUBLICANS IN THE LEGISLATURE, BY THE WILL THE GOVERNOR?

>>.

>> WELL, I WANT SPEAK TO WHO'S LISTENING TO THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR AM PARTICULAR. WHAT I CAN SAY IS THAT MY EXPERIENCE IN DEALING WITH LEGISLATORS IS THAT THERE IS A TREMENDOUS AMOUNT OF RESPECT GIVEN BY THE LEGISLATORS OF BOTH PARTIES TOWARDS THE VIEWPOINTS OF OTHERS, AND I THINK THAT WHEN YOU SEE THOSE PEOPLE SITTING IN A COMMITTEE ROOM STRUGGLING WITH LEGISLATION, THEY'RE NOT APPROACHING IT WITH THE IDEA THAT I'M A DEMOCRAT OR I'M A REPUBLICAN, ALTHOUGH THEY'RE AFFILIATED BECAUSE THEIR GENERAL OUTLOOKINGS MORE CLOSE TO ONE OR THE OTHER, AND I THINK THAT BY AND LARGE, LEGISLATORS IN MONTPELIER APPROACH AN ISSUE WITH WHAT'S BEST FOR THEIR COMMUNITY AND WHAT'S BEST FOR VERMONT. SO I -- WHILE, YOU KNOW, I THINK THAT THE REPUBLICAN VOICE PROBABLY ISN'T HEARD AS LOUDLY AS IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST, I DON'T THINK IT'S THE CASE THAT IT'S BEING COMPLETELY IGNORED, AND AGAIN, I DON'T THINK IT'S BECAUSE IT'S EITHER REPUBLICAN OR DEMOCRAT, BUT I JUST THINK THAT THE NATURE OF THE LEGISLATURE IN MONTPELIER IS THAT THE PEOPLE THAT COMPRISE THAT BODY TRULY DO LISTEN TO ALL POINTS OF VIEW AND ARE RESPECTFUL AND THAT IDEAS ARE NOT SHUT OUT SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY COME FROM ONE POLITICAL PARTY OR THE OTHER.

>> VERY QUICKLY, WE HAVE JUST A COUPLE MINUTES LEFT. DO YOU THINK WE'RE GOING TO BE SEEING HIGHER TAXES? I MEAN, WE DEALT WITH THE NATURAL DISASTER, WE'RE TALKING ABOUT THIS HEALTHCARE PLAN, AND DO YOU THINK THAT IS GOING CREATE ANY KIND OF SPLIT WITHIN THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY, I'M LIBERAL -- MORE LIBERAL DEMOCRATS ARE SAYING WE NEED TO RAISE TAXES AND THE GOVERNOR HAS COME OUT AGAINST RAISING TAXES IN THE WAKE OF THIS STORM. WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?

>> WELL, IT'S HARD TO PREDICT WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN. A LOT OF IT WILL DEPEND ON WHAT KIND OF AID WE GET FROM THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. I DON'T SEE EVIDENCE RIGHT NOW THAT THE SITUATION IS SO DIRE THAT IT'S GOING TO MAKE A MITT SMT DEMOCRATIC PARTY. OBVIOUSLY, YOU CAN'T PREDICT THE FUTURE AND WE'LL HAVE TO SEE WHAT HAPPENS, BUT I THINK THAT AT THIS POINT, THE STRENGTH OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS THAT IT BRINGS IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT VIEWPOINTS, ALL FOCUSED ON THE SAME PRINCIPLES, BUT COMING FROM A LOT OF DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVES, AND AGAIN, DEBATE IS HEALTHY AND IT'S GOING TO HAPPEN AND WE'LL HAVE TO SEE WHERE IT GOES.

>> JAKE PERKINSON FROM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR JOINING US TODAY.

>> THANK YOU, DARREN. THANK YOU, KEITH.

>>> NEIGHBORS IN THE NEWS IS

>>> MORE THAN 90,000 KIDS GO TO SCHOOL? VERMONT AND EDUCATION EXPERTS SAY 10% OF THEM ARE CONSIDERED GIFTED. BUT KEEPING THESE KIDS INTERESTED CAN BE A CHALLENGE.

>> EDUCATION EXPERTS CLASSIFY SUPER-SMART STUDENTS WHO LEARN QUICKLY AS GIFTED. BUT BEING GIFTED ISN'T ALWAYS A GIFT. MORE THAN HALF OF THOSE CHILDREN ARE EXTREMELY SHY.

>> GINA BULLARD RECENTLY TOOK A LOOK AT THESE ONE-OF-A-KIND KIDS. HERE'S HER SERIES OF REPORT.

>> THAT'S OKAY.

>> KIM IS TRYING TO COME OUT OF HIS SHELL.

>> I'VE GOT A FLASHLIGHT.

>> HE'S PLAYING THE PART OF DEPUTY GRAY.

>> AND A GUN.

>> IN DRAMA CLASS. A SPOTLIGHT HE'S NOT USED TO.

>> LETS GET HIM!

>> I DO NOT HAVE NECESSARY PEOPLE SKILLS AND THIS IS A WAY TO LEARN IT.

>> MOEBUS IS A FRESHMAN AT SPRINGFIELD HIGH SCHOOL.

>> SIT HARD ADJUSTING, I GUESS, TO THE HIGH SCHOOL CULTURE COMPARED TO MINNEAPOLIS?

>> NOT -- TO MIDDLE SCHOOL.

>> NOT REALLY BECAUSE I'M SORT OF ANTISOCIAL, SO I DON'T TALK TO MANY PEOPLE.

>> A SHY 14-YEAR-OLD WHO IS ALSO EXTREMELY SMART. HE LOVES MATH, ITS ORDER IN FINDING A DEFINITE ANSWER. JIM IS CAPABLE OF TAKING SENIOR LEVEL PRECALCULUS, BUT IT WAS FULL OF SENIORS WHO NEEDED THE COURSE TO GRADUATE, SO INSTEAD, HE'S IN ALGEBRA, STILL AHEAD OF HIS CLASSMATES.

>> I DON'T COME IN KNOWING EVERYTHING, BUT I LEARN EVERYTHING EXTREMELY QUICKLY.

>> THAT CAN SOMETIMES BE A BURDEN. SCHOOL CAN SOMETIMES BE BORING FOR THIS ACADEMIC ALL-STAR.

>> WHEN THE TEACHER GOES OVER SOMETHING ONCE, I GET IT, AND THEN THEY GO OVER TWOIT MORE TIMES TO HELP EVERYBODY ELSE, THAT DOESN'T --

>> HE LOVES THE CHALLENGE AND WANTED TO SEE HOW HE WOULD DO ON THE S.A.T.s, A TEST NORMALLY TAKEN BY 11th AND 12th GRADERS. AS AN 8th GRADER, HE SCORED 680 BUT OF 800 IN MATH. THE AVERAGE VERMONT MATH SCORE? JUST 517.

>> YOP THINK -- I DON'T THINK I'M SMART. I THINK THAT I HAVE AN ACCELERATED LEARNING CAPABILITY.

>> IN THE GIFTED POPULATION, WE HAVE MORE INTROVERT PERSONALITIES THAN WE DO EXTRA VERT.

>> EDUCATION EXPERT CAROL STOREY SAYS 10% OF STUDENTS ARE GIFTED. OF THOSE KIDS, AT LEAST HALF ARE INTROVERTS. THAT'S TWICE AS MANY ALWAYS THE REST OF THE POPULATION. STOREY SAYS THAT'S WHY GIFTED KIDS CAN HAVE A HARD TIME FINDING FRIENDS.

>> THESE KIDS ARE MOSTLY RECOGNIZED FOR THEIR DIFFERENCE INTELLECTUALLY, AND AS A RESULT, THEY DON'T FIT WITH THEIR AGE MATE PEERS.

>> COOL.

>> HE WANTS KIDS TO KNOW HE'S NOT THAT DIFFERENT FROM THEM. HE MAY BE SMARKT BUT HE IS STILL A TEEN.

>> I FEEL GOOD IN MY CLASSES, I FEEL -- STILL CAN HARDLY GET UP IN THE MORNING JUST LIKE ALL THE OTHER TEENAGERS, PROBABLY.

>> HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT?

>> I'M DIFFERENT BECAUSE I VALUE ACADEMICS A LOT MORE THAN MY SOCIAL LIFE MOST OF THE TIME.

>> AT HOME, THAT'S VERY CLEAR. JIM'S OLDER SISTER CARRIE HAS 5 HUNDRED FRIENDS ON FAIRK BUT JIM HARDLY EVER GOES ON TO SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES.

>> I SPEAK TO NOBODY. THAT'S MY FORM OF BEING HUMBLE.

>> OH, NICE.

>> HIS MOTHER, LISA, ADMIT SHE SOMETIMES WORRIES ABOUT HER SON'S PEOPLE SKILLS.

>> IF I WANT TO TALK TO SOMEBODY AND I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY, I MAKE UP A BAD JOKE AND I SAY IT.

>> BUT AT THE SAME TIME, SHE KNOWS HER SON IS HAPPY WITH WHO HE IS.

>> SOMETIMES I THINK JIM MAKES JOKES TO AMUSE HIMSELF BECAUSE I'M NOT SURE HE REALLY CARES IF ANYBODY ELSE THINKS THEY'RE FUNNY.

>> CAROL STORIY AGREES. IF JIM IS HAPPY, THERE'S NO NEED FOR HIM TO CONFORM.

>> FINDING PEOPLE WHO THINK AND CAN TALK THE SAME WAY AND MAKE THE SAME JOKES AND THINGS LIKE THAT, IT'S PROBABLY HARD FOR JIM TO FIND THAT.

>> BEING SMART, BEING DIFFERENT, AT A TIME WHEN MOST KIDS JUST WANT TO FIT IN, DRAWS ATTENTION AND IT'S NOT ALWAYS POSITIVE. JIM'S SISTER SAYS HE'S PICKED ON BY OTHER STUDENTS AND SHE WON'T STAND FOR IT.

>> YOU KNOW, HE'S MY BROTHER AND DON'T TALK ABOUT HIM THAT WAY. I MEAN, MAYBE, YEAH, HE'S MY FAMILY, SO I'M GOING TO PROTECT HIM.

>> AND THE OTHER KIDS PICKING ON ME, WELL, I WOULD LIKE TO THINK OTHERWISE. I DON'T THINK PEOPLE ARE THAT SHALLOW TO PICK ON THE GUY THAT THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW.

>> WHO SCREAMED?

>> BACK AT DRAUMMA CLASS, JIM PUTS ANY DIFFICULTY WITH STUDENTS BEHIND HIM AS HE FOCUSES ON THIS NEW CHALLENGE.

>> I LOVE GOING TO SCHOOL BECAUSE I, MOST OF THE TIME, LEARN AT LEAST ONE THING OR CEMENT AT LEAST ONE THING INTO MY MIND.

>> A ONE-OF-A-KIND KID, HALLOWEEN IN THE ROLE HE'S PLAYING.

>> WHERE?

>> THERE HE IS!

>> GINA BULLARD, CHANNEL 3 NEWS, SPRINGFIELD.

>> HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

>> HALLOWEEN IS FILLED WITH ALL SORTS OF CHARACTERS. INCLUDING ALEXIS JACKSON, BETTER KNOWN AS LEX.

>> LET'S CHECK THIS OUT.

>> SHE KNOWS SHE'S DIFFERENT AND OWNS IT. DRESSING UP AS A NERDY VERSION OF HERSELF.

>> BECAUSE I LIKE SCHOOL TOO MUCH TO NOT BE NERDY.

>> THAT'S COOL.

>> LEX IS A SENIOR AT VERMONT COMMONS, A PRIVATE SCHOOL IN SOUTH BURLINGTON.

>> THE WAY I WOULD DO IT --

>> SHE EXCELS IN ALL OF HER CLASSES, BUT MATH IS HER FAVORITE.

>> IT'S A LOCK FOR ME, A CENTRAL PLACE WHERE EVERYTHING CAN JUST MAKE SENSE.

>> IN HER CALCULUS CLASS, THE 16-YEAR-OLD BECOMES A TEACHER TO HER CLASSMATES.

>> BECAUSE THE NEGATIVE IS HERE.

>> LEX CAN HELP OTHERS OUT BECAUSE SHE'S A FAST AND ZEALOUS LEARNER. SAY IT ONCE, AND SHE'S GOT IT.

>> I DON'T EVER REALLY LEARN STUFF ABOUT MATH BEFORE IT'S TAUGHT TO ME, BUT ONCE IT'S TAUGHT TO ME, IT STICKS REALLY FAST.

>> EDUCATION EXPERT CAROL STOREY STUDIES GIFTED KIDS, STUDENTS WHO LEARN MORE QUICKLY THAN MOST, AND RETAIN INFORMATION BETTER.

>> OKAY.

>> IT'S A CONTROVERSIAL EXPRESSION, BECAUSE SOMETIME EDUCATORS FEAR IT SLAMS OTHER STUDENTS, BUT GIFTED IS HOW EXPERTS CATEGORIZE THESE KIDS.

>> EVERY CHILD IS A GIFT, AND I THINK THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, AND THAT GIFTEDNESS COMES ABOUT IN THEIR BEHAVIORS AND THEIR RESPONSE TO LEARNING AND THEIR ABILITY TO LEARN AT A DIFFERENT PACE.

>> THESE ARE TWO CLASSROOMS OVER HERE AND THEN THIS IS STUDIO.

>> TO SUCCEED, STOREY SAYS GIFTED KIDS NEED A GOOD SCHOOL ENVIRONMENT. FOR LEX, THAT MEANS HAVING AN INDIVIDUALIZED LEARNING PLAN.

>> VERMONT COMMONS SCHOOL IS WELL-KNOWN FOR THE FACT IT TRIES TO ADDRESS EACH CHILD AND MEET THE CHILD WHERE SHE'S AT AND CHALLENGE THE CHILD APPROPRIATELY, AND NOT A LOT OF SCHOOLS PROVIDE THAT KIND OF OPPORTUNITY.

>> AN ACADEMIC ALL-STAR, LEX'S ACHIEVEMENTS READ BIK A RE-SUH MAY. FOUNDER OF THE SCHOOL'S MATH CLUB, AWARDS IN MATH AND SPANISH, STANDOUT TEST SCORES, PLUS SHE EXCELS IN VOLLEYBALL, HOCKEY, PIANO, GUITAR, AND YUCCA LE LE.

>> I'M AWARE THAT I DON'T HAVE THE PRETTIEST VOICE IN THE WORLD AND I DEFINITELY DON'T SING BECAUSE I WANT TO BE A SINGER. I JUST SING BECAUSE I WANT SOMEBODY TO SING WHEN I'M PLAYING.

>> AT 16, SHE HAS A LOT OF WISDOM. SHE'S TAUGHT ME A LOT.

>> LEX'S MOM DISCOVERED HER CHILD WAS GIFTED WHEN LEX WAS A BABY. SHE SKRIDE A LOT AND -- CRIED A LOT AND WOULDN'T SETTLE DOWN FOR HOURS. LEX'S MOM CALLED THE DOCTOR TO SEE WHAT WAS WRONG. AND THE PEDIATRICIAN RECOGNIZED THAT LEX WOULD LIKELY BE GIFTED. SMART BABIES ARE NOT EASILY PLAY INDICATED USUALLY BECAUSE -- PLACATED USUALLY BECAUSE THEY KNOW WHAT THEY WANT.

>> DOES SHE EVER GIVE YOU ANY ISSUES?

>> SURE, SURE. SHE WANTS HER WAY, AND WHY NOT?

>> IN HER PASSION TO LEARN KEEPS GROWING. ONE NEW AVENUE FOR LEX IS SLAM POETRY, EXPRESSING HER FEELINGS THROUGH PERFORMANCE.

>> THERE ARE AROUND ABOUT A MILLION WAYS SO SOUND IT OUT.

>> BUT SHE'S STILL A TEENAGER. LEX DOESN'T LIKE HOMEWORK AND WAITS UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO DO IT. SHE SAYS THERE'S TOO MANY OTHER THINGS SHE WANTS TO DO. ONE THING SHE'S BAD AT? DRIVING.

>> I LOVE TO LAUGH AND JOKE AROUND AND FOCUSING IS NOT ONE OF MY STRENGTHS.

>> SHE IS APPLYING TO A PRIVATE LIBERAL ARTS SCHOOL IN MAINE AND HOPES TO MAJOR IN NEUROSCIENCE.

>> I IT BLOWS MY MIND AND I THINK IT IS FASCINATING AND MY FAVORITE PART IS, LIKE, DREAMS AND MEMORIES AND WHERE MEMORIES ARE STORED.

>> EVEN WITH HER SMARTS AND SUCCESSES, LEX STAYS GROUNDED. HER PARENTS TAUGHT HER TO BE HUMBLE.

>> IT'S NOT FAIR TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE FEEL BAD BECAUSE SOMETHING COMES EASIER TO ME.

>> IT MAY COME EASY, BUT HER MIND IS CONSTANTLY RACING. SHE'S ALWAYS LOOKING FOR A NEW CHALLENGE AND SEEMS TO NEED ONE.

>> SOMETIMES I FEEL LIKE A 30-YEAR-OLD AND ACT LIKE A 2-YEAR-OLD.

>> A ONE-OF-A-KIND STUDENT, MUSICIAN, POET, YOU NAME IT, A WHO KNOWS WHAT'S NEXT FOR LEX JACKSON? GINA BULLARD, CHANNEL 3 NEWS, SOUTH BURLINGTON.

>>> MUSICIAN, CLASS PRESIDENT, SCHOLAR, ATHLETE. A LONG LIST, AND 12-YEAR-OLD MACY MACY PRE SCOTT BOTH EXCELS AND ENJOYS EVERYTHING SHE DOES.

>> I TRY NOT TO STAND OUT AND MAKE OTHER PEOPLE FEEL LIKE THEY'RE LESS MAN ME, BUT I GUESS SOMETIMES YOU CAN'T HELP IT.

>> HER SCORES ARE IN THE TOP 10% IN THE STATE AND SHE'S AT LEAST A YEAR AHEAD IN MATH AT GREEN MOUNTAIN UNION HIGH SCHOOL, BUT SHE REMAINS HUMBLE.

>> I'M ADVANCED, I GUESS, IT'S JUST I TRY TO -- LIKE I DON'T FLAUNT IT, I GUESS. I DON'T GO AROUND SAYING, OH, MY GOSH, I GOT AN A-PLUS-PLUS-PLUS.

>> JUST AS MUCH AS THEY COME IN ALL KINDS OF SIZES AND SHAPES, SHE COME IN AWE KINDS OF ABILITY.

>> EDUCATION EXPERT CAROL STOREY WORKS WITH GIFTED CHILDREN BECAUSE EVEN AMONG STAND-OUT KIDS, MACY STANDS OUT.

>> SOMETIMES THERE IS THE PERSON WHO'S GIFTED IN EVERYTHING, I CALL THEM THE RENAISSANCE PERSON, BUT THOSE ARE MORE UNUSUAL THAN A CHILD WHO MIGHT BE GIFTED IN A PARTICULAR AREA OR IN A COUPLE OF AREAS.

>> GIFTED, BUT MACY ALSO MAINTAINS SHE'S LIKE OTHER KIDS TOO.

>> I GUESS I'M A TYPICAL 12-YEAR-OLD, NOT WITH ACADEMICS, BUT WITH OTHER THINGS, EVERYTHING ELSE, I GUESS I AM. ACCORDING TO MY MOM. YEAH, THIS IS MY 7th GRADE HALLWAY.

>> A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY, MACY'S CALENDAR IS JAM-PACKED WITH ACTIVITIES. HER DAY STARTS EARLY AND SHE'S OFTEN NOT HOME UNTIL 9:00 AT NIGHT.

>> SHE HAS OR CONTEST STRA.

>> HER MOTHER SAYS THAT'S THE WAY MACY WANTS IT.

>> SOME PARENTS MAY THINK THAT SHE'S TOTALLY BOOKED OUT OR PROGRAMMED OUT, BUT SHE LIKES IT.

>> WHY DO YOU LIKE DOING ALL THOSE EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES OUTSIDE OF SCHOOL?

>> I DON'T KNOW. IT'S JUST PART OF MYSELF TO BE SO MUCH MORE, SO I FEEL LIKE I CAN, I SHOULD.

>> MACY'S PARENTS FIRST REALIZED THEIR ZAUR WAS SPECIAL WHEN THEY WAS IN KINDERGARTEN AND ASKED FOR HOMEWORK.

>> SHE PICKED UP A BOOK IN THE MORNING AND SHE'S DONE WITH IT IN THE EVENING, YOU KNOW THAT THERE'S SOMETHING GOING ON AND YOU NEED TO ADDRESS IT.

>> WE HAVE TO GIVE STUDENT WHAN THEY NEED. YOU CAN'T TREAT THEM ALL THE SAME BECAUSE THEY'RE DIFFERENT.

>> THE PRINCIPAL ADMITS IT CAN BE A CHALLENGE TO TEACH KIDS LIKE MACY.

>> WE KNOW WHAT STANDARDS AND COMPETENCIES STUDENTS SHOULD HAVE MASTERED AT A CERTAIN POINT IN THEIR ACADEMIC CAREERS AND IF STUDENTS HAVE THAT BECAUSE THEY SHOW THAT TOASTS LIKE MACY WOULD, THEN WE HAVE TO GO FURTHER IF THE CURRICULUM AND THE SCOPE AND THE SEQUENCE TO KEEP UP WITH THAT STUDENT.

>> YES, OKAY.

>> BUT TO KEEP MACY INTERESTED, TEACHERS WORKED WITH HER PARENTS TO DESIGN A SPECIAL ACADEMIC PLAN, MAKING SURE MACY TOOK COURSES THAT WOULD CHALLENGE HER. THE PRINCIPAL SAYS IT COSTS A LOT TO KEEP UP WITH GIFTED STUDENTS, WHICH MAKE UP 10% OF THE STUDENT POPULATION.

>> FUNDING, SOMETIMES THOSE ARE THE FIRST PROGRAMS THAT GO. HAVING TEACHERS TRAINED TO BE ABLE TO ACCOMMODATE THESE STUDENTS.

>> OKAY.

>> IN CLASS, MACY DOESN'T NEED REVIEW, BUT SHE WILL HAPPILY STIT THROUGH IT.

>> I DON'T KNOW IF I REALLY LIKE THE TRADITIONAL LEARNING THAT MOST PEOPLE DO AT SCHOOL, BUT I GUESS WE LOVE TO LEARN.

>> MACY WANTS TO BECOME AN ENGINEER AND LIKES TO BUILD. A ONE-OF-A-KIND KID WHOSE SCHEDULE WOULD WEAR MOST PEOPLE OUT, BUT NOT MACY. GINA BULLARD, CHANNEL 3 NEWS, CHESTER.

>> WOW.

>> DHAIRN, WHAT A FASCINATING GROUP OF YOUNG PEOPLE. ALL KINDS OF INTERESTS, MATH, SCIENCE, GYMNASTICS. I DON'T KNOW IF I CAN COMPETE.

>> SOMETHING TELLS ME IT'S NOT THE LAST WE'RE GOING TO HEAR OF THESE THREE KIDS.

>> I BET YOU'RE RIGHT.

>> THANKS FOR JOINING US, EVERYBODY. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY.

>> GOOD DAY. CAPTIONING PROVIDED BY. CAPTION ASSOCIATES, LLC www.captionassociates.com

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