From Where I Sit
Putting Our Stake in the Ground
Paula Olszewski-Kubilius, NAGC President
While NAGC's main purpose is and always will be advocacy for gifted children, appropriate educational programs, services, and policies for gifted and talented children cannot be built upon a weak base of general education. Ultimately, NAGC will be more effective in its advocacy for gifted children if it has some influence in shaping general education policies and practices. We have a better chance of ensuring that gifted programs persist despite the vagaries of budgets and local finances if they are rightly seen as contributing to the overall quality of education in this country and as offering viable solutions to major educational problems that schools and districts face.
45 hours of interactive training: flash drive, differentiation book, and CD. This innovative, economical professional development, developed/field-tested by Illinois State Board of Education, ensures a solid foundation in gifted education with resources from experts including Bertie Kingore, Carolyn Coil, Jim Delisle,
Frances Karnes, and Kristen Stephens.
Modules: Perspectives, Understanding Gifted, Differentiation, and Curriculum/ Programming. www.kingore.com
NAGC Supports State Advocacy
Each year NAGC makes advocacy and education conference grants to state affiliate organizations to support their efforts in building a strong foundation for advocacy in the state. This year, NAGC is pleased to support advocacy training, including training students to share their stories of success in gifted education, in three states. 2013 grants were made to the Hawaii Gifted Association, the North Carolina Association for the Gifted, & Talented, and the Wisconsin Association for the Talented & Gifted. Congratulations to each – we know that gifted students benefit when supporters come together to work on their behalf. More information about the advocacy grants, which will next be made in 2014, is available on the state section of the NAGC website.
Javits Frasier Scholarship Applications Now Being Accepted
NAGC is looking for teachers, school counselors, or school psychologists who:
- Work in a Title I school,
- Are new to the field of gifted and talented education, or are in a new gifted/talented position
- Have demonstrated a desire and commitment to increase culturally and linguistically diverse students’ access to talent development opportunities, and
- Have interests and professional goals aligned with the purpose of this professional growth opportunity and are beneficial to their culturally and linguistically diverse students, school, or community
Ready For a Change?
Excellent opportunities for faculty positions are now on the NAGC Career Center. If you’re curious or know someone who may be interested, check out the links below.
Hunter College, Director of Campus Schools and Elementary School Principal
Bridges Academy, Science Teacher and Robotics Faculty Advisor
What Are Your Children Doing This Summer?
The dreaded summer planning season is underway. Starting in February, parents rush to find appropriate summer activities for their gifted children. Should the summer be academic camps, sports activities, or hours of lying around staring at the clouds (we wish that's what they were staring at anyway)? NAGC has three wonderful articles exploring how to balance your child's summer and how to find quality summer camps and programs.
Ready to Walk the Red Carpet?
It's almost time to nominate your favorite teacher or colleague, students, or even yourself for one of our distinguished honors. On Monday, April 15, we will debut the NAGC awards online nomination system. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday, June 25. Take a few minutes to nominate someone and give recognition to a person who has given so much to our field! Award winners will be honored at the annual NAGC Celebration of Excellence on Nov. 8, during the NAGC 60th Annual Convention in Indianapolis. Check out www.nagc.org on Monday for a link to the new awards submission site.
Teaching for High Potential
Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Specialist
It only takes one visit to the NAGC website for NAGC members to notice that a host of research based materials and resources are only a click away. Whether you are a parent or educator, administrator or policymaker, or combination of these, there are resources for YOU.
As NAGC’s Teacher Resource Specialist, I have the opportunity to work on a variety of short and long term projects, most notably the publication Teaching for High Potential (THP). Designed with educators of grades K through 12 in mind, each issue of THP is filled with practical guidance and classroom-based materials for educators striving to understand and challenge their high-potential and high-achieving students.
The Learning Curve
Spring Forward with More Webinars on Wednesday Coming This Spring
"Bullying isn't a problem that makes headlines every day. But every day, it touches the lives of young people all across this country." ~ President Barack Obama
A Webinar on Wednesday miniseries is being offered in response to the current nationwide alarm about the rise in bullying-related incidents and the increase in adult concern about the issue. The problem is so pervasive that in 2011 the White House held its first conference on bullying prevention, and since then hundreds of books on the subject have been published.
New National Science Standards Released
The Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) have been finalized and are now available online. The standards, which are the result of a 26-state collaboration over two years, identify science and engineering practices and content that all K-12 students should master to be fully prepared for college and careers. The NGSS were built on a vision for science education established by the Framework for K-12 Science Education, published by the National Academies of Science's National Research Council in 2011.
"The Next Generation Science Standards are going to pull together inquiry and practice, and recognize the role of engineering. Pulling together the cross-cutting concepts is going to be a challenge, but it's really effective pedagogy," said Ellen Ebert, Washington State's Director of Science for Teaching and Learning at the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Recognizing that the NGSS will require instructional modifications for advanced and gifted learners in the classroom, volunteers at NAGC are developing a book with sample differentiated learning experiences that will be released at the NAGC Convention in Indianapolis, Nov. 7-10.
More Teachers Group Students by Ability
After being condemned as discriminatory in the 1990s, grouping students by academic ability seems to be back in vogue with a new generation of teachers, according to an analysis of federal teacher data. The study, "The Resurgence of Ability Grouping and Persistence of Tracking," is part of an annual report on education released by the Brown Center on Education Policy at the Washington-based Brookings Institution.
New Report Emphasizes Accountability from Secondary Schools
Diverse: Issues In Higher Education
In order to bring about greater post-secondary opportunities and success for students from families of lesser economic means, more time and money should be directed toward high-achieving students who attend high-poverty schools. That is one of the key points made in a new report titled "A Level Playing Field: How College Readiness Standards Change the Accountability Game."
Giftedness Should Not Be Confused With Mental Disorder
The 3-5 percent of kids who are particularly gifted are also at special risk for being tagged with an inappropriate diagnosis of mental disorder. Marianne Kuzujanakis, M.D., MPH is the perfect person to explain why. She is a pediatrician and a Director of SENG (Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted)- an organization dedicated to helping the gifted and their parents. She is also a co-founder of the SENG Misdiagnosis Initiative.
Push Is On to Expand Gifted Education to More Minorities, Poor
As principal of Millennia Elementary in Orlando, Fla., Anne Lynaugh surveyed her campus several years ago and saw more than 700 students, but so few "gifted" youngsters that she could count them on her hands. It troubled but didn't surprise her. About 90 percent of Millennia's students live in low-income families, and more than 80 percent are black and Hispanic. Gifted enrollment, in Florida and across the nation, skews white and wealthy.
Slightly Fewer Children Eligible for Gifted Classes in New York
The New York Times
The number of children qualifying for seats in gifted programs in New York City public schools declined slightly this year after the Department of Education overhauled its admissions process in part to combat a recent explosion in eligibility. Of the 36,012 children tested, 9,020 of them qualified for seats in gifted and talented programs in September, a decrease from the 9,644 who qualified a year earlier, according to data released by the department.
Gifted Students Deserve Attention, Too
The Des Moines Register
We claim to be a state that places great value upon our best and our brightest, yet those are the students who are often set aside so that we can use our time and resources to get the struggling learners up to par with the rest. It has to be recognized that requiring schools to meet basic minimum test scores or face penalties not only forces educators to focus resources on those students with the greatest learning deficits, but it also steals those limited resources from those who are academically exceptional. We settle for mediocrity from them.
The Misunderstood Face of Giftedness
The Huffington Post
In K-12 classrooms everywhere are children at risk for being misunderstood, medically mislabeled, and educationally misplaced. Not limited to one gender, race, ethnicity or socioeconomic group, they could be the children of your neighbors, your friends, your siblings, and even yourself. These at-risk children are gifted children.
Changes Ahead in Gifted Education in Houston Elementary Schools
The Sun News via Macon Telegraph
Exciting changes are ahead for gifted education for our elementary children. A momentous change is that our students will attend gifted education classes every school day instead of only one day a week. This will provide our most high-achieving students with 180 days of higher level instruction, far more than our current model, which provides about 32 days of enrichment instruction a school year. This also enables us to offer more children the opportunity to participate in gifted and talented education.
Karen L. Yoho, CAE, NAGC Senior Director, Marketing and Member Services, 202.785.4268
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601
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Yvette Craig, Managing Editor, 469.420.2641
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