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From Where I Sit
We Need to Work Together to Make the Common Core Work for Gifted Students

Jonathan Plucker
The implementation of the Common Core State Standards is having a profound impact on American education, and many advocates are worried about how the Core will impact gifted students. There is reason for optimism with the Common Core. In this post, I review some of the reasons why the Core could be very good for gifted learners, and offer some cautions about things we, as advocates, need to do to ensure that our best and brightest get these benefits.
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Increase in Javits Funding for 2015

Thanks to the leadership of Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski, chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, funding for the Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act was increased to $10 million in fiscal year 2015. Thanks must also go out to other gifted education supporters in Congress as well as all the advocates who have contacted Congressional offices in support of the Javits program and other initiatives that would strengthen the federal role in supporting gifted students. The Javits Act funds the National Center on Research on Gifted Education and funds research projects that investigate strategies to identify and serve students who have been underrepresented in gifted education program. In 2014, the Department of Education awarded 10 Javits research grants.

"Our country is founded on the idea that intelligence is randomly distributed. Our most gifted children need our help just as much as our most vulnerable do. They need to be held to high standards, they need to be challenged and they need to be engaged," Mikulski said. "I'm proud to continue fighting for the Javits Gifted and Talented Education Act — our nation's only federal program dedicated specifically to gifted and talented students. Building on the investments we made earlier this year, this important program will continue to be funded. I could not be happier that we got this program's funds included in the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2015."

Read NAGC President Tracy Cross's comments on the funding increase.

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Mark Your Calendar for the 2015 Javits-Frasier Teacher Scholarship Fund for Diverse Talent Development
The Javits-Frasier Teacher Scholarship Fund for Diverse Talent Development seeks to increase culturally and linguistically diverse students' access to talent development opportunities through teacher and school counselor/psychologist training and support related to equity and excellence in gifted education. This scholarship program strives to identify passionate, innovative educators in communities across the country where students from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds are historically underrepresented in gifted programs.

The application period will open soon for teachers, school counselors and school psychologists who work in Title I schools and have demonstrated a desire to increase access to programs for gifted and talented students, especially those of low socio-economic status (SES) and culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) groups. Candidates for the program must be relatively new educators (one to two years of experience) and have not attended an NAGC Convention.

Check out full information online. Applications must be postmarked by May 15, 2015. Awards are announced in late August.

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NAGC Arts Network Joins the Innovation Collaborative
The NAGC Arts Network is pleased to join with national leaders to launch The Innovation Collaborative, a new, national organization which networks the arts, sciences and humanities in education to promote innovation thinking for students of all ages. As an outcome from the work of the National Science Foundation-funded Science, Engineering, Arts, Design (SEAD) network, the collaborative plans to focus on the dissemination of research and effective practices at the intersections of art and design, science, humanities and engineering, use of technology, and creativity, cognition and learning in both Pre-K-12 and informal settings. Sign up here.
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Twice Exceptional Learners: Share the Articles from Gifted Child Quarterly
As part of its commitment to special populations of gifted students, NAGC has arranged with Gifted Child Quarterly's publisher to again "open" the fall 2013 issue on twice-exceptional students to the public. Although NAGC members have free access to the online version of Gifted Child Quarterly (GCQ), non-members must pay to download the article PDFs, which often limits the number of articles most K-12 educators read. From now to the end of December, the special issue is available for free download. NAGC urges you to share the journal link with school counselors, special education professionals, assessment teams and others who work with twice-exceptional learners and who would not otherwise be familiar with GCQ. It's an opportunity to raise awareness and start a conversation about the needs of an often overlooked group of learners.
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  Robinson Center for Young Scholars
Challenging K-12 students in an intellectual community through early entrance and outreach programs:
  • Transition School
  • UW Academy
  • Saturday Enrichment
  • Summer Programs
  • Professional Development
For more information, visit our website

Explore NAGC's Career Center for New Job Possibilities
At the NAGC Career Center, you'll find the following positions:

The Mirman School, a Los Angeles, California, independent school for gifted students ages 5-14, has two opportunities for gifted professionals:
  • The Lower School has an opening for a science teacher who will develop the new science program for grades 1-4.
  • The Middle School is looking for a division head who reports to the head of school.
Visit the NAGC Career Center to learn more about open positions around the country.

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Teacher's Corner
You Better Watch Out, You Better Not Cry...

Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Resource Specialist and editor, Teaching for High Potential
In schools across the country, teachers and students are looking forward to the holiday break, bringing much-needed rest and distance from the classroom. But there are a few weeks to go yet, and a great deal to do in preparation for an organized and effective start to the New Year. Returning in January from more than a week away from school can pose quite a challenge for both the teacher and the students; after all time away is time away.
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Looking for adventure this summer?

The Acadia Institute of Oceanography in Seal Harbor, Maine introduces young people to the exciting world of marine science through a unique hands-on curriculum that combines biological, physical and chemical oceanography with field, classroom, offshore, and laboratory work. MORE
Serving Gifted Children Ages 5-14
Mirman School is proud to be celebrating 52 years of educating highly gifted children. Join us online to learn more about our innovative and award-winning programs.

Parent Corner
Overheard in the Halls: A Peek Inside Parent Day 2014

Kathleen Nilles, NAGC Manager of Parent Services and Communications and editor, Parenting for High Potential
Parents are an integral and important part of the 2014 Annual Convention, and this year proved no different. In addition to the parents who registered as full conference attendees, more than 100 parents from more than 10 states gathered on Saturday, November 15 for a daylong "conference within a conference experience" to learn, network, share, and connect. Here are five remarkable behind-the-scenes "goose bumps moments" heard and seen while out and about during NAGC's 2014 Parent Day.
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The Learning Curve
NAGC Launches New Online Learning Portal

In January, NAGC will flip the switch on a new learning portal designed by gifted education professionals, college and university faculty, and online course development experts for all educators. The first course, "Differentiating Content and Instruction for High-Ability Learners: Using the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) or Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)" is six-week online course divided into four modules, and is not just for those who work specifically in gifted programs. The learning and community building extends beyond the six weeks, as participants will continue to share resources, information and knowledge in the online portal.

Stay tuned for the official "switch flipping," which will occur after the new year. Registration will be limited, so begin thinking about colleagues who are new to the CCSS or NGSS and/or need additional support and guidance for creating lessons and evaluating instructional materials. As one beta tester commented on the course, "It's a great way to get teachers to start thinking about the standards they teach and how they can handle them differently and plan purposefully for their gifted students."

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Services for Gifted Children.

A premier resource, consulting, assessment, and educational services center to support parents of gifted children who are seeking guidance.

Ages: Preschool through High School

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Founder & Executive Director
Beautiful Locations in Boulder & Denver, CO Santa Barbra, CA
Ambitious Teenagers: Study in Cambridge!

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Community News
Call for Papers for Annual Mensa Honor

Awards for Excellence in Research are presented jointly by the Mensa Education and Research Foundation and Mensa International for outstanding research on intelligence, intellectual giftedness and related fields. You may be considered if you have published an appropriate paper in a peer-reviewed journal or presented it at a peer-reviewed conference within the past three years. Papers must be submitted by Dec 31. For further information contact the awards chair.
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 From the Headlines

Disclaimer: The information contained herein, other than organizational news, is not intended to reflect the position or opinion of NAGC nor does NAGC endorse any vendor or product mentioned. These headlines are provided solely for informational purposes. While NAGC makes every effort to be sensitive to our readers, please note that articles might not reflect NAGC’s positions on giftedness or related topics. We encourage our readers to contact those media outlets directly in the spirit of educating and informing journalists.

Measure Gifted Students' Growth Accurately
Northwestern University’s Midwest Academic Talent Search (NUMATS) Research-based assessment identifies academic ability, measures growth and connects students to resources and opportunities for advanced students. MORE
Dinah Zike
Zike is known for designing hands-on manipulatives that are used nationally and internationally by teachers, parents, and educational publishing companies. MORE

STEM + Art: A Brilliant Combination
Education Week
Arts integration is an innovative teaching strategy that fuses the arts curriculum — dance, music, visual arts — with standard curricula. For example, a science teacher may instruct students to create a dance to demonstrate what happens when water freezes in a pipe when it is cold. Through arts integration, students will explore the different states of matter through dance.
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Siblings, Giftedness and Disparities — Oh My!
Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted
If you have more than one child sharing your home, you know that no two are alike. If you have biological siblings residing under your roof you know, despite incredibly similar genetics, what works with one does not work with all — in any realm. No, the universe is simply not that kind to the beleaguered parents of the gifted.
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Gifted Men and Women Define Success Differently, 40-Year Study Says
Vanderbuilt University
Researchers spent four decades studying a group of mathematically talented adolescents, finding that by mid-life they were extraordinarily accomplished and enjoyed a high level of life satisfaction. Gender, however, played a significant role in how they pursued — and defined — career, family and success.
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Teaching Literary Analysis
Literary analysis is a vital stage in the development of students' critical thinking skills. Bloom's Taxonomy illustrates that analysis should come at the fourth level, right after comprehension and application. What this means is that students must be able to understand and describe the text before they are able to analyze its elements.
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'Gifted' Takes Different Forms in the Classroom
International Reading Association
Justin Stygles writes: In my research, there appears to be two meanings of "gifted" — the child who seems to possess innate knowledge, scores well on IQ or state tests and outpaces his class. Or there is the unnoticed, abstract thinker — the one who has gifts, often beyond recognition in the classroom, beyond the scope of assessment, hides their gifts within. I recently read "The Drama of the Gifted Child" by Alice Miller. The reading forced me to look at "gifted" in a new sense, almost. What is a child not allowed to express? Who do they have to be? For whom?
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NAGC Appreciates the Support of these 61st Annual Convention Sponsors



Compass Points
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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Caitlin Harrison, Content Editor, 469.420.2657   
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