April 2008
What's New in Gifted Education Davidson News |  Legislative & Policy News On the WebIn the News Upcoming EventsIn the Spotlight 
   What's New in Gifted Education
         2008 Intel Science Talent Search – Two Davidson Fellows Take Center Stage

           Top Ten Winners of the 2008 Intel STS
Two Davidson Fellows were awarded the top prizes at the recent 2008 Intel Science Talent Search (ISTS). 2006 Davidson Fellow Laureate Shivani Sud, 17, earned the top prize – a $100,000 scholarship – for developing a model that may determine a person’s risk for recurrence of colon cancer, and 2007 Davidson Fellow Graham Van Schaik, 17, placed second, receiving a $75,000 scholarship for studying the effects of a common pesticide on breast cancer and nerve cell degeneration. Other scholarship recipients were recognized for their work in chemistry, mathematics, biology, and more. Sources: Intel Science Talent Search, Science News Online, IndiaPost.

         The Wallace Symposium Focuses on Gifted Research and Innovation
The nation’s leading researchers in gifted education will be presenting their work at the Ninth Biennial Henry B. & Jocelyn Wallace National Research Symposium on Talent Development, an event that has been a focal point for gifted education for almost two decades. The Symposium will be held at the University of Iowa May 18 through May 20. Presenters include Susan Assouline, Nicholas Colangelo, James Gallagher and Joyce VanTassel-Baska. The deadline for early registration is May 1, 2008.

         Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award - Recognizing Academic Achievement
The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is accepting applications for the Nicholas Green Distinguished Student Award. The award program recognizes academic achievement and leadership among students grades 3 through 6; winners receive a $500 U.S. savings bond and an NAGC Certificate of Excellence. Application deadlines vary by state; a number have already passed. Source: NAGC

         Let Us Help You by Disseminating Gifted Education News
Does your organization have gifted education news that could be featured in the next Davidson Institute eNews-Update? With more than 14,000 subscribers, the eNews-Update is an excellent place to highlight stories related to gifted education, students and research. We also spotlight gifted news weekly on the home page of the Davidson Gifted Database, which receives about 6.5 million hits a year. Send us your information.

   Davidson News
         The Davidson Academy of Nevada – Application Deadline Extended
Davidson Academy of NevadaTo accommodate additional SAT and ACT testing dates, the deadline for 2008-2009 Davidson Academy of Nevada applications has been extended to June 1, 2008. Located on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, the Academy is the first public school of its kind for profoundly gifted students. A new Davidson Academy Prospective Students email list is available to all who are interested in receiving monthly updates about the school. For details, please subscribe here.
         Davidson Young Scholars
During the past few months, the Davidson Young Scholars Family Consultant team has launched the Young Scholars Ambassador Program to help interested students learn the skills of goal setting, leadership, advocacy and more in the context of community service. To become a Young Scholars Ambassador, profoundly gifted students must first be enrolled in the Young Scholars program. Apply today! Our services can help students utilize their abilities and interests to realize their full potential and make a difference in the lives of others.
         THINK Summer Institute
THINK Summer Institute

The 2008 THINK Summer Institute will be held July 12th through August 2nd. Students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK. Applications are being accepted on a space available basis. Apply today.


         Educators Guild
Active elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators are encouraged to join more than 1,000 professional educators who are part of the Davidson Institute's Educators Guild. Visit www.EducatorsGuild.org today to become a member with access to an online community, free consulting services and Educators Guild publications!
         2007 Year-End Summary
At the end of 2007, the Davidson Institute was providing direct support to 1,335 profoundly intelligent young people through the Davidson Young Scholars program, Davidson Fellows and the THINK Summer Institute; serving 1,355 members of the Educators Guild; and throughout the year, provided indirect support to more than 600,000 unique visitors to our websites (www.DavidsonGifted.org) and more than 14,000 who received the Institute’s electronic broadcasts. View the 2007 Annual Report
   Legislative & Policy News

Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act
- Senators Grassley (IA) and Dodd (CT) and Representatives Gallegly (CA) and Matheson (UT) are requesting $11.25 million for Javits, which would be the highest total since 2002, by sending letters to draw support throughout the House and Senate. To learn more, please visit the National Association for Gifted Children’s (NAGC) Legislative Update page.

Assistant Secretary of Education Kerri L. Briggs recently published a “Notice of Proposed Priority” (PDF) in the Federal Register, explaining that she hopes to direct Javits funds to programs that will serve students from underrepresented groups, such as the economically disadvantaged or students with limited English proficiency. Proponents of gifted education worry that this would cause Javits to be yet another “close-the-achievement gap program.” Sources: Education Week, Gifted Exchange Blog

ARIZONA - The state legislature recently acted to fully fund all eligible gifted student applicants according to the "statutory funding formula for additional assistance funding" ($75 per student for 4% of a district's total student enrollment or $2,000, whichever is greater). In the past, this formula was only partially funded. Source: Arizona Department of Education

CALIFORNIA - A Court of Appeals ruling requiring parents to have teaching credentials to homeschool their children won’t change policy in the state, according to Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. While this is reassuring for homeschooling supporters, many feel that the ruling must be overturned so as to not have precedent value. Sources: Collier Citizen, Los Angeles Times, Associated Content

ILLINOIS - The Illinois State Board of Education recently cut $5 million for gifted education programs from its budget, negating positive developments. "It's devastating to us," said Sally Walker, executive director of the Illinois Association for Gifted Children. "We've been working so hard to get a gifted program up and running again, and now they've sent a message that gifted education is not a priority." Source: Chicago Tribune

MASSACHUSETTS - The state Department of Education will fund gifted and talented programming for 21 Massachusetts school districts. Forty-eight school districts applied for the competitive grant, which will fund pull-out programs, in-class models, specialized courses for educators, and more. Sources: Massachusetts Board of Education Advisory Council, WickedLocal.com, MassLive.com

MINNESOTA - A grant for the Austin Public School District will create 3 ½ full-time gifted and talented teaching positions. The Hormel Foundation will donate $810,740, distributing the funding over a three-year period beginning this summer. Source: Post-Bulletin

MISSOURI - With Missouri no longer appropriating funds specifically for gifted education, one lawmaker is seeking to improve gifted services in the state. Rep. Sara Lampe is sponsoring a bill that could require schools to provide services for the gifted and allocate a portion of school funding for gifted programming. Sources: NewsOK.com, KOMU-TV, The New York Times

- A previous allocation of $800,000 to support gifted and talented programs for Fiscal Year 2007-2008 has been negated due to state budgets cuts. Also, a full-time Gifted and Talented Education coordinator position will not be created for the foreseeable future, reversing what was reported in the November 2007 eNews-Update. Source: Nevada Legislature (PDF)

In response to poor test scores among the state’s brightest students, changes that would enforce more state oversight in how school districts run their gifted education programs have been proposed. Any alterations to state policy will not take place until at least May and would have to be adopted by the State Board of Education. Source: The News & Observer

A recently-implemented program sponsored by Gov. Ted Strickland will allow Ohio high school seniors the opportunity to earn free college credit. Gifted students in need of an accelerated curriculum could benefit immensely from Seniors to Sophomores, although the program will not be restricted to top students. Sources: Cleveland Plain-Dealer, Cincinnati Enquirer

OREGON - The Oregon legislature passed a measure that will allot up to $350,000 of the State School Fund for administration of, and support for, gifted and talented programming. Senate Bill 1066 (PDF) will allow the Department of Education to use the money for program support costs (not just education) as of October 1, 2008. Source: OregonLive.com

PENNSYLVANIA - Proposed revisions to state regulations, Chapter 16 of Pennsylvania Code, could positively impact gifted education in the state, by requiring schools to develop individualized education programs (IEPs), mandate on-site inspections so that districts develop appropriate plans for gifted students, and more. Source: RedOrbit.com

The Board of Education is also considering implementing a new gifted identification process. While the current law identifies those who score a 130 or above on IQ tests and meet other criteria as gifted, proposed changes would factor in a number of other measures. Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Davidson Institute Gifted State Policy Map

How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out at: Gifted Education Policies.  
If you know of new legislation, please let us know.  Contact: The Communications Team

   On the Web
         Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • Reducing Class Size May Increase Learning Gap - Reducing class sizes is a popular education reform. Does it work? New studies are attempting to answer this question, and how to make class size reduction most effective.
  • The Tuition Game - Some highly selective colleges have recently changed their financial aid programs to make college more accessible.

 Join the discussion today!

         Davidson Gifted Database – Featured Resources
The Early College High School Initiative, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other corporations, can help make a difference in the lives of  students across the country through rigorous early college programs of study.
The Math Forum at Drexel is a tremendous online resource designed to improve math learning, teaching and communication.

The University Scholars Program, located in West Chester, Penn. seeks to maximize the intellectual potential of gifted and talented learners through a focus on individual achievement and academic rigor.
          Stanford University EPGY Online High School
 A fully-accredited, diploma-granting high school, the Education Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY) Online High School (OHS) at Stanford University provides gifted students everywhere with an opportunity to attend a school designed expressly for them. Applications will be considered on a space available basis until August 15, 2008.
Click here for more information.
   In the News                                  

March 30, 2008 - News & Observer, Bright kids, tight funding (T. Keung Hui)
March 27, 2008 - New York Post, Schools' Cruel Cut For Gifted Pupils (Yoav Gonen)
March 23, 2008 - Hoboken Reporter, 2nd grade bookworm passes test for university's gifted programs (Timothy Carroll)
March 21, 2008 -
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, State expands definition of 'gifted' students (Staff)
March 9, 2008 - New York Times, A Science Prodigy in an Unlikely Place (Joseph Berger)
March 4, 2008 - Denver Post, Minorities, poor get "highly gifted" lift (Jeremy P. Meyer)
March 4, 2008 - North County Journal, Could gifted-education programs be in trouble? (Buck Collier)
Feb. 16, 2008 - Press-Citizen, 3 years later, UI study influencing education for gifted students
(Brian Morelli)
Feb. 16, 2008 - Naples Daily News, Guest commentary: Thanks to schools’ gifted program (Editorial)
Feb. 7, 2008 - News 3 Las Vegas, Gifted Students: Are they in Danger of Being Left Behind? (Staff)
Feb. 7, 2008 - District Administration, Study recommends sweeping changes to student advancement (Pat Kossan)
Jan. 23, 2008 - Cleveland Plain Dealer, Thousands of gifted students not receiving adequate education
(J. González)
Jan. 22, 2008 - EducationWeek, The Gifted Express, Now Leaving on Track 1 (Stephen L. Gessner)
Jan. 23, 2008 - Forbes.com, Do You Have A Gifted Child?
  (Hana R. Alberts)
Jan. 14, 2008 - Vail Daily, Schools aim to challenge the brightest
(Matt Terrell)
Jan. 4, 2008 - Seattle Post-Intelligencer, From feds on down, AP students are being neglected
(Walt Gardner)

   Upcoming Events

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) – 25th Silver Anniversary Conference
Most gifted conferences focus on educational issues and touch briefly on social and emotional subject matter. However, for the past 25 years, the annual SENG Gifted Conference has spotlighted the unique social and emotional needs and the challenges gifted young people face. "The SENG Summit: Reaching Attitudes & Altitudes" will be held July 18-20, 2008 in Salt Lake City, Utah and offers dozens of sessions to choose from. For more information, visit Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG). Flyer (PDF)

States with Upcoming Gifted Conferences/Events

For more, see the Events Calendar on Davidson Gifted Database, your gateway to gifted resources!
   In the Spotlight

Joel McIntosh & Prufrock Press Inc.

While attending gifted education conferences in the mid-'80s, former teacher Joel McIntosh met creative educators willing to share lessons, units, and projects, and scholars eager to share their research findings. Realizing the need for someone to publish this material and offer it to a broader audience, McIntosh founded Prufrock Press Inc., which provides award-winning gifted education resources to students, parents and teachers across the nation and the world. Today, Prufrock Press offers more than 300 titles including research-based supplementary curricular materials, professional development products, textbooks, testing instruments and periodicals.

"Education should not be boring for any child," McIntosh says. "At Prufrock we like to publish books that offer an innovative approach to teaching, such as using simulations, problem-based learning, and hands-on investigation. Our overarching mission is to make a powerful difference in the lives of gifted and talented children."

Prufrock’s products address two audience groups: K-12 materials and the gifted teacher's professional development. In their K-12 products, the main focus is to have materials that truly challenge students and encourage outside the box learning, while adhering to national standards. Prufrock also publishes three quarterly professional journals (Gifted Child Today, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and Journal of Advanced Academics), one quarterly children's magazine (Creative Kids), and more than 40 new titles each year.

Prufrock Press is frequently contacted by parents frustrated with having few, if any, gifted services at their child's school and don't know what to do.

"Oftentimes, parents purchase materials to use with their child at home or advocacy books to help them work with a school on behalf of their student," says McIntosh, who has a master’s degree in gifted education. "For teachers who have gifted students mixed into a general classroom, we have a number of books about differentiating lesson plans or curriculum so that the needs of all students can be served in one classroom." (See newly released Best Practices in Gifted Education.)

During the past year, the Prufrock Press team has focused more on college preparation and special opportunities for gifted learners, specifically with publication of The Ultimate Guide to Summer Opportunities for Teens: 200 Programs That Prepare You for College Success by Sandra Berger.

"Although we'll always keep the education of gifted children our core theme, we're branching out to serve a broader spectrum of the gifted and talented," McIntosh said. "Currently, we are very interested in the topic of twice-exceptional children. As a field, we are just beginning to look seriously at this topic, and I want Prufrock to be a leader on this subject."

The positive impact Joel McIntosh and Prufrock Press have had in the field of gifted education can be felt in homes and classrooms around the world.

   Closing Thought

"Learning opportunities based on proficiencies would certainly be more fun, more invigorating, more challenging, and without a doubt, helpful to the future of America."

~ Graham Van Schaik, 2007 Davidson Fellow and 2008 Intel Talent Search Scholarship Recipient  

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