Davidson Institute                                                                                           August 2009
             What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News
   What's New in Gifted Education
  Announcing the 2009 Davidson Fellows
Davidson FellowsMeet the 2009 Davidson Fellows! Davidson Fellows have completed graduate-level projects/portfolios that have the potential to benefit society. Each will receive a scholarship and be recognized for their achievements at a special awards reception sponsored by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (NV) and Chuck Grassley (IA) in Washington, D.C.

NAGCNational Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Updates
“Gateway to Gifted” – NAGC’s 2009 National Convention
With presentations on issues ranging from “Math and Science” to “Early Childhood” and much more, the 56th annual NAGC Convention & Exhibition, Nov. 5 through Nov. 8 in St. Louis, Mo. provides an excellent opportunity to learn alongside, and network with, colleagues. At each presentation, parents, educators and those interested in gifted education will be provided with “take-away” tools and classroom resources.

FREE Webinars on Wednesdays
NAGC is offering Webinars On Wednesdays (WOW) to bring experts directly to classroom teachers, counselors, graduate students, parents, GT coordinators and administrators, sharing practical advice and updates on the latest issues in gifted education. Tune in the 2nd and 4th Wednesday each month. There is also a monthly “Parent Night.” Experience the live WOW sessions via the Internet to listen, view slides, access handouts, and pose questions to presenters, as well as interact with other participants. All sessions through 2009 are free and advanced registration is recommended.

Jan Davidson - "Thinking Big About Gifted Education" at TAGT ConferenceTAGT
Jan Davidson will provide the keynote address at the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented Conference, Dec. 2 through Dec. 4 in Houston. The conference will help attendees learn how to meet the unique needs of gifted and talented children, as well as network and exchange ideas. View the general session schedule and location information.

   Davidson News
  The Davidson Academy of Nevada
The 2009-2010 school year is underway as of Aug. 24 with 93 students enrolled. Welcome new students and welcome back returning students!

2010-2011 Applications Available Soon!
Davidson AcademyEducational opportunities abound at The Davidson Academy of Nevada, a free, public school located in Reno, Nev. where the abilities, strengths and interests of middle and high school students are encouraged and supported. Those who perform at an academic level of advanced middle school or higher in all subjects, and score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests, are encouraged to apply. Please review the Test Score Criteria and the Application Review Process for more information. Applications for the 2010-2011 school year will be available on the Academy website Sept. 1.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Prospective students and their families are encouraged to visit the Academy for an informational monthly tour! Taking a tour provides the opportunity to hear from current Academy students and parents, familiarize yourself with faculty and staff, network with others, and ask specific questions.Davidson Academy
  • Friday, Sept. 18, 2009
  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009

RSVPs are required for these tours. Prospective students interested in receiving email updates about the Academy can sign up for the free Explore The Davidson Academy eNewsletter by clicking here to subscribe.

Relocation Resources
For helpful information about relocating to Reno, be sure to check out the Reno Relocation page on the Academy website.

New Academy Curriculum Presentation
In response to questions frequently asked by parents during public tours and discussion forums, The Davidson Academy faculty and administration compiled a presentation, entitled Davidson Academy Curriculum - An Overview (PDF), which can be found on the Curriculum page. Please note that this is a one megabyte (MB) file that may take a few minutes to download.

Davidson Young ScholarsDavidson Young Scholars
The national Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and their families, including talent development and educational advocacy, an online community, annual get-togethers, and the Ambassador Program. Applications are due the 14th of each month. Apply today!

FREE Guidebooks for Gifted Learners
The Davidson Institute offers FREE, online access to three educational planning guidebooks focused on advocacy, early college and mentorships. With a wide variety of articles and tools, these comprehensive guides direct parents and students searching for an appropriately challenging setting through a process for effectively implementing decisions.

   Legislative & Policy News
Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act – Funding for Javits for fiscal year 2010 is nearly secured. The Senate appropriations committee included $7.46 million for the program in the bill it approved on July 30. The bill must now go to the full Senate for its approval. Javits is the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education. Source: The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Legislative Update page

– A new program will enable gifted high-school juniors and seniors from the Miami-Dade school district to take classes at Florida International University. The Academy for Advanced Academics will offer a mix of high school and college curricula, and allow students to graduate with up to two years of college credit. Source: Miami Herald

– Funding for gifted education in Illinois has been dropped, part of the recent $180 million budget cut by the State Board of Education. Sources: Chicago Tribune, Chicago Breaking News

– Due to budget cuts, a number of Maryland gifted summer camps, such as The Maryland Summer Center for Space Science, will likely lose funding for 2010. State education leaders are searching for ways to combat this. Source: News Channel 8

– SAGE Academy, a new elementary school for  Prior Lake-Savage Area academically gifted students, will open in the fall. The school will focus on teaching students skills and strategies to become critical thinkers and learners. Source: Savage Pacer

– A Missouri program for gifted middle schoolers allows them to enter a high-school environment beginning in the sixth grade. The Middle Years Scholars Program enrolls about 40 students per grade each year, challenging them with course work at the high school level. Source: Springfield News-Leader

– Gifted Cumberland Valley elementary school students will be clustered for academic subjects starting this fall, in response to a review of the district's gifted students program suggesting students would have more to gain if they were grouped together. Source: The Patriot-News

Gifted EducationTEXAS
– Changes in enrollment guidelines have led to more students being classified as gifted in the Houston school district. Nearly 28,300 students in the district earned entrance into the school district’s gifted magnet program in 2009, an increase of more than 2,000 students from 2007. Source: Houston Chronicle (article no longer available online)

– A Governor’s School at George Mason University was recently approved by the Virginia Board of Education. The school, which is expected to open in September 2010 to high school juniors in Prince William County, Manassas and Manassas Park, will provide gifted students mentorship opportunities and advanced science and technology courses. Source: Washington Post

– With the number of West Virginia students identified as gifted significantly dropping over the last few years, the State Department of Education is investigating ways to reverse this trend. A possible solution is to implement a new screening process, rather than just waiting for teacher referrals. Source: WVNS-TV

Marshall University is starting a school for high school students focused on math and science. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) Academy will be a fully operational high school for gifted students. Source: West Virginia Public Broadcasting

WISCONSIN – The Talented and Gifted (TAG) program in the Madison School District is receiving a major overhaul. The district drafted a plan that will improve how they identify and support TAG students throughout their academic careers. Source: Wisconsin State Journal

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 contact the Communications Team.

   On the Web
  Twitter Facebook and Twitter - Impacting the World of Gifted Education
FacebookGifted organizations and advocates across the country are communicating through social networking sites, such as Facebook and Twitter. We invite you to become a “Fan” of the Davidson Institute on Facebook and a “Follower” of DavidsonGifted on Twitter.

Deborah Mersino offers a three-part series on her webpage explaining how gifted education advocates can use Twitter to share information effectively. Her articles are very helpful for beginners trying to learn how to communicate on social networking sites. Here are some of the gifted organizations and advocates who have pages on these sites: If you know of any others, please email us at administrator@davidsongifted.org as we will keep a running list in this Davidson Gifted Database article.

Gifted EducationGifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • Can gifted kids become not-gifted? – what makes gifted education into a controversy is that it's perceived as some sort of reward, as opposed to an educational intervention for kids who need it.
  • Judging Teachers – One problem in Los Angeles is just part of a broader philosophical woe in American education: we do not value excellence. We are perfectly willing to squander talent in pursuit of someone's idea of "fairness."
Join the discussion today! For listings of other educational blogs, visit Moving Forward and Clear View Education.

   In the News
August 27, 2009 - New York Times, Smart Child Left Behind (Tom Loveless & Michael J. Petrilli)
August 24, 2009 - Washington Post, Gifted Teacher Has to Jump Through Hoops Just to Keep His Job (J. Mathews)
August 19, 2009 - New York Times, Study Finds That Online Education Beats the Classroom (Steve Lohr)
August 19, 2009 - Washington Examiner, No back-to-school for gifted 10-year-old (Barbara Hollingsworth)
August 15, 2009 - The Patriot-News, Clustering grouping: the intelligent choice for schools (Doug Mitchell)
August 13, 2009 - Southtown Star, 15-year-old heading to college this fall (Michael Drakulich)
August 13, 2009 - Washington Post, Should Schools Bar Average Students From Rigorous Courses? (Jay Mathews)
August 12, 2009 - Oregon Live, Student gets $50,000 scholarship for writing portfolio (Susan Green)
August 11, 2009 - State Journal-Register, Proficiency ought not be our main education goal (S. Walker & N. Green)
August 11, 2009 - NewsDay.com, Research wins East Setauket teen $25,000 scholarship (John Hildebrand)
August 10, 2009 - New York Times, At 19, With College Behind Her, Law School Beckons (Jacques Steinberg)
August 1, 2009 - Associated Press, Reno academy caters to really smart kids (Sandra Chereb)
July 10, 2009 - Merced Sun-Star, So you think your child is a prodigy: Pointers, perspective (Julie L. Laviolette)
July 8, 2009 - Turkish Weekly, Are Gifted Children Born or Made? (Staff)

Discuss these stories and more on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum.

   Closing Thought

"Policy-makers in Washington should . . . provide incentives for states and local districts to develop and implement a range of strategies to identify and reach the countless number of gifted students who are now languishing."

                                             ~ Sally Walker and Nancy Green, State Journal-Register


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