Davidson Institute                                                                                      December 2009
             What's New in Gifted Education | Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News
   What's New in Gifted Education
  THINK Summer InstituteChallenging Summer Fun  
A great variety of summer programs for the gifted abound in states all over the country. Program themes range from science and mathematics to music and outdoor activities. See these Davidson Gifted Database articles for listings of some excellent summer programs: Browse the Davidson Gifted Database's list of summer programs here. Please note that 2010 application deadlines for certain summer programs may be approaching soon. If you know of a great summer program for academically gifted students not on these lists, please contact us.

THINK Summer InstituteTHINK Summer Institute
Among the most academically rigorous summer programs is the THINK Summer Institute, which will run July 10 through July 31, 2010. Thirteen to 16-year-old students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. THINK applications are currently being accepted. The deadline for early acceptance is Jan. 14, 2010. The final deadline is March 31, 2010. Apply today!

RSIResearch Science Institute (RSI)
For gifted high school students interested in science, technology, engineering or mathematics, the Center for Excellence in Education (CEE) is currently accepting applications for its 27th annual Research Science Institute (RSI) to be held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology next summer. All academically talented high school students are encouraged to apply to this cost-free program. Applications are available for download at www.cee.org.

NAGCNational Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) - 2009 Award Recipients
Gifted education leaders from all over the country were recently honored at NAGC’s 2009 National Convention on Nov. 6 in St. Louis, Mo. Camilla Benbow (right), dean of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, received NAGC’s 2009 Presidential Award, bestowed for “a body of work or significant impact an individual has made on gifted education.” Sources: Vanderbilt UniversityFull list of 2009 Award Recipients

Davidson Institute Co-Founder Jan Davidson - Thinking Big About Gifted EducationTAGT
Earlier this month, Jan Davidson gave the keynote speech, “Thinking Big About Gifted Education,” at the Texas Association for Gifted and Talented Conference. Jan spoke enthusiastically about how matching the curriculum to the student in each subject lets them soar. Read a synopsis of her presentation in this article. We invite you to continue the discussion started in Jan’s keynote on the Gifted Issues Discussion Forum. Colleen Harsin, director of The Davidson Academy, also spoke at the conference, discussing the Academy’s unique assessment process for selecting students outlined in this Gifted Exchange blog post.

   Davidson News
  The Davidson Academy of Nevada
Davidson AcademyThe application for the 2010-2011 school year is now available! Visit The Davidson Academy How to Apply page to find the application, which consists of three downloadable documents. Educational opportunities abound at the Academy, 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.

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 prospective students and their families the opportunity to hear from current students and Academy parents, become familiar with faculty and staff, Davidson Academynetwork with others, and ask specific questions.
  • Friday, Jan. 22, 2010
  • Thursday, Feb. 18, 2010
  • Thursday, March 25, 2010
  • Thursday, April 15, 2010
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.

Davidson Young Scholars
Davidson Young ScholarsThe 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 guidebooks help direct parents and students through the process of searching for an appropriately challenging educational setting.

Davidson Fellows2010 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2010 Davidson Fellows scholarships are available online. Young people under the age of 18 have the opportunity to win a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000 scholarship in recognition of a significant piece of work in the categories of Science, Technology, Mathematics, Music, Literature and Philosophy, or a project that represents Outside the Box thinking. The application deadline is March 3, 2010.

Educators GuildEducators Guild
The Davidson Institute's Educators Guild is a free national service for active elementary, secondary and post-secondary educators, as well as other professionals who are committed to meeting the unique academic needs of gifted students. Become a member today and be a part of an online community of more than 1,000 professional educators and access free consulting services and Educators Guild publications.

   Legislative & Policy News
  NAGC Report Finds Wide Disparities in Gifted Education
NAGCThe National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) recently released the latest version of their biennial report on state gifted legislation, the 2008-2009 State of the States in Gifted Education (PDF). The report breaks down information on individual states' approaches toward identification, funding, acceleration and more. The State of the States also describes how gifted funding and policy can vary greatly between different school districts, even in the same state. The report also explains that most of federal money has gone toward helping low-performing, poor and minority students achieve basic proficiency while largely failing to help gifted students reach their full potential. Sources: NAGC (PDF), Education Week. Read the Gifted Exchange blog post.

Gifted Education State Policy Map Recently Updated!
Gifted Education State PoliciesThe Davidson Institute's Gifted Education State Policy Map was recently updated to reflect much of the new information in the State of the States report. The color status of 12 states changed: Alabama, Alaska, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Click on your state to view the state's definition of giftedness, key personnel, statistics and legislative information. More updates to the individual state pages will be coming over the next few weeks, so please check back often.

COLORADO – A review team in the Boulder Valley School District has recommended the denial of an application for a new charter school for gifted students, saying that it appears to be a spinoff of the recently closed area private school, the Rocky Mountain School for the Gifted. Source: Daily Camera

CONNECTICUT – Education officials in the Greenwich School District are considering reinstating a science program for gifted students. A number of parents in the district are advocating for the district’s third grade interdisciplinary science Advanced Learners Program (ALP) funding to be restored. Source: Greenwich Post

– Fueled by federal stimulus money, Duval County Public Schools is developing accelerated academic programs in 10 neighborhood high schools. Each school is developing one of three programs: the Early College, Advanced Placement Honors; the University of Cambridge's Advanced International Certificate of Education; or the International Baccalaureate program. Source: Florida Times-Union

– With the Kentucky Department of Education planning to cut its spending by about $20 million during the rest of this fiscal year, programs for gifted students in the state are facing possible budget cuts. Sources: Kentucky.com, Louisville Courier-Journal

A recent evaluation of Bowling Green Junior High School’s gifted education program determined that steps should be taken to better identify potentially gifted minorities for the program, in addition to other recommendations. Source: Bowling Green Daily News

– Two summer programs for gifted Missouri high school students will begin charging tuition due to recent funding cuts. The Missouri Fine Arts Academy and the Missouri Scholars Academy will now charge tuition to families on a sliding income scale so that families who can afford the programs will help subsidize those who cannot. Source: Springfield News-Leader

– Officials in Clark County hoping to establish the district’s first public school for highly gifted students are receiving a big boost thanks to $600,000 in federal funding, the largest allotment for gifted education to any district in the country this year. The school, which drew inspiration from The Davidson Academy, is expected to eventually serve about 200 students in grades 6-12. Students will be taught by educators certified in gifted education and in classes limited to 20 students. Source: Las Vegas Sun Gifted Legislation

– Starting in spring 2010, teachers in New York State can receive certification in gifted education through a new online program offered by the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education (GSE). The 15-credit-hour program allows teachers to complete the required field work in gifted education in the community in which they live. Source: UB News Center

VIRGINIA – Under the direction of Gov. Timothy Kaine, the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) will investigate claims of disproportionately low representation of minority students in gifted education in the state. While African-Americans make up 26 percent and Hispanics make up nine percent of the student population, only 12 percent of those identified as gifted are black, and only five percent of Hispanics are identified as gifted. The analysis will determine the best practices for identifying gifted and talented students. Sources: Chatham Star Tribune, Richmond Times Dispatch

– Under pressure to cut the state budget by more than $2 billion, the state legislature is currently in the process of making critical decisions about funding for highly capable (gifted) education programs. Gifted advocates are organizing efforts to maintain the current funding level for highly capable programs in the supplemental budget for 2010-2011, as well as fund the highly capable program clause of the new Basic Education Bill (2261) that requires school districts to provide highly capable programs starting in 2011.

Advocates are encouraging anyone interested in participating in these efforts to contact the Washington Coalition For Gifted Education at wagifted@earthlink.net to be put on the email list for information about Gifted Education Day (Feb. 5, 2010) and legislative updates. Source: Wenatchee World

Gifted education consultants have been enlisted to help evaluate gifted programs for elementary and middle school students in the Tacoma School District. The consultants will study all aspects of the district's offerings, including how students are identified for programs and how to best ensure access for all students. Source: The News Tribune

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
  Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • Intentions and results in school reform – Everyone is into school reform these days, and everyone has good intentions. But is freelance innovation as Gifted Educationeffective as following very specific scripts? You may be surprised by the results of one study.
  • Education Tracking Continues to Stir Debate – Ability grouping or, as opponents like to call it, "tracking," remains a controversial idea among people who aren't trying to raise bored gifted kids stuck in heterogeneous classrooms.
Join the discussion today! For links to gifted-related organizations' social networking pages and blogs, click here.

Gift Ideas for Gifted Students
Looking for last minute gift ideas for gifted young people? Or, need to find a great birthday gift for a gifted student? The Davidson Database article “Tips for Parents: Gift Ideas for Eager Young Minds” was recently updated and includes the following sections: book reading lists, magazine subscriptions, video games, toys and miscellaneous.
Suggest a Resource             Suggest an Article 

   In the News
Dec. 17, 2009 - Exchange Morning Post, Perfectionism potentially harmful for most elementary students (Staff)
Dec. 16, 2009 - Education Week, More Top Scorers Found in Tracked Schools (Ian Quillen)
Dec. 15, 2009 - Washington Post, Why I have no use for the achievement gap (Jay Mathews)
Dec. 14, 2009 - National Journal, Education Tracking Continues To Stir Debate (Eliza Krigman)
Dec. 14, 2009 - Washington Post, 'Gifted' classrooms and the value of diversity (Brian Reid)
Dec. 13, 2009 - Kansas City Star, Gifted students at a KC school learn by playing bridge (Joe Robertson)
Dec. 11, 2009 - Bakersfield Californian, Schools struggle to keep GATE programs afloat (Jorge Barrientos)
Dec. 9, 2009 - U.S. News, U.S. News ranking of America's Best High Schools (Staff)
Dec. 9, 2009 - Washington Post, Why gifted classes are not enough: the Warren Buffett case (Jay Mathews)
Dec. 8, 2009 - SuburbanJournals, What's tough about being a smart kid? (Jim Merkel)
Dec. 6, 2009 - AnnArbor.com, Local author provides insight into Autism and Asperger's Syndrome at age 12 (Staff)
Nov. 30, 2009 - Shreveport Times, Local 5 year old accepted into Mensa (Angel Arnold)
Nov. 22, 2009 - San Diego Union-Tribune, Prodigy? That’s a good description (John Wilkens)
Nov. 12, 2009 - PR Newswire, U.S. Commitment to Gifted Students Severely Lacking, New Report Finds (Staff)

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

   Closing Thought

"It’s time to think big and to think in different terms about gifted education."

                         ~ Jan Davidson, Co-founder of the Davidson Institute for Talent Development


If you have information to include in future eNews-Updates, please email our Communications Team.
If you have been forwarded this eNews-Update, and wish to receive future editions, sign-up here.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Supporting our nation's brightest young minds.

9665 Gateway Drive, Suite B, Reno, Nevada 89521
Phone: 775-852-3483 Fax: 775-852-2184
Email: administrator@davidsongifted.org     Web: www.DavidsonGifted.org
Request a Brochure online.

       Visit the Davidson Institute's eNews-Update archive page on the Davidson Gifted Database.

  DITD FaceBook   DITD Twitter   DITD YouTube  
      The Davidson Institute has more than 750 fans on Facebook and 250 followers on Twitter. Are you one of them? The Davidson Institute also has a number of YouTube videos!