In April 2004, Simon & Schuster published Genius Denied, co-authored by Jan and Bob Davidson with Laura Vanderkam
In April 2004, Simon & Schuster published Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds, co-authored by Jan & Bob Davidson with Laura VanderkamHello! We would like to thank you for your interest in Genius Denied, and for making our effort to publish the book and Genius Denied website so rewarding.

Since Genius Denied was published in April, we have received many letters and emails, including questions about various topics discussed in the book. We are hoping to answer many of the most frequently asked questions through Genius Denied e-broadcasts to our readers and website visitors. Welcome to the inaugural issue.

Thank you again!

Jan and Bob Davidson

Q. How can I tell if our local schools are meeting the educational needs of the bright students?
A. You should ask questions of your district's school board members, superintendent, principals, teachers, students and parents about educational policy, practices, and learning experiences of high ability students. Here are some items to include in your queries.

  • How is entrance to kindergarten determined? (In most places, it is by age.) If a child is developmentally ready for school before the age date specified, are exceptions made to allow him to start school early?

  • How are students grouped for instruction? Research has shown that schools who group students by competency rather than age get better academic performance results-- at all levels.

  • If a student has mastered the material in a given subject or course, can she move on to something more challenging? Ask for examples of bright students who are currently being accommodated with an accelerated educational program matched to their abilities.

  • Can the student be accelerated to an advanced course or take an advanced course online? Is grade acceleration an option? Are any gifted students involved in dual enrollment, i.e. taking some high school courses when they are in middle school?

  • Are Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) courses available at the high schools? What percentage of students graduate from high school with college credit earned from taking these accelerated courses?

  • Does the school recognize the special needs of gifted students, offer them appropriate counseling, and advise them of talent development opportunities? Are gifted students encouraged to participate in the talent searches and take advantage of advanced academic experiences offered by the talent search programs?

  • Does the school district offer their teachers professional development so that they are informed on the signs of high ability and how gifted students learn?

  • Does the school culture value intellectual discovery and achievement? Do the students encourage one another to accomplish more than they would on their own? Is it ok to be smart?

  • In our work with schools, we have found that if the administration is open-minded and flexible in serving the educational needs of each student, it is likely that they will be able to craft an educational program that will allow even their bright students to learn to the extent of their abilities.

  • One final thought: "gifted" is a term that covers a wide range of intellectual abilities. Be wary of a school that treats all gifted students the same. Our experience has been that a "one-size-fits-all gifted program" fits few.

Please send any questions to be answered in future Newsletters to:

Little Known Facts

  • Out of every Federal dollar spent on education only a fraction of a penny is spent on gifted education.

  • There is no federal mandate or overarching federal legislation to guide state policies on educating high ability learners.

  • Only 32 states have laws that require that gifted students be identified; just 29 require that they be served.

  • Researchers estimate that about half of gifted students are underachievers in school.

What the Experts Say

Helping students learn only what they don't already know
  by Julian Stanley

An analysis of the research on ability grouping
  by James Kulik

Educational decision making on acceleration and ability grouping
  by Joyce VanTassel-Baska

A best-evidence synthesis of research on acceleration options for gifted students
  by Karen Rogers

Hidden Gifted Learner
   by Deidre Lovecky

Factors in the social adjustment and social acceptability of extremely gifted children
  by Miraca Gross

Policy Resources

Federal Policy on Gifted Education

State Policy on Gifted Education

Educators - What You Can Do

Parents - What You Can Do

Students -What You Can Do

A Nation Deceived:
How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students

The Templeton Report on Acceleration

by Dr. Nicholas Colangelo,
     Dr. Susan G. Assouline, &
     Dr. Miraca U. M. Gross

- Provides an overview of the research on the educational needs of gifted learners PLUS
- Step-by-step guidance on how to turn research findings into good educational practices

Download report available- Late September

Printed report available- the first week in October

FREE to schools
To request your copy of A Nation Deceived,

Our September Schedule

Wednesday, September 29th
We'll be at the Davidson Fellows Event in Washington D.C. proudly honoring the outstanding achievements of sixteen 2004 Davidson Fellows.

If you or your organization would be interested in a book signing or a "Meet the Author" session with the authors of Genius Denied, please email your request to or visit Genius Denied - On Tour.

"Not every child has an equal talent or an equal ability or equal motivation; but children have the equal right to develop their talent, their ability, and their motivation."   
  -- John F. Kennedy

The 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:     Web:

NOTE: The appearance of selected programs and/or resources in the Davidson Institute's E-News broadcast does not imply
an endorsement or affiliation. Programs and resources are highlighted for informational purposes only. 

Genius Denied Web Site