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 Vanderkam.


Jan just returned from the 2004 National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) conference in Salt Lake City and enjoyed the opportunity to chat with many of you who attended. We appreciate your enthusiasm for Genius Denied and your support of our advocacy  efforts. We are energized by the renewed excitement of the gifted education community that was evident at this outstanding event; many thanks to Executive Director Nancy Green and her terrific team at NAGC and to the wonderful people in Utah for making us all feel so welcomed! 

We're enjoying your mail. We are answering the most frequently  asked questions here. Regarding the other questions, if you have not already heard from us or our staff, we'll have them all answered and emailed to you personally within the next week. 

As always, we welcome your suggestions and feedback. 

 Jan and Bob Davidson

Q. When you speak about acceleration for gifted students, would you clarify exactly what you mean?  
Is “acceleration” just another word for “grade skipping?” J. Stanfield  
A. Acceleration can appropriately challenge a bright student’s abilities by increasing pace and/or expanding content. Grade skipping is one kind of acceleration, but there are many others. In the Templeton National Acceleration Report:A Nation Deceived, W. Thomas Southern and Eric D. Jones identify 18 different types of acceleration, which fall into two broad categories: grade-based acceleration which shortens the number of years a student spends in the K-12 system and subject-based acceleration, which allows for advanced content with greater depth. For the educator, the question is not whether to accelerate the gifted learner but how. 
For more information, go to the Acceleration Links on the sidebar.
Q. After the compelling arguments you make in your book Genius Denied, it is difficult to understand why schools aren’t accommodating our gifted kids. What is going to be required to make change happen?  A. Winslow
A. Our hope is that information, such as that compiled in the Templeton National Report on Acceleration: A Nation Deceived as well as that in Genius Denied, will spur discussion and action that will lead to positive change. In the last section of Genius Denied, we make specific recommendations regarding what students, parents, educators, patrons, mentors and policy makers can do to create an educational environment that values high achievers and nurtures their gifts. It is primarily going to require a change of attitudes accompanied by legislation, the courts, administrative rules, and professional initiatives. 
For more Resources to Encourage Positive Change, go to the links on the sidebar.
Q. We have decided to homeschool our highly gifted child who isn’t being served by the one-size fits all educational program at our local school. Most home schoolers are doing so for religious purposes. How can we find home schoolers who are doing so for academic reasons?  S. Thoman, P. James, F. Zachery
A. Most of the families we encounter are homeschooling for academic reasons. We often refer to the homeschooling movement as "bright flight" in view of the fact that homeschooled students outscore public school students by an average of 30 to 37 percentile points across all academic subjects. There are many resources on the web for finding homeschooling groups; you might want to check out National Home Education Network. Most states have a homeschooling association where you can meet other homeschoolers.  Also, we recommend that you look for a homeschooling group that is sensitive to the needs of gifted students; a popular site among the families we serve is
For more information, go to the Homeschooling Links on the sidebar.
Q. What's all this about kids' intelligence "leveling off" as they get older?  Is that true of some, or any, children, or is this just a way to justify the practice of educational mainstreaming?  L. Omurchu
A. It’s nonsense!  One’s intelligence doesn’t “level off.”  However, if a child fails to receive an educational program that allows her to learn something she doesn’t already know, she may become bored and disinterested in school…and give the appearance that she is “dumbing down” or no longer gifted.
For more information on the Characteristics of Giftedness, go to the links on the sidebar.

* * * 
Please send any questions to be answered in future newsletters to: NOTE: Due to space constraints, questions answered in this newsletter may be edited and similar questions combined.

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.

Making a Positive Difference

Nicole Ali developed a process to grow blood-forming stem cells outside the body; her research could open doors to treat blood disorders, such as leukemia.
Rachel Naomi Kudo, who started performing concertos on the piano when she was four, is now performing symphonies with the world's greatest orchestras. 
Shuyu Wang discovered how DNA “bends” under certain circumstances to form RNA, leading scientists to further understand one of the biggest questions in biophysics.

We applaud the 2004 Davidson Fellow Laureates for developing their talents to make the world a better place.


Acceleration Links

Types of acceleration by W. T. Southern and E. Jones 
Acceleration: What we do vs. what we know by K. Rogers R. Kimpston
Radical acceleration: Responding to academic and social needs of extremely gifted adolescents by M. Gross


Resources to Encourage Positive Change


12 Reasons why acceleration isn’t accepted in America by N. Colangelo, S. Assouline, M. Gross 

Research highlights from Templeton national report on acceleration report: A nation deceived by N. Colangelo, S. Assouline, M. Gross 

To download the full Templeton National  Acceleration Report,  A nation deceived: How schools hold back our brightest students by N. Colangelo, S. Assouline, M. Gross 

Homeschooling Links


Homeschooling: An accidental journey by M. Knope

Homeschooling tips by Davidson Institute for Talent Development
Search Davidson Gifted Database for “homeschooling”



Characteristics of Giftedness

Profiles of the gifted and talented by G. Betts & M. Neihart
Exceptionally gifted children: Different minds by D. Lovecky 


" The most damaging phrase in the language is -- 

'It's always been done that way.' "


--Rear Admiral Grace Hopper

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
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October 2004 Newsletter     September 2004 Newsletter

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