Davidson Institute                                                                                               June 2009
             What's New in Gifted Education| Davidson News | Legislative & Policy News | On the Web | In the News | In the Spotlight
   What's New in Gifted Education
  Pushing the Limits of Science Novelty and Invention
IntelMore than 1,500 outstanding high school science students, representing more than 50 countries, exhibited their wide-ranging projects recently at the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) in Reno, Nev.

Three participants were Young Scientist Award winners, each receiving a $50,000 scholarship from the Intel Foundation, including (L-R): Li Sallou Boynton, for a project on environmental contaminants; Tara Anjali Adiseshan, for a project on evolution; and Olivia Catherine Schwob, for a project on genetics. Taylor Wilson, a student attending The Davidson Academy of Nevada, received a fourth place award in the physics and astronomy category for his project "Subcritical Neutron Multiplication in a 2.5 MeV Neutron Flux." View the ISEF website for more information and see the complete list of the winners (PDF).

TAGGifted High School Tops National List
For the third time in four years, a Dallas gifted and talented magnet school placed first on Newsweek's list of the top 1,500 schools in the United States. Congratulations to the School for the Talented and Gifted (TAG) at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center for this impressive achievement! A number of other gifted schools were on the list, including Pine View School for the Gifted in Osprey, Fla., ranked 40th. View the entire list and/or click here to watch a video about the top two schools on the list, both housed in the same building.

New Carnegie Report: How to “Do School Differently”Carnegie
A new Carnegie Corporation study, titled “The Opportunity Equation,” provides federal, state, and local education leaders recommendations on how to improve math and science instruction, and lead the United States back to the top in the global education community. The main goal is to make all young Americans "STEM capable" - capable of choosing science, technology, engineering and math careers if they wish. Sources: eSchool News, Gifted Exchange Blog

   Davidson News
  The Davidson Academy of Nevada
Davidson AcademyAt The Davidson Academy of Nevada, a free, public school, the abilities, strengths and interests of profoundly gifted middle and high school students are encouraged and supported. Those who perform at the sixth grade level and beyond, and score in the 99.9th percentile on IQ or college entrance tests are encouraged to apply. Please review the Test Score Criteria page and the Application Review Process page for more information. Applications for the 2010-2011 school year will be available in September.

Upcoming Tours for Prospective Students
Prospective students and their families will soon be able to visit the Academy for informational monthly tours! Taking a tour provides the opportunity to hear from current students and Academy parents, familiarize yourself with faculty and staff, network with others, and ask specific questions. Visit the Academy for a tour on Davidson Academyone of the following dates:
  • Friday, Aug. 14, 2009
  • Friday, Sept. 18, 2009
  • Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009
  • Thursday, Nov. 12, 2009
  • Thursday, Dec. 10, 2009
RSVP is 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 FellowsDavidson Fellows
The 2009 Class of Davidson Fellows will be announced in the next eNews Update! For more information on the Davidson Fellows Scholarship Program and to download the 2010 application, please visit, www.DavidsonGifted.org/Fellows.

Davidson Young Scholars
Davidson Young ScholarsThe Davidson Young Scholars program provides FREE services designed to nurture and support profoundly gifted young people and their families. Consulting services include:
  • Educational Advocacy and Planning - Help for parents and teachers to find an appropriate educational fit for the Young Scholar.
  • Talent and Interest Development - Assistance with locating summer programs, local and distance learning options, enrichment opportunities and other educational needs.
  • Child and Adolescent Development - Access to relevant resources and nationally recognized experts.
  • Annual Summit - Young Scholars and their parents are invited to attend a special yearly event that hosts a variety of speakers, discussions and special activities.
  • Informal Regional Gatherings - Parents frequently plan local get-togethers with other Young Scholar families in their area.
  • Online Community - Access to private Young Scholar parent and student networks through discussion forums, chat rooms, electronic mailing lists and website.
Applications are reviewed on a monthly basis. Complete applications must be received by the 14th of each month. Apply today!

   Legislative & Policy News
Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act – President Obama’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year 2010 would eliminate funding for Javits, the only federal source of funding for gifted and talented education. Since Congress still has an opportunity to restore funding, gifted education advocates are actively urging their senators to co-sign a letter sponsored by Senators Grassley (IA) and Dodd (CT) requesting $11.25 million for Javits in fiscal year 2010. Sources: National Association of Gifted Children (NAGC) Legislative Update page, Education Week

The Department of Education recently published the notice and application for the Teacher Partnership Grants under Title II of the Higher Education Act (HEA). For the first time, language has been added that will require grant applicants to specify how they will train teacher candidates to identify the needs of gifted students and how to differentiate instruction to meet those needs. For more information, view NAGC’s Legislative Update page. View the notice (PDF).

ALABAMA – Programs for gifted students in Madison's two middle schools may be eliminated in the fall due to budget cuts. If these programs are cut, gifted students would have the option of taking advanced classes previously not offered years ago when the gifted programs were created. Source: The Huntsville Times

– The Southington Board of Education will restore the gifted and talented program, which previously had been recommended for elimination, for 2009-10. All programs in the district will be reduced, however, and the plan calls for staffing of the gifted and talented program to be cut. Source: The New Britain Herald News

– Augusta Preparatory Day School was recently selected to receive a $2 million endowment to provide scholarships for gifted students with financial needs. The endowment was awarded by the Malone Family Foundation, which was founded to provide educational opportunities for gifted students lacking financial resources. Source: Augusta Chronicle

– Full-day gifted and talented classrooms will soon be established in each of the Boise School District’s four quadrants, allowing more students to take part in the program. The district is also taking steps to standardize entrance criteria. Source: Idaho Statesman

– The St. Charles School District is moving forward with the creation of a gifted magnet middle school. Students in the program will have access to four gifted courses: language arts, math, science and social studies. Source: St. Charles Republican

Potential budget cuts may lead to the removal of the gifted education program in District 300. More than 2,000 elementary and middle school students participated in the pullout program in 2008-09. Board members will examine the possible cuts during the next few weeks. Sources: Northwest Herald, Daily Herald

– The Noblesville School District will expand FOCUS, its accelerated-learning program, for the 2009-10 school year. An increase in the number of students identified as gifted prompted the expansion of FOCUS (Flexible Opportunities that Change Us). Source: The Indianapolis Star (article no longer available)

– Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools are considering expanding the program for highly academically gifted students to high school. The program, offered for students who score at the 99th percentile in aptitude and 95th percentile or higher in achievement, is currently only available for students in elementary and middle school. Source: Winston-Salem Journal

– Gov. Chris Gregoire officially signed ESHB 2261, which prohibits gifted education funding from being cut even in years of revenue deficits. Although she vetoed one section concerning money for gifted education in districts that can't afford it, the bill is a huge victory for gifted education advocates in the state. Source: Seattle Times

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
  Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • U.S. funds boarding schools for kids whose needs can't be met locally...in Vietnam – if we think this is a good policy decision for Vietnam, why don't we see more such schools in America?
  • Career advice for gifted young people – How are parents helping their kids and teens prepare for life after school?
Join the discussion today!

Davidson Gifted Database – Featured Article
Written by Dr. John Feldhusen, the article Talent development in gifted education, provides information on how programs, curricula, and services for gifted and talented youth can best meet their needs, promote their achievements in life, and contribute to the enhancement of our society.

Suggest a Resource that could be featured in a future eNews-Update.

   In the News
June 29, 2009 - Washington Post, Don't Mess With Success at This High-Achieving Charter School (Jay Mathews)
June 26, 2009 - Telegraph.co.uk, 'One size fits all' schools failing bright pupils (Graeme Paton)
June 24, 2009 - Wired News, When Your Child Is Truly Gifted (Jason B. Jones)
June 23, 2009 - Examiner.com, Giving gifted children a safe environment to flourish (Shannah B Godfrey)
June 23, 2009 - Heritage.org, A Pint-Size Lesson on Education Reform (Staff)
June 21, 2009 - Examiner.com, Is Gifted Education killing Gifted Education on Texas? (Dick Kantenberger)
June 17, 2009 - NewsChannel5.com, Parents' challenge: gifted children may be 'twice exceptional' (Eve Glicksman)
June 17, 2009 - Austin Post-Bulletin, Teachers learn to open GATEway for gifted students (Karen Colbenson)
June 17, 2009 - Salt Lake Tribune, Report shows learning gains since NCLB law (Lisa Schencker)
June 16, 2009 - National Public Radio, U.S. Charter School Movement Gains Traction (Audio)
June 16, 2009 - USA Today, The permanent recession (Laura Vanderkam)
June 14, 2009 - New York Times, Do mixed-ability classrooms benefit all students? (Winnie Hu)
June 11, 2009 - ABC News, Should Genius Kids Know Their IQs? (Lauren Cox)
June 10, 2009 - Education Week, Challenging Programs Cater to the Profoundly Gifted (Sean Cavanagh)
June 8, 2009 - Washington Post, Is AP for All A Formula For Failure? (Jay Mathews)

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

    In the Spotlight

Dr. John Feldhusen
Gifted Author, Advocate and Innovator

Dr. FeldhusenA leader in the field of gifted education for so many years, Dr. John Feldhusen passed away recently after a long and distinguished career serving the needs of the gifted.

After growing up in Wisconsin and attending the University of Wisconsin where he earned a B.A., M.S., and Ph.D., Dr. Feldhusen stayed on at the University to start his academic career as an assistant professor. This led to him accepting a position as associate professor of educational psychology at Purdue University in 1961, beginning a career spanning four decades, in which he contributed numerous innovations to gifted education.

GERIFor many gifted students, Dr. Feldhusen’s greatest contribution was founding Purdue's Gifted Education Resource Institute (GERI) in 1977. He continued as its director until 1995 helping further the development of gifted and talented youth through a variety of methods including research, public education and teacher training programs. Through his work at GERI, Dr. Feldhusen was involved at the state and national level helping develop policy on gifted education while also working with foundations and corporations to develop targeted, cost-effective programs for gifted students.

By publishing more than 300 articles, chapters and books throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Feldhusen made great contributions to the study of giftedness. Some of his other prominent accomplishments include: receiving the International Award for Excellence in research from the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children in 1997 and the Mensa Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002; serving as the editor of Gifted Child Quarterly; and, serving as the association editor for the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).

After playing such an important role at Purdue and in the gifted community for so many years, Dr. Feldhusen made an immeasurable impact on gifted education. Whether it was through his research, creation of GERI, or finding educational opportunities, Dr. Feldhusen's motivation was always doing what was best for gifted students. Read Dr. Feldhusen's Purdue University biography. Read Dr. Feldhusen's obituary.

   Closing Thought

"The identification of gifts and talents is a long-term process...but long range observations by parents, teachers, and grandparents can provide the information needed to clarify the nature and levels of children’s talents and pave the way to effective educational programs and services."

                                               ~ Dr. John Feldhusen, Gifted Child Today, Volume 24, Issue 3


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