November 2007
 Davidson News |  What's New in Gifted Education Legislative & Policy News On the WebIn the NewsUpcoming EventsIn the Spotlight 
   What's New at the Davidson Institute
         2007 Davidson Fellows
The 2007 Davidson Fellows in Washington D.C.On September 26, 2007, 17 young people were honored at the Davidson Fellows Award ceremony for their work in mathematics, science, literature, technology and music. Davidson Institute for Talent Development co-founder, Bob Davidson, presented the awards at the seventh annual ceremony held at the Library of Congress and sponsored by U.S. Senators Harry Reid (Nev.) and Chuck Grassley (Iowa). In recognition of their
                                                                                   remarkable achievements, each of the 2007 Davidson
          View the Washington, D.C. Photo Gallery             Fellows received a $50,000, $25,000 or $10,000

         2008 Davidson Fellows Scholarship Applications
Applications for the 2008 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 out of the box thinking. The application deadline is March 26, 2008.

         The Davidson Academy of Nevada - Monday, Nov. 19 Tour for Prospective Students


On Monday, November 19, The Davidson Academy will be hosting a tour for prospective students and their families. For details, please visit or email

         A free, public school for profoundly gifted students on the University of Nevada, Reno campus, The Davidson
         Academy of Nevada is seeking qualified students to apply for the 2008-2009 school year.
         For admission details, please visit

         THINK Summer Institute

Applications are available for the 2008 THINK Summer Institute, which will run July 12th through August 2nd. Students can earn six college credits at this three-week residential summer program on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno. To qualify, students must be 13 to 16 years old during THINK. The deadline for early acceptance is January 30, 2008. Apply today!
         Davidson Young Scholars
The Davidson Young Scholars program recently launched its latest project, the Young Scholars Ambassadors. Through the Ambassadors, students can draw upon their unique skills and talents to make a positive difference in the lives of others. The Young Scholars program supports profoundly intelligent students and their parents in the areas of educational advocacy, social and emotional development, talent development and peer connections. Apply today!
   What's New in Gifted Education
         A Nation Deceived - Three-Year Survey
Researchers from the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education are conducting a research study to assess the impact of the report A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students. Three years after the release of the report,  this survey seeks to assess the report’s impact on attitudes, practices, and policies about academic acceleration. Take the survey here. You can also visit the one-year report by clicking here.

         Let Us Help Disseminate Your Gifted Education News
Does your organization have gifted education news that should be featured in the next Davidson Institute eNews-Update? With over 13,000 subscribers, the eNews-Update is an excellent place to highlight stories related to gifted education, students and research. We also spotlight gifted news weekly on the home page of Davidson Gifted Database, which receives about 6.5 million hits a year. Send us your information!
   Legislative & Policy News

Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act - The House of Representatives and Senate Appropriations Committees have included $7.6 million for the Jacob Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act in their Fiscal Year 2008 budget. This funding almost certainly will be signed into law. As reported in the last edition of the eNews-Update, Senators Grassley (IA) and Dodd (CT) had been seeking $11.25 million for Javits, which would have matched the program’s 2002 amount. To learn more, please visit the National Association of Gifted Children’s (NAGC) Legislative Update page.

Legislation that would create a grant for states to support gifted and talented students is in the works. Rep. Gallegly (CA-24), a long-time gifted supporter, recently introduced H.R. 2925 (PDF), which would build on grants and research developed through Javits, ultimately supporting gifted programs and services. To learn more, please visit NAGC’s Legislative Update page.

Higher Education Authorization Bill -
A bill requiring teacher preparation institutions to train teachers about the unique needs of gifted and talented students was passed by the U.S. Senate on July 24, 2007. Senator Chuck Grassley (IA) helped shape the Higher Education Authorization Bill, with provisions requiring institutions that receive grants to reform their curriculum and ensure prospective teachers are prepared to instruct the gifted and talented. To learn more, please view the press release on Sen. Grassley’s website.

ALABAMA - As part of the Fiscal Year 2008 Education Budget, passed in May, funding for gifted and talented education has increased from zero to $2.34 million, as of October 1, 2007. Sources: The Decatur Daily, Alabama Department of Education (PDF)

COLORADO - With HB07-1244 having passed through both houses of the Colorado General Assembly last session in Spring 2007, and signed by Gov. Bill Ritter in June, for the first time, it is mandatory that all state administrative units adopt and implement a program plan to identify and serve gifted children. Sources: Colorado Department of Education, Colorado General Assembly, Greeley Tribune

ILLINOIS - Gifted programming has been restored to the Illinois School Code. In addition, gifted education now has its own line item in the State Board of Education budget (per Illinois Public Act 95-348), with dollars allocated toward gifted and talented education increasing from zero to $5 million. Source: Illinois Association for Gifted Children

- Thanks to a $400,000 Department of Education grant given to the University of Iowa’s Belin-Blank Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, Iowa students have additional opportunities to participate in Advanced Placement courses and exams. The grant will aid the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy, a component of the Belin-Blank Center. Source: Iowa City Press-Citizen

MINNESOTA - Effective July 1, school districts are now required to implement policies and procedures for academic acceleration of gifted and talented students, signifying historic progress for gifted education in the state. In addition, per-pupil gifted and talented funding has increased. Source: Minnesota Department of Education

NEVADA - With the recent passing of Assembly Bill 553, the state of gifted education has significantly improved. For Fiscal Year 2007-2008, $800,000 is being allocated for gifted and talented students in Nevada’s 17 school districts. In addition, a gifted and talented coordinator position was created in the State Department of Education. Source: Nevada Legislature (PDF)

NEW YORK - A plan to renovate New York City’s gifted and talented programs is underway. Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein recently proposed limiting the program to only those who score in the top 5 percent on admissions tests. Also, a new test to identify the gifted, the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, will be implemented in elementary school programs. Sources: The New York Times, Newsday

PENNSYLVANIA - The Early College Program at Allegany College of Maryland’s Bedford County (Pennsylvania) Campus has received a donation of $50,000 from Susquehanna Bank made through Pennsylvania's Education Improvement Tax Credit Program. The program provides gifted high schoolers the opportunity to learn at a rate matched to their advanced academic needs. Source: Cumberland Times-News

TENNESSEE - Gifted education in Tennessee is taking a step forward with a recent $2.2 million investment in the Tennessee Governor’s Academy. Gov. Phil Bredesen, who supported the school’s creation, stressed the need to “spend time and effort on kids who have abilities and make sure they don't get lost." Source: The Tennessean

How gifted-friendly is your state? Find out at: Gifted Education Policies.  
If you know of new legislation, please let us know.  Contact: The Communications Team

   On the Web
         Gifted Exchange Blog
Read Laura Vanderkam's take on all things gifted, with recent posts including:
  • Memorization and Intelligence - Kids who can memorize long lists are often viewed as prodigies, but are memorization skills the best evidence of intelligence?

  • The Davidson Fellows, 2007: Time, Access, Affection - The 2007 Davidson Fellows are a talented and varied bunch. Find out what they have in common!
Join the discussion today!

         Davidson Gifted Database – Featured Resources
The Duke Gifted Letter, a quarterly newsletter, is an excellent source for articles for parents of gifted children. Regular features include highlights of educational programs, the social and emotional needs of gifted children, technology, consultant feedback on questions, expert views and opinions, research briefs and relevant book reviews.

Founded by 2005 Davidson Fellow, John Zhou, Scholar Holler is a vibrant online community and website with helpful advice and resources on academics, college admissions, contests, research, scholarships and test preparation. Scholar Holler offers advice from students who have achieved perfect 2400 SAT scores to Presidential Scholars to International Science Olympiad gold medalists and of course, Davidson Fellows.

   In the News                                  

November 1, 2007 - ABC, News 10 Sacramento, Short-changing Our Brightest Students (Video) (Neil Swidey)
October 28, 2007 - The Boston Globe, Rush, Little Baby (Neil Swidey)
October 18, 2007 - The Times Herald, Gifted students need more options, report says (Bobby Ampezzan)
September 25, 2007 - EducationWeek (Free Subscription), No Child Gets Ahead (Anthony P. Carnevale)
September 17, 2007 - The American, Defining Achievement Downward (Phil Brand and James Dellinger)
September 14, 2007 - The Washington Post, Gifted Education: Plenty to Discuss, Plenty to Debate (Jay Mathews)
September 13, 2007 - The Des Moines Register, Grief inspires teen
(Mary Challender)
September 10, 2007 - The Sacramento Bee, Girl genius with a flare of generosity (Cynthia Hubert)
August 27, 2007 - The Washington Post, The Gifted Children Left Behind (Susan Goodkin and David G. Gold)
August 17, 2007 - The Wall Street Journal, Students at Risk: How High-IQ Kids Are Neglected in School
(Kim Oakley)
August 16, 2007 - Time Magazine, Are We Failing Our Geniuses?
(John Cloud)

Read more news on the gifted and talented.

   Upcoming Events

10,000 Ideas in the Land of 10,000 Lakes - NAGC's 54th Annual National Convention
The National Association for Gifted Children will hold its 54th Annual Convention November 7-11 in Minneapolis, Minn. More than 350 sessions for educators, experts, and parents have been booked, with Dean Keith Simonton providing the opening keynote and Garrison Keillor to close.

States with Gifted Conferences/Events This Summer

New Jersey
For more, see the Events Calendar on Davidson Gifted Database, your gateway to gifted resources!
   In the Spotlight

Professor Miraca Gross
Gifted Educator and Researcher

Having worked in the field of gifted education for almost 30 years, Professor Miraca U. M. Gross’s expertise is unmatched. An author and scholar, Dr. Gross has won numerous international research awards and served in a variety of gifted and talented leadership positions. Her passion to make an impact on the lives of gifted students serves as an inspiration for advocates across the world.

Born in Scotland but having spent the majority of her life in Australia, Dr. Gross’s career began as a general education teacher. She went on to teach for 22 years, 12 of which she spent as a specialist in gifted and talented education.

After teaching gifted students for six years in a variety of special programs, Dr. Gross saw the need for additional research on the needs of this population. She founded Australia’s State Association for Gifted Children in 1978. Seven years later, she was given a full scholarship for a master's degree in gifted education from Purdue University in Indiana. In 1997, she established, and became the director of, the Gifted Education Research, Resource and Information Center (GERRIC) at the University of New South Wales.

Some of Dr. Gross’s eminent accomplishments include: Winning the Hollingworth Award for Excellence in Research in the Education and Psychology of the Gifted in 1987 (the first non-American to do so); receiving the Mensa International Education and Research Foundation Awards for Excellence in 1988 and 1990; and being honored with NAGC’s Early Scholar Award in 1995 and NAGC's Distinguished Scholar Award in 2005.

Dr. Gross served as President of the Gifted and Talented Children's Association of South Australia for six years. She also served on the World Council for Gifted and Talented Children from 1995-1999.

Dr. Gross facilitated a number of studies on the gifted, most notably a longitudinal study on the social and emotional development of 60 highly gifted Australian children. She has recently been examining the findings of major longitudinal studies in gifted education, noting that despite improvements, there is still a long way to go. In that regard, she helped inspire The John Templeton Foundation to provide GERRIC with a grant to investigate a lack of acceleration in schools.

Through innovation and dedication Dr. Gross has helped make a difference in the lives of many academically gifted students, and we hope she will continue to do so for years to come.

   Closing Thought

"As the world becomes increasingly competitive, the United States is falling behind other countries in research and development. This is exactly why our society needs to encourage students such as the Davidson Fellows. It’s not only the right thing to do for the students, it is the right thing to do for society. If we support their passion for knowledge and desire to achieve, there is no telling how far they can go."

~ Bob Davidson, 2007 Davidson Fellows Award Ceremony in Washington, D.C.  

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 ones, sign-up here.

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:

Please visit
Request a Brochure online.

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