NAGC Compass Points
Oct. 8, 2015

From Where I Sit
Imagine Arizona

By Kimberly Landsdowne, Herberger Young Scholars Academy and Clinical Assistant Professor, Arizona State University
Wherever you are right now, for just one moment, imagine clear blue skies, 80 degrees, gorgeous mountains, saguaro cactus, beautiful sunsets, excellent food and friendly people. In just over a month you will be in this place, what we Phoenicians commonly refer to as the Valley of the Sun. Most importantly, it's the location for the NAGC 62nd Annual Convention, Nov. 12-15.

Phoenix has so much to offer, so come early and stay late!

If you want to see gifted education in action, please participate in an Offsite Educational Program on Thursday, Nov. 12. Many months ago the Arizona Local Arrangements Committee began the process of choosing the offsite programs. You may choose from these sites: Herberger Young Scholars Academy at Arizona State University, ASPIRE Academy, Arizona Opera and the Musical Instrument Museum. Each site has a developed an event specifically designed for NAGC conference attendees.More

All Children Deserve Great Teaching

NAGC President George Betts and Executive Director M. René Islas penned a response on the NAGC Blog to Dr. Douglass Green's EdWeek Blog post making distinctions between great teaching and gifted education. All students deserve great teaching, but some students need gifted education programming to thrive. René had an opportunity to discuss the NAGC response with Dr. Green, who is a strong promoter of gifted education. He has been invited to clarify his position on the NAGC Blog. Join the conversation by following NAGC on Twitter and Facebook.More

New Javits Grants Awarded
Thanks to the work of advocates and Congressional supporters, the Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act received $10 million in funding in fiscal year 2015. The U.S. Department of Education used the funding to award 11 new grants in 2015 and also continued the 11 grants awarded in 2014, including one to the National Center for Research in Gifted Education. Visit the Javits page on the NAGC website to read more about the new and continuing grants. Be sure to scroll below the grant information to read about how you can help ensure that the Javits program receives funding in fiscal year 2016.More

NAGC Convention Shines Light on Keynoters
NAGC Convention attendees have a lot to choose from for their learning at the Convention with more than 400 educational sessions between Thursday and Sunday. In addition, you'll attend five general sessions this year. Here is a snapshot of those sessions:


New NAGC Book Is the Focus of a Pre-Convention Learning Opportunity
"Using the Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education: Demonstrating Candidate Mastery" on Thursday, Nov. 12, is for teacher preparation program faculty who are interested in ensuring that their teacher candidates are mastering the NAGC-CEC Teacher Preparation Standards in Gifted Education. This first-time workshop will address assessments and rubrics for measuring mastery of the standards and will provide information for those programs who submit reports to the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) as part of the accreditation process. Attendees will receive a copy of NAGC's latest release, Using the National Gifted Education Standards for Teacher Preparation (2nd ed.).

Separate registration is required. Call now to add to your convention registration (202-785-4268) or use this PDF form. More

Teachers' Corner
Trick or Treat, Smell My Feet, Give Me Something Good To Teach

By Jeff Danielian, NAGC Teacher Resource Specialist and editor, Teaching for High Potential
The fall climate, in combination with the highly anticipated annual Giant Pumpkin weigh-off this coming weekend, has led me to reflect upon the season from multiple educational perspectives. I had so much fun last year making interdisciplinary connections to this month's holiday, so I figured I would revisit my ideas for classroom connections during this month of October, where the topic of conversation seems to revolve around the question, "What will you be for Halloween?" I offer the following suggestions for great content to use with your curious and/or advanced students, who will certainly benefit from looking at Halloween as more than just a night to go out and trick (hopefully not too tricky) or treat. More

The Learning Curve
Homeschooling your Gifted Child

What do you need to know in order to develop a strategy to evaluate homeschooling for your gifted child/ren? This webinar will focus on the first steps toward homeschooling — from how to leave school to how to choose a homeschooling method — and help parents weigh the social, financial, academic and personal considerations when making an informed decision. The webinar is inspired by Suki Wessling's NAGC Select e-book Exploring Homeschooling for Your Gifted Learner.

Wednesday, Oct. 14
How to Start Homeschooling Your Gifted Child
Suki Wessling, Writer, San Francisco, California

The Oct. 14 webinar is the last in the fall webinar series. All six webinars in the series are free to NAGC members through the online store (nonmembers: $29 each). You can find more information online.More

Community News
Palmarium Award Seeks Nominations

The Institute for the Development of Gifted Education is seeking nominations for the third annual Palmarium Award. This recognition will be awarded to the individual most exemplifying the Institute's vision: "A future in which giftedness will be understood, embraced and systemically nurtured throughout the nation and the world." Deadline has been extended to Oct. 28. Find more info here.More

Hold On — Javits Works
In his article about the U.S. Department of Education programs that are frequently targets for elimination, Danny Vinik referred to the 2011 defunding of the Jacob K. Javits program for gifted and talented children. The data is clear—the Jacob Javits Program, though small, is effective. On the U.S. Department of Education’s own evaluation reports, Javits meets or exceeds all measurable performance targets. More

How Florida District is Getting More Minorities into Gifted Programs
The Florida Times-Union
One by one, the line of gifted math students rattled off multiples of six like their favorite Disney characters, giggling as they tried to beat the clock. A few kids got stumped along the way, but not Terrell Sheppard. As the teacher turned to him, he offered a quiet but confident "21." He's one of more than 4,000 gifted students in Duval County Public Schools and one of the few brown faces in his classes.More

Shouldn't All Students Be Able to Participate in Gifted Programs?
Education Week
Programs for so-called gifted students exist in most school districts in the United States today, and they vary widely in size and scope. Some districts have gifted teachers who travel from school to school, while others have their own full-time gifted teachers. To set up such a program, a school needs to do two things.More

In Houston's Gifted Program, Critics Say Blacks, Latinos Are Overlooked
National Public Radio
Fernando Aguilar has five kids and named his only son after his hero, Isaac Newton. Isaac's in third grade at Herrera Elementary School in Houston. Aguilar thinks his 8-year-old is a smarty, just like the famous physicist. But when the local school tested Isaac in kindergarten for the gifted and talented program, he didn't qualify.More

How Do You Select the Worthiest Kids for Gifted and Talented Programs?
Do gifted and talented programs work, or do they simply perpetuate the advantages that certain classes of students — the white and Asian, the wealthy, the progeny of educated parents — already possess? This is an ongoing debate in K–12 circles, where methods of identifying the gifted and talented, and making the programs as inclusive as possible, are constantly being revised.More

Who Are the 'Gifted and Talented' and What Do They Need?
National Public Radio
Ron Turiello's daughter, Grace, seemed unusually alert even as a newborn. At 7 months or so, she showed an interest in categorizing objects: She'd take a drawing of an elephant in a picture book, say, and match it to a stuffed elephant and a realistic plastic elephant. With a child so bright, some parents might assume that she'd do great in any school setting, and pretty much leave it at that. More

When Neighborhoods Gentrify, Why Aren't Their Public Schools Improving?
The Atlantic
The ups and downs of gentrification have been chronicled thoroughly, but one of its consequences hasn't been widely addressed: the effect on neighborhood schools when a critical mass of well-educated, well-off people move in. Gentrification usually brings some benefits with it to a neighborhood. But does an influx of children from wealthier families make a positive difference to local public schools? More