NAGC Compass Points
Dec. 22, 2011

From Where I Sit
Reflections on the Ride

It seems that another year of economic and legislative roller coaster riding is coming to a close. This time of year always brings a balance of looking back at the high points of the year, and predicting what the future might hold. No matter the peaks and valleys — NAGC always enjoys one constant, and that is the steady contributions of our members and leaders. The enthusiastic involvement of parents, teachers, graduate students, gifted coordinators, researchers, and administrators helps NAGC thrive and remain relevant. In turn, new content, programs and products help each one of our members be more effective at what YOU d0 — either directly or indirectly — to support and challenge high-ability learners.More

NAGC News to Note
Consider the Call

In November, NAGC brings the largest annual convention devoted to gifted and talented learners to the Mile-High City! Submit your proposal to present by Monday, Jan. 30.More

Could Your New Year use Some WOW?
NAGC rings in the New Year on Jan. 18 with a FREE WOW on the State of the Nation in Gifted Education. This free session kicks off the 2012 series of "Webinars On Wednesdays," which bring top-notch educational content to your home, office, or teacher’s lounge. Experts share practical advice as well as updates on current issues in gifted education or their viewpoints on a critical issue.More

Capital Update
Federal Spending Bill — More GT Research in 2012 a Possibility

Over this past weekend the Congress wrapped up the final spending decisions for fiscal year 2012 amid complex negotiations over spending cuts and how and whether to continue payroll tax reductions. The $1 trillion (that's "T") package of appropriations bills funds federal agencies and programs through the end of September and provides a toe hold for gifted and talented education advocates. (See the House Appropriations Committee summary of the omnibus spending bill.)More

Parent & Community Corner
Parents + Gifted Programming Standards = Improved Schools

According to the 2010-2011 State of the States in Gifted Education report, released in November by NAGC and the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted, only 31 states have a mandate related to gifted and talented education. Five of the 31 provide no funding for the mandate. Decisions regarding acceleration, grade-skipping, and dual enrollment are made at the local level in most states. Most troubling is only 21 states require teachers who work specifically with gifted learners to have certification or endorsement in gifted education.More

The Learning Curve
Another Old Friend Gets a Facelift

Through its impressive redesign, the new NAGC Live Learning Center site provides easy access to information and content that matters most. The Live Learning Center is the location for all stored/archived content from NAGC events, such as the Annual Convention and webinars on Wednesday. Check out the FREE Featured Sessions in the center of the page. Beyond the detailed search engine (allowing for keyword, network/group, date, presenter, and/or format searches and sorts on various categories) the new virtual learning portal incorporates social networking (with a live tweet feed), information on Pearson, NAGC's Learning Partner, featured sessions/events, and much more. Click here to begin your journey in the NAGC Live Learning Center.More

Our Community
Doctoral Fellowship Program Accepting Applications

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation will award four Fellowships of up to $25,000 to support advanced doctoral candidates in a variety of fields, including education and the social sciences. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation assists high achieving low-income students, from middle school to graduate school, in reaching their full potential through education. Links to the application requirements and guidelines can be found on their website. The application and other materials must be submitted by Feb. 3. Please visit to learn about the Fellowship as well as when and how to apply.More

States promise higher standards for NCLB leniency
Education Week News
In hopes of getting relief from key tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act, 11 states are proposing large-scale efforts to train their educators in new academic standards, create or oversee development of new instructional resources, and redesign their testing systems. The proposals represent plans from the first round of applicants in the U.S. Department of Education's waiver program, which allows states to escape requirements such as bringing all students to proficiency on state tests by 2014. More

Creative program promotes problem solving
Beloit Daily News
Kids in the Future Problem Solvers challenge were in a strategic battle with crime wielding anthropomorphic robots on Thursday. The day-long activity drew gifted and talented sixth graders to the Kolak Education Center in Beloit, Wis., to compete in a brainstorming exercise designed to foster thinking skills. The mock situation was set in 2043 in Virginia, when organized crime takes advantage of modern technology to commit crimes. Highly advanced and human-looking robots terrorize homes and businesses with burglaries, terrorist bombings and street muggings. More

Report shows dual enrollment best when on college campus
Education Week
High school students can benefit from dual enrollment in college-level courses, but how much depends on the content of the course and where it takes place. New research from the National Center for Postsecondary Research at Teachers College, Columbia University shows dual enrollment has strong positive effects on college enrollment and completion. More

Common Core poses challenges for preschools
Education Week
Although the common-core standards are calibrated to ensure that students leave K-12 schools ready for work and college, they are also posing challenges for the educators who work with children just starting out their school careers. As 46 states and the District of Columbia work this year to put the new curricular guidelines in place, preschool and early-childhood educators are determining how to balance the common standards' emphasis on increasing and measuring academic rigor with research findings on young children's developmental needs, which place a high value on play, the arts, social skills, and integrated instruction.More

LISD to offer innovative new courses to high school students
Lubbock Avalanche-Journal
High school students of the Lubbock Independent School District in Texas will have the opportunity to take pre-college engineering, special gifted and talented studies and comprehensive wellness during the 2012-13 year. The new courses, designated by the Texas Education Agency, were approved by the school board. More

Compare-contrast, cause-effect, problem-solution: Common 'text types' in The New York Times
The New York Times
Last summer, The New York Times examined how the Common Core Standards might apply to what is done on The Learning Network. In that post, The Times offered suggestions for literacy strategies that work well with "informational text". Now, The Times is elaboratng on that with more ideas for helping students understand common expository "text structures" like cause and effect, compare and contrast and problem-solution. More

A North Carolina school board hears proposal for virtual charter school
Concord Independent Tribune
The Cabarrus County Board of Education in Concord, N.C., heard about and discussed a potential virtual charter school at its business meeting that, if approved, would be based locally. Joseph Chisholm, vice president of school development for K12, Inc., which is a technology-based education company that provides curriculum, said the students that could benefit from it would include those who are struggling, advanced learners, home-bound students, students who are suspended long-term and gifted and talented students.More

Academic acceleration for gifted kids: Is fast track the right track?
Asian Scientist
According to a recent major national study, parents and teachers are generally supportive of academic acceleration but have misplaced concerns about the emotional impact of fast-tracking education. "There is a genuine, yet misplaced concern for the welfare of high-ability students," said international expert on gifted education Professor Miraca Gross. More