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From Where I Sit
When 'One Size Fits All' Doesn't

Nancy Green, NAGC Executive Director    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
January is often a month for taking stock, stepping back, and assessing our situation. Personally, this can mean taking stock of personal finances in preparation for tax season, or considering career satisfaction and professional goals. Last week, on a larger, virtual stage, President Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and I presented the State of the Nation in Gifted Education. If you were unable to tune in for the live presentation, I encourage you to visit NAGC's Live Learning Center, where you can hear the recording at no cost.

What hit home for me, as we concluded our remarks and took questions, was the importance of creating a strategy with multiple access points in our efforts to expand services for the nation’s brightest learners. Put another way, there is no "one size fits all," cookie cutter approach to advocacy. In her overview of the national issues facing educators, Paula provided some great examples of opportunities for inserting gifted into the conversation. Here are just a few examples:

NAGC News to Note
Let's Give them Something to Talk About

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Do you plan conferences or workshops? NAGC comes to the rescue with the NAGC Expert Speakers Program, or ESP. NAGC's current and past board members are available to State Affiliates and other conference planners to speak on numerous topics at a significant discount off their regular honorarium fee. These leaders are popular conference speakers, and they have joined forces to support gifted education and NAGC yet again! Whether your conference attendees need to hear about effective classroom strategies, the latest teaching tools, identifying and serving special populations, addressing social and emotional needs, or an update on the latest research in gifted education, NAGC can connect you with quality professional development and content knowledge that best meets your needs. Check out more information and a listing of the available speakers on the NAGC website.

Awards Season is Now Open! Who Would You Like to See Recognized for Their Contributions to Gifted Education?
Laura Beltchenko, NAGC Awards Committee Chair    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Awards season is underway in Hollywood — recognizing accomplishments of talented individuals for acting, directing, and music, as well as a host of other technical categories. Like other associations, the National Association for Gifted Children asks members to nominate individuals that have made significant contributions to the field of gifted and talented education. Your nomination could lead these worthy individuals down the NAGC red carpet. More

WOW Focuses on Gifted Education Standards
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NAGC launched the 2012 WOW series last week, but there are many more reasons to keep tuning in! Register now for the upcoming WOWs on the recently revised Pre-K Grade 12 Gifted Education Programming Standards. Using these standards assists districts in developing strong services and programs for gifted children.

Full information on WOW dates, topics, and presenters can be found on the NAGC website.

The Learning Curve
New Year, New Advocacy Opportunities

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As most state legislatures come back into session in the next few weeks, gifted education advocates have numerous opportunities in their local media and in in-person meetings to raise the needs of gifted and talented learners with local and state elected officials. Letters to the Editor are a good way to reach the general public in a very efficient way. NAGC has several sample letters to the editor on the website that you can tailor for your own community and state situation. If you haven't browsed the NAGC Advocacy Toolkit, you should check it out for suggestions on preparing for in-person meetings, getting familiar with key data, and other general information about strengthening those advocacy muscles!

NAGC Live Learning Center Provides Free Access to Advocacy Tools
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Looks like you’ll need a larger toolbox, with the great resources that are now available free on the NAGC Live Learning Center. In the "Complimentary Free Sessions" section, you’ll find numerous sessions from WOWs and NAGC Convention with tips, tricks, and techniques to boost your advocacy knowledge.

Capital Update
In the Congress

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Both houses of Congress are back in DC from their extended holiday recess with long “must do” lists looming. Some of the urgency for passing the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) has been lost as the U.S. Department of Education moves ahead on state waivers for accountability for student performance under ESEA. Senate leaders may try to reclaim the momentum by scheduling floor consideration for the Senate education committee-passed version of ESEA, although there is little optimism that differences between the Senate committee bill and bills passed by the House education committee can be reconciled and sent to the president this year. NAGC will keep you up to date through the legislative update pages of the website.

In the U.S. Department of Education
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Former Ohio State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Deborah Delisle, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be the next Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Education. Ms. Delisle has experience as an elementary school teacher, curriculum coordinator, local superintendent, and coordinator of gifted and talented education services. Pending approval by the Senate, she may be on the job in early spring as Secretary Arne Duncan's eyes and ears around the country on K-12 education.

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Parents' Corner
#NAGC Chats Bring More WOW to Wednesdays

Mariam Willis, NAGC Parent Outreach Specialist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Wednesdays just got a little more WOW with #NAGC chats on Twitter. Bring your own beverage, and come as you are every Wednesday evening at 8:30 p.m. EST for #NAGC Twitter chat. More

Connecting For High Potential: It's all 'Relative'
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Sibling and relative dynamics are often complex under the best of circumstances, and a designation of "gifted and talented" for a member of the family may complicate them. Connecting for High Potential is a publication from NAGC that addresses questions from teachers and parents around one issue. Each CHP provides an opportunity to explore how the "other side" might be facing the issue. Use the issue with your teacher or family of a student. Visit the NAGC website to get access to the PDF of the January 2012 issue, "Siblings, Twins, and Relatives."

Our Community
Get Your Game On!

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Inspired by the Educate to Innovate Campaign, President Obama’s initiative to promote a renewed focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education, the National STEM Video Game Challenge is a multi-year competition whose goal is to motivate interest in STEM learning among America’s youth by tapping into students’ natural passion for playing and making video games.

 From the Headlines

STEM Education Gets Boost From New Round of Grants
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Efforts to improve STEM education are getting a boost from several recent announcements, including grants from the National Science Foundation and the Gates Foundation to drive research and development, as well as a new initiative that will send a lucky batch of science teachers down to Costa Rica for an eco-expedition. More

Some States Prodding Students to Graduate Early
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To give students an incentive to work hard — and save education dollars along the way — some states are encouraging early high school graduation by ramping up curricula or giving college scholarships. The policies emphasize proficiency over seat time. By giving students the green light to move on if they are ready, the hope is to bypass a senior slump, save families tuition money, and curb districts' instructional costs. More

Lighting Up Their Brains
Payson Roundup    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Frank, a chubby, black hamster, scurries through the maze as owner Ellie Hubbard, a fourth-grader at Julia Randall Elementary in Payson, Ariz., times his dash through the tunnels made of clear plastic cups linked together with Scotch tape. "He did that in 10.7 seconds," she says. Then Ellie tears apart the maze of tubes to reconfigure them. She has Frank do it all over again. This time, it takes him 26.1 seconds. She writes the results in a notebook. More

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Advanced Academy of Georgia

Be a fulltime college student in the 11th grade! The Academy is a residential early entrance to college program at the University of West Georgia for gifted students. For more information, visit our website...

Houston ISD Bursting at the Seams with 'Gifted' Students, Shelves Plan to Tighten Standards
Texas Watchdog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Of all the challenges facing the Houston school system, here's one you probably haven’t heard about: It may have too many gifted kids. About one student in every six in the Houston Independent School District has been identified as "gifted and talented" — that's more than twice that of the Texas and national rates for gifted children, according to public records and a national expert. More

Montana's Helena School Board Gets a Lesson on Gifted
and Talented Program

Helena Independent Record    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gifted and talented educators say they need longitudinal studies, expanded staffing and professional development for classroom teachers on differentiation and acceleration. Those were recommendations given to the Helena School Board in Montana. The recommendations came at the end of a presentation about the gifted education program in Helena called PEAK. More

Gifted Students 'Adopt' One Another to Demonstrate Their Support and Remain Connected
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In many schools, educators have created programs that encourage older students to mentor their younger peers. Experts say those relationships help students acclimate to a new setting and give them a sense of belonging. But Reynoldsburg's Gateway Academy students in this Ohio school district's gifted program created their adoption tradition years ago. Students today say they're not sure how it started, but they've latched onto the practice because it gives them a way to connect with new students. More

Should Parents Control What Kids Learn at School?
The New York Times (opinion)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New Hampshire schools are now required to create alternatives to any lesson that a parent dislikes — whether it's about the Holocaust, contraception, gravity or anything else. Does this "á la carte" approach turn school into a private right instead of a public good? Do such accommodations benefit students? More
Compass Points
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