Wednesday, May 24, 2017

2016 Spring Courier

Opportunities for Equity: Update on Gifted Ed Legislation

Julie Luck Jensenby Julie Luck Jensen, Board Chair, IAGC

As new doors finally open for gifted learners through the ESSA (see President Susan Rhodes’s article), IAGC has been asked to partner with One Chance Illinois in crafting legislation that will create equitable educational opportunities for gifted students. One Chance Illinois (OCI) is a 501(c)3 public charity, “dedicated to advancing public policy that expands quality educational options for Illinois children in need.”

For years IAGC has advocated for underrepresented populations at the state and national level. IAGC’s focus has been on identifying and serving high potential and gifted students whose first language, lack of experiences, disabilities, income level or even geographic location have limited their opportunities for appropriately challenging curriculum and instruction. Research documented in reports such as NAGC’s Overlooked Gems and Unlocking Emergent Talent, Jack Kent Cooke’s Achievement Trap, and the Fordham Institute’s High Achieving Students in the Era of No Child Left Behind and Do High Flyers Maintain their Altitude? have informed IAGC’s efforts in seeking legislative support for serving disadvantaged high ability students.

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Let Them Know

Susan RhodesBy Susan Rhodes, President of Illinois Association for Gifted Children

Illinois gifted children need your support now. This is a critical time for advocates of gifted children to work together to inform decision makers of the necessary supports needed for advanced learners. Let them know that Illinois is one of only seven states in the nation that has neither a mandate nor funding for gifted education. Let them know that Illinois is lacking the talented work force needed to fill the thousands of job vacancies requiring highly skilled, highly educated and trained employees. Let them know that businesses are leaving Illinois or not selecting Illinois for their headquarters because we do not have the highly skilled workers that they need. Let them know that over fifty percent of our children in public schools come from low income homes and the gifted children among them are not identified nor reaching expected achievement levels due to lack of support for gifted services within schools. Let them know that you care and want to change the conditions for our advanced learners

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Meeting the Talent Development Needs of Gifted Teens with Apprenticeship-style Coursework

ruth doanby Ruth Doan, Equinox Program Coordinator, with the help of Cassie Cassie SparkmanSparkman and Susan Richert-Corwith

Since 2012, The Center for Talent Development Summer Program has partnered with experts at Northwestern University and in the Chicago tech boot camp community to better understand the vast job opportunities available and specialized skills needed for success in tech fields and to provide advanced, apprenticeship-style learning opportunities to gifted secondary students. This article offers a model for partnering with field experts that other gifted and talented program administrators will find useful.susan corwith

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Tech Beginnings: How to Introduce Coding & Robotics to Young, Gifted Students

ann gadzikowskiby Ann Gadzikowski

Is coding the new literacy? Many large school districts, most notably Chicago and New York, have recently formalized plans to include computer science among the required core subject areas. This is good news for academically gifted and talented students who enjoy solving problems, creating complex codes, experimenting with robotic devices, and preparing for innovative twenty-first century careers. But at what age should we begin introducing children to computer science concepts? How can we ensure that the methods and materials we use to teach tech in early childhood classrooms are appropriate for our youngest learners?

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Research Supported Best Practices to Identify Under-represented Gifted Students

Scott Peters Pictureby Dr. Scott J. Peters

Introduction by Dr. Paula Olszewski-KubiliusPaula O K

The under-representation of low income, second language learning, and culturally and linguistically diverse students in gifted programs is a continuing issue in gifted and talented programs. It is important that all educators of the gifted be familiar with research supported, best practices in the use of assessments to identify these learners. Recently Dr. Scott J. Peters, an associate professor in the educational foundations department of the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, wrote about important considerations and research based recommendations in identifying underrepresented learners for gifted education services.

Dr. Peters received his doctorate from Purdue University in gifted and talented education. He has presented at the state, national, and international levels on topics dealing with gifted education, educational policy, assessment and data use in K-12 schools, and research methodology. He also consults with schools on implementing identification systems and program models for gifted learners.

Here are Dr. Peters’s recommendations:

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