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Illinois Association for Gifted Children: The Gifted Education Story - Partnering for better education of highly able learners


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The Gifted Education Story:

The Gifted Education Story Partnering for Better Education of Highly Able Learners X

Gifted Students:

Gifted Students Excel or have the capacity to excel when compared with others their age, experience and environment. Perform in the top 5% locally in any area of aptitude, and specifically in language arts and mathematics. (Extracted from ISBE definition) 2

Who Are the Gifted?:

Who Are the Gifted? Children with specific characteristics and needs Children from all backgrounds and experiences Children at every grade level in all school districts in Illinois 3

Gifted students develop holistically :

Gifted students develop holistically They perceive, think, feel and learn differently. They have special needs. Failing to provide appropriate instruction and understand their needs can hinder or harm their development. 4

Why Worry About The Gifted? :

Why Worry About The Gifted? Gifted students currently make the least academic growth in American schools. They constitute 4.5% of school dropouts. Gifted learners are essential to Illinois’ economic development. High Achieving Students, 2008; Minding the Other Gap, 2010; Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude?, 2011 5

What’s Happening to Advanced learners?:

What’s Happening to Advanced learners? While the nation’ s lowest-achieving youngsters made rapid gains from 2000 to 2007, the performance of top students was languid. - Loveless, 2008 6

Minding the excellence Gap:

Minding the excellence Gap PISA data reveal the existence of “excellence gaps” -- differences between subgroups of students performing at the highest levels of achievement. 7

PowerPoint Presentation:

We may be closing the achievement gap by raising the floor but LOWERING the CEILING! 8

Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? :

Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? Performance Trends of Top Students 30-48% become “ descenders .” America’s top students compared dismally with peers across the globe. 60% of teachers have not been trained to work with highly able students. 9

Gifted Learners Need:

Gifted Learners Need Educators who understand them and can adapt the curriculum. Opportunities to work with peers of similar abilities and interests. Resources appropriate to their abilities. Equal opportunity to learn at school each day. 10

Gifted Learners Need:

Gifted Learners Need Professional staff to support their social and emotional development. Self-advocacy skills. Home and school working together. Advocates at the local, state & national levels. ISBE support. 11

Why Gifted Learners Struggle:

Why Gifted Learners Struggle 2003–Illinois School Code changes Programs for the gifted begin to disappear. Professional development for teachers of gifted learners diminish. Minority and low-income gifted students are not recognized. 12

What has Happened?:

What has Happened? Years Funding How Used 1992-1993 $10,059,600 Distributed to districts based on number of students served, and to provide professional development 1993-2002 $19,695,800 Same 2002-2003 $19,000,000 Same 2003 $ 0 Funding eliminated & language on gifted removed from School Code 2006 $ 0 Language restored to School Code 2008-2009 $ 2 ,000,000 Developed Gifted Education Seminar (GES) and Companion Modules 2009-2010 $ 7,000,000 GES & Modules piloted & delivered to 5000 educators across Illinois NOW $ 0 None available! 13

The IAGC Story :

The IAGC Story 1989 – Educators establish IAGC. 1989 - 2003 - IAGC helps Illinois to become a leader in gifted education. Raises awareness of underrepresented student populations. Becomes One Voice with educators, parents, ISBE, legislators. 14

IAGC Story cont’d:

IAGC Story cont’d 2006 – Collaborates with legislators to restore gifted language in School Code. 2008–2009 - Partners with ISBE to produce the Gifted Education Seminar (GES) & six Companion Modules. 2009–2010 - Collaborates with ISBE to pilot and conduct GES to 5000 Illinois educators. 2011–Now - IAGC poised to provide GES across Illinois. 15

IAGC Works! :

IAGC Works! Advocates for gifted students at local, state & national levels. Participates in Illinois Advisory Council for the Gifted. Provides professional development. Includes parent participation. Promotes student self-advocacy. Provides resources regularly online. 16

U.S. and State Competitiveness:

U.S. and State Competitiveness Invest in Excellence - An investment in services for high ability learners is an investment in America‘s and Illinois’ future. Our nation's quest to remain “ first in the world" depends on developing America’s brightest minds. 17

The Cost of Neglect:

The Cost of Neglect Studies show that nearly half of all low-income students identified with high-abilities in first grade will lose this designation by fifth grade. They will also drop out of school twice as often as their higher-income peers. Do High Flyers Maintain their Altitude? 18

Get involved—ask key decision makers :

Get involved—ask key decision makers Do we celebrate academic success? Are we valuing our gifted learners? Do we link the accomplishments of our students to the wider community ? Do we measure results? 19

PowerPoint Presentation:

THANK YOU ! We’re changing the world... Join us! www.iagcgifted.org "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has. ”                                                                                        -Margaret Mead 20

Your Questions and Concerns:

Your Questions and Concerns 21


References Do high flyers maintain their altitude? Performance trends of top students . Thomas B. Fordham Institute Study in partnership with Northwest Evaluation Association, 2011. Yun Xiang, M. Dahlin,J . Cronin, R. Theaker , S. Durant. Highlights from PISA 2009: Performance of U.S. 15-Year-Old Students in Reading, Mathematics and Science Literacy in an International Context . NCES, 2010. H.L. Fleischman, P.J. Hopstock , M.P. Pelczar , B.E. Shelley. 22

References cont’d:

References cont’d High-achieving students in an era of NCLB: Report of National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) , 2008. T. Loveless, S. Farkas , A. Duffett . Mind the (Other) Gap! The Growing Excellence Gap in K-12 Education . Center for Evaluation and Education Policy, Indiana University, 2010. J. Plucket , N. Burroughs and R. Song. Preparing the next generation of STEM innovators: Identifying and developing our nation’s human capital . National Science Board (NSB Pub 1033) National Science Foundation, 2010. 23

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