A robust communications channel for gifted education has taken flight. Designed to illuminate conversations on gifted and talented children and mobilize support for them to reach their potential, The High Flyer is a unique collaboration between the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
Our two organizations unite around common goals: to expand the public’s understanding of the needs of gifted and talented children, to increase public urgency to serve them, and to dispel common myths.
In the Fordham analysis released today, High Stakes for High Achievers, the data makes clear that it’s time for states to focus on gifted students. Among the findings, we’re struck particularly by this sad reality: Only five states treat high-achieving students as a subgroup and separately report their results at the school level.
The National Research Center on Gifted Education found recently that it is virtually impossible for a student who lives in poverty, is an English learner, and belongs to a minority group to be identified and served in a gifted and talented program. Giftedness exists in all populations, and education is the great equalizer. We have a moral obligation to help children who come from disadvantaged backgrounds to grow, develop, and flourish.
Through The High Flyer and our other combined efforts, we will lead the conversation and signal that all gifted and talented students matter.
M. René Islas is executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children, and Michael Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.