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2017 WCGTC Biennial World Conference

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3.6.8 The state of gifted education in the U.S.: Patchwork, problematic...and promising

America’s consistently low scores on international tests and dramatic changes in the White House make understanding U.S. education policy more complex — and more important — than ever. With its “patchwork” of policies from state to state, the educational landscape for high-ability children can be perplexing, compounded by the ever-present disparity between scholarship and what actually happens “on the ground” in classrooms. In this session, we will offer a snapshot of gifted education in America today, focusing on nationwide policy variations, the gap between research and practice, and recent developments in the field that offer glimpses of a brighter future.

Author(s):

Jenny Nance*
JNance@TheGraysonSchool.org
The Grayson School
United States

Jenny Nance, J.D., is Founding Co-Director of The Grayson School, Pennsylvania’s only independent school designed specifically for gifted learners, where she is also Admissions Director. Recently, she co-authored NAGC’s 2016 publication, A Guide to State Policies in Gifted Education (2nd ed.). She has also participated in Congressional hearings, including testimony in support of the TALENT Act and reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA). Ms. Nance has presented nationally on the topic of gifted education, most recently at the annual conferences of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) and Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG).

Melissa Bilash
JWW@TheGraysonSchool.orgMBilash@TheGraysonSchool.org
The Grayson School
United States

Melissa Bilash founded The Grayson School, Pennsylvania’s only independent school designed specifically for gifted learners. She serves on NAGC’s Legislative and Special Schools Committees, and with her co-founder Jennifer Nance, co-authored NAGC’s 2016 publication, A Guide to State Policies in Gifted Education (2nd ed.). One of only 78 federally-trained Special Education Advocates, she has testified before Congress and met with Senators, Representatives, and U.S. Dept. of Education staffers regarding best practices in gifted education. Ms. Bilash has been awarded Special Congressional Recognition for her work, and in 2016 was named her state’s inaugural “Innovator Award” winner at their annual conference.

Wendy Behrens
wendy.behrens@state.mn.us
Minnesota Department of Education

Wendy Behrens is the Gifted and Talented Education Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Education. She presents frequently on the nature and needs of gifted learners, instructional strategies, service design, and policies that support highly able learners. She has co-authored several books and is an invited speaker in the United States, Middle East, Far East, and Europe. She is President of the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted, a CEC-TAG Board Member, delegate to the World Council, and an advisor for the Center for Talent Development at Northwestern University and the Grayson School.

 

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