A r c h i v e d  I n f o r m a t i o n

[Federal Register: June 13, 2000 (Volume 65, Number 114)]
[Notices]               
[Page 37230-37232]
From the Federal Register Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:fr13jn00-119]                         

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DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

 
Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program: National 
Research and Development Center

AGENCY: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, Department of 
Education.

ACTION: Notice of final priority.

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SUMMARY: The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Educational Research 
and Improvement (OERI) announces a final priority under the Jacob K. 
Javits Gifted and Talented Education Program--National Research and 
Development Center (Center). The Assistant Secretary will use this 
priority for the Center competition in fiscal year (FY) 2000. This 
priority focuses on research to obtain a better understanding of the 
reasons for the under-representation of students from some minority 
groups among top performing students, and on analyzing national data 
sets to better understand the educational status of and opportunities 
for gifted and talented, high-achieving or high ability students in the 
United States.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This priority is effective July 13, 2000.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Beverly Coleman, U.S. Department of 
Education, 555 New Jersey Avenue, NW., room 611A, Washington, DC 20202-
5521. Telephone: (202) 219-2280. If you use a telecommunications device 
for the deaf (TDD), you may call the Federal Information Relay Service 
(FIRS) at 1-800-877-8339.

[[Page 37231]]

    Individuals with disabilities may obtain this document in an 
alternate format (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, or computer 
diskette) on request to the contact person listed in the preceding 
paragraph.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: OERI administers the Jacob K. Javits Gifted 
and Talented Students Education Act of 1994 (Javits Act), which is 
authorized under Part B of Title X of the Elementary and Secondary 
Education Act (ESEA) (20 U.S.C 8031 et seq.). The purposes of the 
Javits Act are (1) to support a coordinated program of research, 
demonstration projects, personnel training, and similar activities 
designed to build a nationwide capability in elementary and secondary 
schools to meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented 
students; (2) to encourage rich and challenging curricula for all 
students through the appropriate application and adaptation of 
materials and instructional methods used with gifted and talented 
students; and (3) to supplement and make more effective the expenditure 
of State and local funds devoted to gifted and talented students.
    The Secretary is authorized, under the Javits Act, to create a 
national research center to carry out: (1) Research on methods and 
techniques for identifying and teaching gifted and talented students, 
and for using gifted and talented education programs and methods to 
serve all students; and (2) program evaluations, surveys, and the 
collection, analysis, and development of information needed to 
accomplish the purposes of the Act.
    The Javits Act gives the highest priority to: (1) Identifying and 
serving gifted and talented students who may not be identified and 
served through traditional assessment methods (including economically 
disadvantaged, individuals of limited-English proficiency, and 
individuals with disabilities); and (2) programs and projects designed 
to develop or improve the capability of schools in an entire State or 
region of the Nation through the cooperative efforts of State and local 
educational agencies, institutions of higher education, and other 
public and private agencies.
    There continues to be significant under-representation of some 
minority groups among top-performing students across the nation. In one 
national sample, only ten percent of top performing students are 
African-American, Latino, or Native American, even though they make up 
about 30 percent of the population. More research is needed to better 
understand the reasons for these gaps in achievement among top-
performing students, and on methods for overcoming these gaps.
    In addition, important information on gifted and talented high-
ability and high achieving students is contained in a number of 
national and international studies. These include the National 
Education Longitudinal Study (NELS), the Early Childhood Longitudinal 
Study, and the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), and 
the Third International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS), among 
others. In most cases, secondary analyses of these studies have not 
been conducted to examine the status of educational opportunities for 
gifted and talented, high-ability, and high-achieving students in the 
United States.
    The Assistant Secretary for the Office of Educational Research and 
Improvement published a notice of proposed priority for this program in 
the Federal Register on March 27, 2000 (65 FR 16290). There are no 
differences between the notice of proposed priority and this notice of 
final priority.

Analysis of Comments and Changes

    In response to the Assistant Secretary's invitation in the notice 
of proposed priority, four parties submitted comments on the proposed 
priority. An analysis of the comments and of the changes in the 
priority since publication of the notice of proposed priority follows:
    Comment: Three commenters said that this priority was too narrow 
and limited and did not address the major unmet needs now facing the 
field of educating gifted students. They suggested other areas such as 
curriculum development, cognitive processes, the role of families in 
talent development, personnel preparation, program evaluation, gifted 
students with disabilities, gifted girls and women, and early 
recognition and cultivation of talent.
    Discussion: We agree that there are many areas in gifted and 
talented education that would benefit from more research knowledge. The 
resources available under this program, however, are not sufficient to 
address all those needs adequately. In light of these circumstances, we 
have concluded that targeting the available resources on a few issues 
that are high priorities for the nation is the best way to create a 
body of work that will move the field forward. A central mission of the 
Javits Program is to increase the participation of under-represented 
groups in advanced educational opportunities. This issue is of the 
highest national interest.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: Three commenters questioned the use of national and 
international databases to provide substantive information on gifted 
and talented student populations.
    Discussion: We agree that national data collections cannot provide 
all of the answers concerning the educational needs of gifted and 
talented students. However, the field of gifted and talented education 
lacks some very basic information that these national and international 
studies can provide. For example, how many students are served in 
gifted and talented program nationwide? What is the ethnic and racial 
composition of the students in gifted and talented programs? What 
happens to children who start school two or more years ahead of their 
peers in reading or mathematics? What opportunities optimize their 
educational achievement? What preschool experiences and parental styles 
contribute to fully developing the talents of students? Why are there 
achievement differences between top performing students in this country 
and in others?
    The authorizing statute for the Javits program states that the 
Center carries out research and evaluation activities funded by this 
program. Therefore, we believe that some portion of the work done by 
the Center should be directed to analyzing existing national studies so 
that we have better information on the educational needs of gifted and 
talented students.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter said that a priority is to put into practice 
knowledge of exemplary practices, through a technical assistance 
center.
    Discussion: We agree that it is important to translate knowledge of 
exemplary strategies into practice and to provide technical assistance 
in this area. As such, we are considering pursuing this goal in the 
future with funds from another part of that Javits Program. We believe 
that the funds available for the research center are limited and should 
remain focused on basic and applied research and evaluation in gifted 
and talented education.
    Changes: None.
    Comment: One commenter wrote in full support of the priority. The 
commenter reiterated the importance of focusing the research agenda on 
the educational needs of the growing number of underrepresented low-
income and minority students with great potential.
    Changes: None.


[[Page 37232]]


    Note: This notice does not solicit applications. A notice 
inviting applications under this competition is published elsewhere 
in this issue of the Federal Register.

Priority

    Under 34 CFR 75.105(c)(3) the Secretary gives an absolute 
preference to applications that meet the following priority. The 
Secretary will fund under this competition only one application that 
meets this absolute priority.

Priority--Research on Gifted and Talented Students

    The Secretary will only fund a Center application that proposes to 
carry out the following activities--
    (a) Conducts a coherent and sustained program of research that:
    (1) Investigates the causes for disparities in achievement at the 
highest levels of performance among various racial and ethnic groups;
    (2) Studies models for increasing the proportion of 
underrepresented students performing at the highest levels; and
    (3) Generates findings and applications that build the capacity of 
teachers and schools to improve the performance of under-represented 
students.
    (b) Informs the research carried out under paragraph (a) by 
conducting analyses of existing national and international databases to 
determine what is known about the opportunities available to, and 
educational outcomes of gifted and talented, high achieving or high 
ability students from these studies. Special attention would be given 
to studies that provide analyses that:
    (1) Lead to a better understanding of what contributes to the 
educational achievement of these students, disaggregated by socio-
economic status and race;
    (2) Frame questions not yet being asked that will guide future 
discussion and inquiry;
    (3) Propose new approaches to enduring problems; and
    (4) Influence discussion of subsequent research, practice, and 
policy activities.
    (c) Reserves five percent of each budget period's funds to support 
activities that fall within the Center's priority area, are designed 
and mutually agreed to by the Center and OERI, and enhance OERI's 
ability to carry out its mission. These activities may include 
developing research agenda, conducting research projects collaborating 
with other federally-supported entities, and engaging in research 
agenda setting and dissemination activities.
    (d) Prepares, at the end of the award period, a report that 
synthesizes the findings and advances in knowledge that resulted from 
the Center's program of work and that describes the potential impact on 
the improvement of American education, including any observable impact 
to date.
    Applicable Program Regulations: 34 CFR Part 700.

    Program Authority: 20 U.S.C. 8034(c)

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(Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: 84.206R Jacob K. 
Javits National Research and Development Center for Gifted and 
Talented Education Program)

    Dated: June 8, 2000.
C. Kent McGuire,
Assistant Secretary for Educational Research and Improvement.
[FR Doc. 00-14891 Filed 6-12-00; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 4000-01-U