A r c h i v e d I n f o r m a t i o n
Biennial Evaluation Report - FY 93-94
Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program
(CFDA No. 84.206)
I. Program Profile
Legislation: Part B of Title IV of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Augustus F. Hawkins - Robert T. Stafford Elementary and Secondary School Improvement Amendments of 1988, P.L. 100-297, and by the Higher Education Amendments of 1992, P.L. 102-325 (20 U.S.C. 3061-3068) (expires September 30, 1999).
Purpose: To support a coordinated program of research, demonstration projects, and personnel training to build schools' capability to identify and meet the special educational needs of gifted and talented students.
|Fiscal Year ||Appropriation|
|1989 ||$7,904,000 |
|1990 ||9,888,000 |
|1991 ||9,732,000 |
|1992 ||9,732,000 |
|1993 ||9,607,000 |
|1994 ||9,607,000 |
II. Program Information and analysis
Projects supported under this program either serve gifted and talented students directly, or increase the capability to do so. Gifted and talented students are defined as "children and youth who give evidence of high performance capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity, or in specific academic fields, and who require services or activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop such capabilities."
Priority in making awards is given to identifying students missed by traditional assessment methods (including children who are economically disadvantaged, limited-English-proficient, or have disabilities) and to education programs that include gifted and talented students from such groups.
The program has both grant and contracting authority. Authorized activities include:
- preservice and inservice training of personnel involved in gifted and talented education;
- operation of model and/or exemplary programs to identify and educate gifted and talented students;
- provision of technical assistance and information dissemination; and
- support for State education agencies (SEAs) and institutions of higher education (IHEs) to assist public and private schools' operation of gifted and talented education programs.
In addition, there is a requirement to establish and support a research center for gifted and talented education using no more than 30 percent of the total appropriation. In FY 1990, the Department established that center with a first-year grant of $1.5 million to a consortium led by the University of Connecticut and including the University of Georgia, the University of Virginia, and Yale University. In FY 1993, the Department provided a fourth-year grant of $1.75 million to support the center's ongoing program of research, including:
- evaluation of current methods of identifying gifted students;
- examination of classroom practices and gifted and talented programs to determine their effectiveness in challenging students;
- study of new ways to measure the talents of students from historically underrepresented groups;
- evaluation of alternative ways of preparing teachers of gifted and talented students; and
- study of the progress of gifted students who are not served by special programs.
In FY 1993, 24 continuation grants and 10 new awards were made.
The authorizing legislation calls for the program to be a "national focal point" for information regarding gifted and talented education. In FY 1992, the following activities were conducted:
- annual conference for grantees to provide opportunities for grant recipients to share information and learn from other grantees' experiences with operating demonstration projects, conducting research, providing technical assistance, and providing preservice and inservice training in gifted and talented education; and
- meeting with representatives of leadership groups in gifted and talented education to develop a strategic plan for a national report.
According to a 1993 OERI report on the state of gifted and talented education in America, a "quiet crisis" exists in the way we educate our most talented students. "In a broad range of intellectual and artistic endeavors, these youngsters are not challenged to do their best work. This problem is especially severe among economically disadvantaged and minority students, who have access to fewer advanced educational opportunities and whose talents often go unnoticed." While effective programs for gifted students do exist, they are often limited in scope and substance (III.1).
The report states that gifted and talented students suffer from the same low expectations that plague all our students. Society encourages all our children to aim for academic adequacy rather than academic excellence, and high-achieving students are often given derogatory labels. Indeed, the very existence of gifted and talented education is sometimes criticized, as if helping our most outstanding students to reach their full potential were somehow an affront to other students (III.1).
To improve educational opportunities for our top students, the report recommends that we:
- set challenging curriculum standards;
- provide more challenging opportunities to learn;
- increase access to early childhood education;
- increase learning opportunities for disadvantaged and minority children with outstanding talents; and
- broaden the definition of gifted (III.1).
III. Sources of Information
- Pat O'Connell Ross, National Excellence: A Case for Developing America's Talent (Washington, DC: Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, 1993).
- Program files.
IV. Planned Studies
V. Contacts for Further Information
- Program Operations:
- Pat O'Connell Ross, (202) 219-2187
- Program Studies:
- Joanne Wiggins, (202) 401-1958
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