Tell your friends and register for WATG's Raise your Voice for Gifted Kids! Be sure to share the flyer with everyone you know!
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What is Raise Your Voice for Gifted Kids Day?
WATG is pleased to present our first-ever day of advocacy training that will include an update on the state of gifted education in Wisconsin. Network with peers from around the state. Learn ways to become a more effective advocate, and use these skills as you visit the offices of YOUR state senator and representative.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
9:00 am– 4:00 pm
Bethel Lutheran Church
312 Wisconsin Ave
Proposed schedule for Thursday, June 20, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
9:30 Advocacy Training:
State Budget and Legislative Briefing
Gifted Education in Wisconsin
Advocacy Spectrum and Legislative Communications
How to Advocate Using Your Story
12:15 Lunch (provided by WATG)
1:15 Role Play for Meetings with Legislators
2:30 Walk to State Capitol
3:00 Meetings with Legislators
4:00 End of Day
The registration deadline is June 10.The cost is $25 and includes lunch and training materials. Questions: Email watg <at> watg.org
Did you know-
- that the 40 Year Fund was introduced at this year's conference?
- that money from the fund will go towards professional development, advocacy
activities and conference scholarships for Wisconsin's gifted community?
- that WATG is a 501(c)3 organization and your donation may be tax deductible?
- that you can now donate online?
- that if you or your spouse work for a larger company, your employer may match
employee contributions to charities dollar for dollar?
- that any amount donated is greatly appreciated?
- that you can help us make a difference in the life of a gifted child?
By Cindy Clark and Ruth Robinson, WATG Board Members
In March, we journeyed to Washington, D.C., to meet with members of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation to share student stories about the challenges and needs of gifted and talented children in our state and to encourage them to sign-on as co-sponsors of the Talent Act. Our visit was part of the NAGC Affiliates Group’s effort to promote an increased federal role in support of G/T education throughout the U.S.
While we were not able to arrange meetings with all members of the Wisconsin delegation, we were able to speak briefly with Congresswomen Gwen Moore and Tammy Baldwin and then continue our discussions with their education staffers. We also met with staff representatives for Congressmen Ron Kind, Tom Petri, and Paul Ryan, and with Senator Herb Kohl’s Legislative Aid.
Currently, there are no federal regulations addressing these issues, nor are there federal funds allocated to assist states or districts in supporting GT students.
The TALENT Act (To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering The Nation’s Teachers, Senate Bill 857 and House Bill 1674) proposes to amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to provide federal leadership in meeting the needs of gifted and high-ability students.
The Act has four key components:
1. Emphasizes the need to increase teacher training about the unique needs of GT students and in methods they might use to meet those needs;
2. Stresses the importance of developing methods for identifying and serving students from
diverse backgrounds and environments, including rural and economically depressed areas;
3. Authorizes the Professional Development and Best Practices competitive grant program to
fund the development of innovative instructional practices with gifted and talented students;
4. Addresses the importance of data in further policy development by requiring that the Department of Education gather information specifically about gifted and talented student performance and needs.
For gifted education, the resolution of the budget and appropriation uncertainties surrounding 2012 spending worked out slightly in our favor. Although federal funding for the Javits program was lost last year, NAGC (in
collaboration with CEC) was successful in getting some “gifted” language into the omnibus appropriation bill that was passed by Congress in December 2011. Specifically, the bill urges the Institute for Education Sciences (IES), the main research arm of the federal Department of Education, to include gifted education and gifted students explicitly as part of its research agenda. The exact language is as follows:
Omnibus 2012 Appropriations Bill - Report Language on Gifted Education:
The Committee strongly urges IES to continue support for research and development activities related to gifted and talented education, particularly for underrepresented populations, to support a National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, and to ensure that the condition of gifted and talented students is reported in key national reports produced by the IES.
The next steps are that NAGC and CEC and their supporters in Congress will write to IES to elaborate on the intent of Congress regarding that language. While IES has never been opposed to funding gifted research, this will show that Congress wishes it to become higher priority.
In other national advocacy news ~ NAGC has a data collection workgroup that is working with IES and the National Center for EducationStatistics (NCES) to make suggestions that will result in more national data
being collected on gifted students and gifted education;
NAGC has on its website a new set of resources on the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and how they can be differentiated for high-ability students, and will include this topic as a webinar early in 2012;
The State of the States report from NAGC was covered by the Wall Street Journal and Education Week, and
op-ed templates will be available for use as state legislatures come back into session in 2012.
The NAGC State Affiliate Conference and an Acceleration Summit will be held in Washington in March 2012.