This report brings together information collected in an assessment of the United States Office of Education delivery system of educational programs to gifted and talented children and youth at the elementary and secondary level of education in the United States. This study is responsive to that portion of Part C, Section 806 of Public Law 91230, which stipulates that the Commissioner of Education shall:

show which existing Federal educational assistance programs are being used to meet the needs of gifted and talented children, and

evaluate how existing Federal educational assistance can be more effectively used to meet these needs. * * * The task was defined by the Office of Education to include:

1. a review of the present USOE delivery system to Gifted and Talented Children and Youth (hereafter referred to as GTCY), and

2. to develop a framework that USOE can use for further program evaluation and program structuring: This report brings together information collected during this study and shows which Federal educational programs administered by the U.S. Office of Education are presently being used to meet the needs of gifted and talented children and youth at the elementary and secondary level and concludes with recommendations for follow-on action for developing a more effective delivery system to meet the needs of GTCY.

B. STUDY METHODOLOGY The data used in writing this report were collected in several ways. The Acting Deputy Commissioner for Development sent a memorandum dated March 30, 1971 to all Bureau Chiefs and Office Heads requesting their assistance in submitting program data to the Project Officer for this study. The memorandum stated that since "information will be obtained primarily through structured interviews with OE staff. ..” that the process will be greatly facilitated if information can be gathered before the interviewing process began. The data requested were:

Identification of the person or persons to whom the Bureau Chief would assign official responsibility for providing information for the purposes of this study.

A list with descriptive information and legislative authority of all programs administered by the Bureau or Office.

Information on any omissions, additions, or other corrections to the “Guide to OE-Administered Programs, Fiscal Year 1971” as described in American Education.

72-502 0–72-20

With this information an interview schedule was drawn up by Arthur D. Little, Inc., personnel and the Office of Education Program Officer for this study. The interview team then conducted their interviews throughout the Office of Education. Interviews were also conducted with other consultants who were doing work for the Office of Education on other tasks of this study. Telephone interviews were conducted with some SOE Regional Directors on their relationship to programs as administered at the State Educational Agency (SEA) level and the Local Educational Agency (LEA) level.

Analytic data such as the number of students who are part of the targeted population were gathered from existing documents as outlined in RFP 71-23 and from statistics gathered by NCES. Where such data have been used in this report, the references are given to the source(s).

The Arthur D. Little, Inc., director of this study attended a threeday conference sponsored by the U'SOE for state educational representatives with a responsibility for GTCY. The conference was convened to meet with staff from SEA's which currently devote a substantial effort to gifted and talented education, to determine the nature of their programs, to find out the most pressing needs to make these programs more effertive, and to begin more comprehensive planning for program activities within the states. The study team also reviewed written legislation, historical documents contained in OE files, and other reports prepared or being prepared by other consultants performing work for the Commissioner's study.

The information gathered was then ordered, analyzed, and discussed amongst team members, with experts on education for gifted and talented children and youth, and the Project Officer before making this report.

C. STRUCTURE AND U'SE OF REPORTS This report has been divided in four sections for the convenience of the reader. The first section is self-contained and traces the purpose and origins of this work, the methodology used in performing the work, a summary of the results reached during this work, and finally a framework within which further programming should take place. The reader who does not have the time to read the full report can understand the results of our work through reading only this section. The next three sections contain the supporting information for the written conclusions of Section I. Section II contains the information concerning U'SOE programs serving GTCY that we were able to uncover through interviewing with U'SOE personnel. The third section describes what happens operationally to program priorities and decisions at each level within the hierarchy of a delivery system starting at the federal level with the end purpose of affecting the classroom activities and programs of elementary and secondary school children and youth. The final section lists a series of strategies that U'SOE might follow in setting up an internal agency for gifted and talented children and youth with a brief discussion of where this agency might reside with the Office of Education.


Evidence uncovered in the course of this investigation indicates that some ESEA Title

III funds, “Supplementary Centers and Services," and some ESEA Title V funds, "Strengthening State and Local Educational Agencies," are being specifically used for gifted and talented children and youth. The amount of the funds being used for these purposes are so few, less than $7.00 spent per treated student that we conclude:

There is virtually no USOE delivery system of educational programs for the gifted and talented children and youth of the . country. Many factors account for this situation, but each factor is so closely intertwined with the other factors that the causes for no delivery system must be seen as a package. The major influences militating against the development of a Federal delivery system of an educational package targeted at the gifted and talented children of the country are:

Although the need for such programs has been established through research, literature, and societal need it has not received very wide support amongst American educators, hence there is little public support for emphasis on gifted and talented children except by parents whose children are gifted or talented.

There is no categorical federal legislation which establishes gifted and talented children and youth as a targeted population. This has tended to keep the visibility of gifted and talented children very low as an educational priority and makes it difficult to focus Federal resources on the area. (Public Law 91–230) 91st Congress H.R. 514 dated April 13, 1970 is a recent exception which amends parts of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to include mention of the gifted and talented, and it also provides the legal framework for this study.

As a result of no focused priorities for that population, present USOE activities do not include gifted and talented children and youth as a targeted population. Hence once existing funds have been disbursed to meet OE's high priority needs and crisis concerns, there is very little likelihood of program money reaching these students.

The relationship of the federal government to state and local educational agencies has traditionally been one of nonintervention. Statutory program funds are distributed to these agencies for use as they see fit within the broad guidelines of the law. This permits general priority setting at the state and local level to meet local needs and crisis concerns.

The expressed priority of gifted and talented children and youth is so low within ŰSOE that although discretionary funds could be used to provide programs for gifted and talented children and youth this avenue is seldom used.

Since there is no federal or national educational focus on and leadership within the area of gifted and talented children and youth, state and locally funded programs targeted for this population have tended to function in isolation from one another. This has resulted in the lack of an effective means for sharing gained

knowledge to further a more concerted national program develop

ment for GTCY. The above circumstances function as barriers against the development by USOE of an educational delivery system for gifted and talented children and youth. At the same time, however, there are some unmet needs at the state and local level which must be resolved if a USOE delivery system targeted for GTCY is to operate effectively in the field.

There is a need for a national center or agency to fulfill the role of monitoring, assessing, and coordinating the present limited program activity for GTCY at the state and local levels if these activities are to coalesce into a significant country-wide effort.

There is a need for some agency or intermediate office to coordinate and disseminate the research efforts going on throughout the nation in the area of gifted and talented children, which can also act as a catalytic agent for turning these efforts into meaningful program activities at the local and state level.

There is a need for a centralized, objective agency to evaluate which lines of program activity have been successful in delivering programs to gifted and talented children.

There is a need for leadership which cannot only fulfill the above three needs but also through interaction with the LEA's and SEA's can assist them in setting program priorities, focusing resources, and then planning program activities to meet these needs.

E. FRAMEWORK FOR FURTHER PROGRAMMING In order to develop within the United States Office of Education an effective delivery system of programming for gifted and talented children and youth, it will be necessary to remove or substantially reduce the barriers outlined above and also to develop a process that will meet the needs for leadership in developing program activity for these students at the local and state levels. As part of a framework for helping this happen, we recommend:

Some mechanism or agency be set up within OE to coordinate national activity in the area of programs for gifted and talented children and youth which can fulfill the leadership needs outlined above.

Programs and project planning that get funding from OE should meet stringent requirements. Any project approved for funds should declare how it is building upon the present body of knowledge regarding the gifted and talented. It should specify the assumptions it is predicated on and how the programming built on these assumptions will produce the expected outcomes.

All programs to be funded should not only declare their evaluation plans ahead of time, they should also declare what kinds of conclusions are expected from the collected data. Failure to meet this requirement will seriously impair what can be learned from the project.

Provisions on a national scale must be made for communicating local program results to research centers and for communicating research results to the LEA and SEA levels. The results of these efforts should, in turn, be communicated to all educators in order to help them understand the needs of gifted and talented children and youth, the ways in which these needs can be met, and how to effectively plan to meet these needs.

The USOE mechanism should provide support services to assist the SEA's in developing and setting up an evaluation and program planning group to help the LEA's and SEA's meet the requirements of the above recommendations. The framework itself, however, is not sufficient to insure a successful delivery system. It is necessary to provide for continuity of program priorities across changes in administration. For example, in the late 1950's, with the dawn of the space age, national attention was focused on the gifted through a series of NSF and NDEA programs, but those initial efforts have lost their impact because the priorities of the 1960's shifted to the problems of poverty and the disadvantaged. It is further important to maintain program continuity when a new Commissioner of Education takes office. Provision for this continuity of focus does not mean that new administrations or Commissioners of Education should not be able to set their own priorities. Rather, provision for this continuity is required if the payoffs of programs funded to run for several years are to be realized when they run across more than one administration or more than one Commissioner of Education, and if they are not to be displaced by current crisis needs. This has the added benefit of allowing for planning to meet long range needs before they become crisis issues.




The total school population in kindergarten through grade twelve in America is estimated to be 51.6 million students (Simon, Kenneth A., and Grant, W. Vance, Digest of Education Statistics, Washington, September 1970, Page 2, Table 1), see in Table 1.


fin millions)

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This shows that the approximately 51.3 million children receiving education in 1969 grew to an estimated size of 51.6 million children by September of 1970. Of the total school population, 71.9% in 1969 and 71.3% in 1970 were enrolled in kindergarten through the eighth grade

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