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In an analysis as broad as the Commissioner's Study on Education of the Gifted and Talented, the Office of Education owes much to its consultants, contractors, and the many interested advisers among the profession and the public. A considerable portion of the help received on the study was voluntary, which in itself attests to the strong concern about the need for improvements in service to gifted young people.
Throughout the study, the OE staff was aided by an informal panel, all of whom participated in a September 1970 Conference on the Implementation of the Gifted and Talented Provisions of the ESEA Amendments of 1969. These panel members were: Catherine Bruch, University of Ruth A. Martinson, Whitewater, Georgia
California Louis Fliegler, Kent State Univer- Paul D. Plowman, Consultant on sity
Gifted, California State DepartJoseph L. French, University of ment of Education, Sacramento Pennsylvania
Joseph Renzulli, University of Marvin J. Gold, University of S. Connecticut Alabama
Irving Sato, Consultant on Gifted, David M. Jackson, Associate California State Dept. of Edu
Superintendent of Public In- cation, Los Angeles, California struction for Planning, State of William G. Vassar, Consultant on Illinois
Gifted, Connecticut State DeVirgil Ward, University of Vir- partment of Education
In addition to their consistent general involvement, several members contributed directly to the content of the final report. Ruth A. Martinson prepared an extensive review of research on the gifted and talented (appendix A, which forms the basis of chapters I, part of II, and all of III), and summarized the analytic and statistical data contained in the data reports from Operations Research, Inc. (appendix B). Case studies of program development in four States were prepared by Paul B. Plowman, California ; David M. Jackson, et al., Illinois; Margaret Bynum, Georgia; and William Vassar, Connecticut.
In preliminary testing of the Advocate Sunvey, valuable comments and suggestions were made by Miss Marjorie Craig and Miss Pauline Williamson of the American Association for the Gifted; Dr. Virginia Ehrlich of the Gifted Child Study, New York City Board of Education; Dr. A. Harry Passow and Dr. Abraham Tannenbaum of Teachers College, Columbia University.
Special appreciation is due the State and education agency directors of programs for the gifted and talented, the Council of State Directors of Programs for Gifted (CSDPG), and The Association for the
Gifted (TAG), all of whom contributed materially to the study. An invaluable contribution was made by the hundreds of interested persons and organizations who expressed their concern through submission of oral and written testimony at the public hearings held by Regional Assistant Commissioners of Education.
Transcription and analysis of the testimony at the regional hearings was contracted to the Council for Exceptional Children, which in turn subcontracted the analytic tasks to the Frank Porter Graham Child Development Center at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Staff at the latter organization also analyzed the data returns on the State Survey (OE Form 115). The identification and analysis of the OE delivery system was completed on contract by Arthur D. Little, Inc. Margery Thompson was engaged to prepare the final report of the Commissioner's study.
Within the Office of Education, many people were responsible for the success of the Study and spent considerable time on it in addition to their other major responsibilities. Terrel H. Bell, Acting Commissioner of Education and Michael Marge, Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning, Research and Evaluation, were the responsible officers at the time the study was initiated and were extremely helpful throughout. The present Acting Deputy Commissioner for Development, Don Davies, has given major support to the continued progress and completion of the study. Jane Case Williams of the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Development, assumed the major responsibility for supervision of the study. In addition, valuable contributions were made by Paul Ackerman, Bureau of Education for the Handicapped; J. Ned Bryan, Bureau of Educational Personnel Development; Leslie J. Silverman, National Center for Educational Statistics; Tanya Hamilton, Office of Regional Office Coordination; Renee Jasper, Office of Management Information; and Julie Kisielewski, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Development.
The Regional Offices of Education were true partners in the Commissioner's Study and each of the Assistant Regional Commissioners, who presided at the hearings, and their staff's were very helpful during the hearings and in followup work.
Finally, the Office of Education is indebted to a number of people who convened in New York on June 25, 1971 for an external review of the findings of the study and to advise informally on future planning. The participants included a former Commissioner of Education and members of a previous Federal study group on education of the gifted and talented. All members of this informal panel are significant both for their interest in education and for their understanding of the implications of national policies which affect the development of potential in gifted and talented children. Participants from outside the Office of Education were: Dr. Carrie B. Dawson, Director of Developmental Programs, Gary
Indiana School System. Dr. James J. Gallagher, Director, Frank Porter Graham Child DeDr. Harold Gores, President, Educational Facilities Laboratories,
Inc., New York, New York. Mr. Harold Howe, II, Vice President, Education & Research Division,
The Ford Foundation. Dr. Joseph H. Oakey, Commissioner of Department of Education,
Montpelier, Vermont. Miss Susan Stedman, Director of Education, Museum of Modern Art,
New York, New York. Mrs. Beverly King, President, California Parents for Gifted, Wood
land Hill, California.
District, Tacoma, Washington.
For many years, interested educators, responsible legislators, and concerned parents have puzzled over the problem of educating the most gifted of our students in a public educational program geared primarily to a philosophy of egalitarianism.
We know that gifted children can be identified as early as the pre-school grades and that these children in later life often make outstanding contributions to our society in the arts, politics, business, and the sciences. But, disturbingly, research has confirmed that many talented children underachieve, performing far less than their intellectual potential might suggest. We are increasingly being stripped of the comfortable notion that a bright mind will make its own way. On the contrary, intellectual and creative talent cannot survive educational neglect and apathy.
This loss is particularly evident in the minority groups who have in both social and educational environments every configuration calculated to stifle potential talent.
The Congress of the United States expressed its interest and concern by passing a landmark addition to the Elementary and Secondary Education Amendments of 1969, section 806, “Provisions related to gifted and talented children." This amendment, unanimously passed in the House and Senate, provided for two specific changes in existing legislation. It explicated congressional intent that the gifted and talented student should benefit from Federal education legislation notably from titles III and V of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) and teacher fellowship provisions of the Higher Education Act of 1965. Section 806 directed the Commissioner of Education to conduct a study to:
1. Determine the extent to which special educational assistance programs are necessary or useful to meet the needs of gifted and talented children.
2. Show which existing Federal education assistance programs are being used to meet the needs of gifted and talented children.
3. Evaluate how existing Federal educational assistance programs can be more effectively used to meet these needs.
4. Recommend new programs, if any, needed to meet these needs. This report is the Commissioner's response to that mandate.
On January 28, 1969, the proposal was jointly introduced by Congressman Erlenborn and his colleagues' in House and by Senator Javits and his fellow Senators. H.R. 4807, the Gifted and Talented Children Education Assistance Act of 1969, passed the House. 8. 718 was incorporated in Public Law 91-230 (the ESEA amendment of 1969), which was signed into law April 13, 1970. Minor differences in definition of gifted and talented In the two versions were resolved as "children who have outstanding intellectual ability and creative talent." Section 806 amended section 521 of the Higher Education Act of 1965 (relating to fellowships for teachers).
The study was assigned by the Acting Commissioner of Education to the Deputy Assistant Secretary/Deputy Commissioner for Planning, Research, and Evaluation (in the Office of Education), which is now the Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Development. The study was planned, coordinated, and directed by Jane Case Williams, Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Development.
Because this study represented an area of concern for both the Federal and the non-Federal sectors, and offered the U.S. Office of Education (USOE) the opportunity to study an educational problem with nationally significant long-term implications for society, it was determined that the study should be conducted directly from the Office of Education. This arrangement enabled the Office to: 1) call upon its large reservoir of expertise among staff people, 2) contract for technical services as needed, 3) utilize the regional Offices of USOE, and 4) draw on nationally known experts in the field.
The plan developed for the study, as accepted and amplified by the informal advisory panel (listed in the acknowledgements section), consisted of five major activities:
1. Review of research, other available literature, and expert knowledge.
2. Analysis of the educational data bases already available to USOE and the development of a major data base through the “Survey of Leadership in Education of Gifted and Talented Children and Youth" (Advocate Survey.)
3. Public hearings by the Regional Assistant Commissioners of Education in each of the 10 HEW regions to interpret regional needs.
4. Studies of programs in representative States where statewide support to education programs for gifted and talented children have been conducted for several years.
5. Review and analysis of the system for delivery of Office of Education programs to benefit gifted and talented children.
The study began in August 1970 with the development and acceptance of the plan and concluded in June 1971 with the preparation of the final report, which is based on the findings and documentation from the five major activities. Throughout the study, there has been continuous interaction among the major contractors, experts on the gifted and talented, and Office of Education staff assigned to the project.
Public Law 91-230, sec. 806, directs the Commissioner of Education to define gifted and talented children for purposes of Federal education programs. The definition established by the advisory panel reads:
Gifted and talented children are those identified by professionally qualified persons who by virtue of outstanding abilities, are capable of high performance. These are children who require differentiated educational programs and/or services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to realize their contribution to self and society.
Children capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement and/or potential ability in any of the following areas, singly or in combination :
1. general intellectual ability