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begun at the Federal, State, and local levels, by both the public and private sectors, to systematically ameliorate problems identified in this study.
1. Planning Report.—The Deputy Commissioner for School Systems will complete a planning report for the Commissioner on implementing a Federal role in education of gifted and talented children by February 1, 1972. This report will provide continuity between the study and the implementation of action steps by USOE. To be included in this report are recommendations concerning : quantitative objectives and goals for gifted and talented educa
tion. -identification of and planning for public and private respon
sibilities in national emphasis on improving educational opportu
nities for gifted and talented children. -strengthening of State-Federal relationships in education of
gifted and talented. -programmatic and administrative requirements for expansion of
programs nationally. --roles of public and private institutions for the creative and per
forming arts in the identification and development and operation
phases. -administrative requirements for the Office of Education program,
including regulations, guidelines, budget, staffing, and staff sup
port. 2. Program Responsibility.-Assignment of continuing program responsibility for gifted and talented education within USOĖ will be made to the Deputy Commissioner for School Systems with the expectation of further delegation to the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped (BEH). The established BEH national structure of services, staff training programs, media development centers, research and network for dissemination, will greatly enhance the outcome of even minimal resources within USOE for gifted and talented education.
Because of the comparability of certain considerations in programming for all areas of exceptionality in education, the addition of this responsibility to the Bureau of Education for the Handicapped would be entirely consonant with existing responsibilities of this bureau. Clearly, however, program funds must be specifically separate and additional to funds appropriated for education of the handicapped or must be identified for cooperative application with BEH and other OE units.
A staff program group will initially consist of three professional positions with appropriate secretarial and staff support services. This will become the Gifted and Talented Program Group, a nucleus staff to be augmented by working relationships with staff from programs throughout the Department which have significant potential to benefit gifted and talented children (e.g., title I, title V, ESEA, Talent Search, l'pward Bound and Early Childhood programs). From the elementary-secondary level, the staff will work up through higher education and down through preschool education to promote continuity throughout the school system. The program group will have line authority in administration of programs specifically for gifted and talented education. They will furnish information and seek the advice of regional, State, and local specialists as well as gifted and talented pupils and their parents.
3. Nationwide Inventory and Assessment of Current Programs.The program group will supervise a field survey of programs for the gifted and talented across the country in order to:
Obtain information on successful programs and program elements-as judged by gifted and talented students themselves, and by_their parents, peers, teachers, and communities.
Develop more precise cost figures on alternative approaches to education of specific groups of students.
Improve evaluation procedures and encourage their incorporation in all programs for the gifted and talented.
Furnish the bases for model programs which can be field tested for acceptability, student achievement and creative productivity, and relative costs.
Develop a clearinghouse on gifted and talented education. Under the direction of the program group, the survey will be conducted by gifted and talented students working as summer interns in the Office of Education. The students will be encouraged to submit a report detailing their own recommendations on future directions for special programs. The Office's program planning and evaluation staff and other resources will be utilized for technical elements of this project.
4. Strengthening State Education Agencies.-USOE will utilize title V, ESEA and other authorizations to strengthen State education agencies. Meetings with SEA's and other means will also be planned to improve the capability of SEA's to institute or improve their programs for gifted and talented education.
5. Leadership Development and Training.–USOE will support in the summer of 1972 two national leadership training institutes to upgrade supervisory personnel and program planning for the gifted at the State level. This will involve cooperative arrangements, drawing on the prototype programs in several States where teachers of the gifted receive specialized training in centers attended by selected highly gifted high school juniors and seniors and recent graduates. In the national institutes, participating leaders will include the following representatives: 1) officials from a cadre of States, 2) a specialist in education for the gifted, 3) a person with legislative staff experience, and 4) gifted and talented students. The program of the institute will aim at the development of a strategic plan for the education of gifted and talented, with all participants including the students differentiating their own roles in such a process. Following services from the centralized staff of the institute are envisioned as an integral part of the program.
For these purposes, grants of approximately $100,000 each will be made to two State departments of education. Applicants for these grants will be required to identify matching or other sources of funds to support the non-training parts of the summer programs. In fiscal year 1973, USOE will also support 6 planning grants to encourage replication of the national institutes in other States.
6. Research and Development for Minority Groups.-USOE will support additional program activities in two major research and development institutions which have the interest and capacity to work
on learning problems and opportunities among minority groups. These activities are specifically designed to call attention to the presence of numerous gifted and talented in these groups, cited in the Commissioner's study, and to provide needed research in the development of appropriate models for their education.
One contract, at about $25,000, will support an intensive search for children of high potential among its specific target population of disadvantaged preschool-aged children, and to demonstrate and evaluate differentiated education for the highly gifted and talented in this group. Another contract, at about $50,000, will develop and test an accelerated bilingual program for highly intellectually gifted children among the Mexican-Americans and other children in their schools.
A particular objective of each contract will be the development of improved instruments to detect the gifted and talented in these populations.
7. Career Education Models.-USOE will build on the career education models being developed by the National Center for Educational Research and Development (NCERD) by including program activities specific to employer-based career education for the gifted and talented. The career education models are designed to display the wide range of work possibilities and to provide earlier opportunities (grades one to 14) for students to explore and test out a variety of occupational fields at all levels. The employer-based model acknowledges that much learning does take place in non-academic settings and provides the opportunities for the gifted and talented to work with professionals and experts other than educators, a need cited in the Commissioner's study.
The current models under development will accommodate the needs of some gifted students by providing them with apprenticeship work experiences attached to advanced positions in management, computing, planning commissions, and the like. A plan specifically for the talented, in institutions related to the performing arts, will be developed after the general models have been tested. Approximately $200,000 will be devoted to the design and pilot testing of such a plan in 1973.
8. Experimental Schools.—The Commissioner has asked that at least one of the comprehensive experimental school projects devote attention to the individualization of programs to benefit the gifted and talented students as a component of the compehensive design to effect education reform. This activity is in direct response to a significant finding of the study that in early childhood, gifted and talented students are most neglected, and where special attention is provided there is inadequate and insufficient follow-through in the total educational environment.
9. Supplementary Plans and Centers.—Tile III, ESEA, has already been used by many States to support their program activities in gifted and talented education. In FY 1972 and FY 1973, USOE will continue to encourage these activities through communication with State education agencies, issuance of program guidelines and cooperative assignment of CSOE title III program staff to the Gifted and Talented Program Group.
10. Regional Offices.-One staff member will be identified in each of the ten Regional Offices of Education as responsible, at least part time, for gifted and talented education. The relevant activities will include liaison with the Office of Education national office, developmental assistance to the State education agencies, continuous dissemination of information, and management of specialized regional activities as they arise.
11. Higher Education.—The existing OE programs relating to higher education will be carefully studied by the Gifted and Talented Program Group in order to optimize their potential for the talented population and their teachers. The objectives of the Talent Search, Upward Bound and Student Aid programs relate to disadvantaged, low-income, and minority groups, many of them underachieving gifted and talented students. These higher education programs have as their clientele the secondary school-age group from which students of particularly high potential are identified and supported in extending their horizons to facilitate their success at institutions of higher learning. Fellowships are available for potential higher education personnel, who would educate potential teachers of the gifted and talented.
The expertise of staff personnel in the above-mentioned programs will be utilized as part of the Gifted and Talented Program Group, with the expectation of expanding the current focus and better identifying and serving the needs of the high potential disadvantaged student at the elementary and secondary level.
"Equal education is the foundation of the right to be a human being. ... This does not mean that any gifted child or any child having a greater capability to learn may or shall be deprived of his or her opportunity of learning more. It does mean that every child shall have the equal opportunity to learn to the best of his or her ability. That opportunity must be made available to all on equal terms.”— Alfred Gitelson, Judge, County of Los Angeles, Superior Court Case 822854
As quoted in “The Bulletin of the Gifted Children's Association, San Fernando Valley, Inc.," May 1971.