News about Exceptionalities, Giftedness, and More

From the January/February, 2018, issue of 2e: Twice-Exceptional Newsletter

EQUITY IN GIFTED ED. The Fordham Institute released a report recently calling for universal screening for giftedness in children to ensure equitable access to gifted ed for children in varying demographics. NAGC, which has its own initiatives for equity, praised the release of the report. In NAGC’s comments, you can find more about the report — and a link to the report itself. (And such universal screening would also presumably reveal you-know-what.)

MORE READING. IDEA mavens can find The 39th Annual Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) online. The Council of Parent Advocates and Attorneys (COPAA), which pointed us to the report, says, “The report describes our nation’s progress in (1) providing a free appropriate public education (FAPE) for children with disabilities under IDEA, Part B, and early intervention services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families under IDEA, Part C; (2) ensuring that the rights of these children with disabilities and their parents are protected; (3) assisting states and localities in providing for the education of all children with disabilities; and (4) assessing the effectiveness of efforts to educate children with disabilities.”

THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION interviewed Peter Eden, president of Landmark College, where all students are “neurodiverse.” Eden covers the college’s approach to instruction, including universal design; how there’s been a culture change regarding learning differences over the past decades; and his own career path from molecular biologist to college president.

DYSLEXIC ACHIEVER. An alert reader noticed in an obituary of Ikea’s founder that he was dyslexic... and also a somewhat unusual person. Thanks to Nancy M for bringing this to our attention. From the obit: “He grew up on a farm in the lake-dotted province of Smaland, in southern Sweden, a dyslexic boy who milked cows and found it hard to concentrate in school. His family was poor, and he earned money selling matches and pencils in villages.”

SEEING AND SUPPORTING TWICE-EXCEPTIONAL LEARNERS is the title of an academic paper just published in the journal The Educational Forum. Authored by Chin-Wen Lee and Jennifer Ritchotte, of the University of Louisville and the University of Northern Colorado, respectively, the article lays out four topics, according to its abstract: “Part 1 delineates the evolution of the legislative acts and professional initiatives regarding twice exceptionality. Part 2 discusses the educational rights of twice-exceptional learners. Part 3 presents challenges to understanding and supporting this student population, followed by a call for ongoing personnel training in Part 4.”

LAW AND POLICY. There’s some good news in the revised tax plan for those  parents in the 2e community trying to afford private schools. The 529 education savings plans will now apply to elementary and high school education. The catch: having enough money in the first place to afford a private school for that 2e kiddo — but maybe the tax provisions will help.

THEY GRADUATE HIGH SCHOOL, but then a third of top-performing students don’t finish college, according to Education Dive. The reasons listed vary, but twice-exceptionality and lack of support could certainly impede progress for our students. The article also points to a video news release about the report that is the basis for the findings mentioned.

GIFTED (AND 2e) ED IN OHIO now comes under new operating standards, according to an article at The new standards provide for automatic screening for giftedness twice during elementary school, but also allow parents, teachers, or students to request screening at any time. Twice-exceptional students are recognized as, well, under-recognized. The article points out that while students with disabilities must receive services, there is no such mandate for schools to provide services especially for the gifted. So the catch is: schools are required to identify gifted students — but not to provide services for them.

NEW RESEARCH shows that programs aimed at enriching the curriculum and challenging gifted students have tangible, quantifiable payoffs. The German research “examined whether the [gifted-specific] program has effects on children’s cognitive skills, academic achievement, epistemic curiosity, creativity, self-control or social competencies.” All of us here go “duh” to the conclusion, but evidently there hasn’t been much research to support what we believe is obvious -- and “evidence-based” is always good, right?  @NAGCGIFTED is mentioned in the study write-up.   

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