Gifted & Talented Launched
children are being left behind in the United States. According
to some disturbing reports cited by the National Society for the Gifted and
Talented (NSGT), a non-profit group, at its recent introductory meeting at
the Harvard Club in New York City, “Currently, 21 states have no mandate
to identify and/or provide programs for gifted and talented students.” And “of the 29 states that do mandate
gifted education, only 20 allocate state funding for gifted and talented
Shockingly, New York State
has no mandate to identify gifted and talented children, no mandate to educate
them, and no state funding for them.
to the NSGT, “in
the United States recognition and support for gifted and talented youth continues
to decline.” An emphasis
on raising test scores, the elimination of gifted programs and classes in schools,
and an overall tendency in our society to be ambivalent about high academic
and artistic performance is undermining the development of great potential.
are approximately two million gifted and talented children in second through
tenth grades nationwide, of whom only perhaps a quarter have been identified
and receive support.”
NSGT seeks to address this
problem by enrolling GT children in these grades as members, both in the U.S.
and abroad, and by forming affiliations with schools, school districts and
other GT organizations and businesses.
Student members of NSGT will
receive, among other benefits, recognition of their talents, information on
programs and services available to them, access to online connections with
fellow members and connections with colleges and universities. Scholarships
will be provided for these programs.
NSGT emphasizes that programs
encouraging the gifted have nothing to do with elitism, a misconception that
has hampered support for these children, who are one of our major resources.
Jaime A. Castellano,
Ed.D., Associate Professor at Florida’s Lynn University and member of NSGT’s
Board of Trustees, said, “Gifted children are found in the poor ethnic
neighborhoods of Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles, in the projects of New York,
Miami and Philadelphia, and in new immigrant populations found in West Palm
Beach, San Francisco and Houston. Gifted children are found in trailer parks,
homeless shelters and Indian reservations. They are found in rural America
and in migrant camps. One of my responsibilities will be to help NSGT reach
out to historically underrepresented groups.”
His fellow board
member, Sir Cyril Taylor, GBE, CEO, American Institute for Foreign Study,
the maybe five percent of youth who are gifted, all of whom will not be in
middle class areas, will be a means to achieving equity, not a roadblock to
it,” he said.
Identifying these young people
is crucial. “Through education,” said
Trustee John A. Burg, Vice President and CFO, AIF, “we must help society
realize that gifted children aren’t always resourceful enough to reach
their potential on their own.”
“Everyone benefits,” says
NSGT’s Executive Director, Dr. Susan T. Dinnocenti, “when we support
these highly able children, as their gifts become ours later in life.”#
For more info about NSGT