Join the IAGC Advocacy Committee Today!
- Committee Meetings take place throughout the year. You can attend in person or virtually!
- Mark your calendar for the next quarterly IAGC Policy and Advocacy Committee meeting.
- Register for our next meeting
Be an Advocate!
You can make a difference in the life and education of advanced and high-potential children in Illinois.
It is not necessary to have a knowledge of statistics or legislation to be able to make a case for advocating for all children to have the opportunity to grow, develop, and reach for their potential. By focusing on these three things, you can be an effective advocate:
- Tell your story. Administrators, legislators, and the governor may not be aware of the particular needs of high- ability students or the special training to prepare their teachers. Anecdotes give rulemakers more insight into gifted children than a table of numbers.
- Be specific. For example, as a parent, your story of your child’s frustration reviewing curriculum she mastered three years ago or your concern regarding the inconsistent training her teachers have had in appropriately differentiating curriculum are important specifics. As a teacher, you might mention the range of abilities in your classroom and how, in your ongoing attempts to assist struggling learners, you fear high-ability students are being neglected.
- Review the issues. For more background information on IAGC’s stances on issues related to gifted students and their education, please check out the information in this Advocate section.
...for your child:
- If you are a parent seeking academic changes for your high-ability child, consider specific topics you wish to discuss first with the classroom teacher.
- Parents and teachers are partners in each child’s education and, while acknowledging limits within the home and school, they can work together positively toward goals for the student.
- After the first conversation, you or the teacher may choose to involve other school or district staff in planning the best academic, social and emotional course for the child. See our Parent Support Flow Chart for more on navigating the process at your child's school.
- For more tips on school meetings, visit the IAGC Parent Resource page.
- Tips for Parents: Advocacy - Working with Your Child’s School from the Davidson Institute provides a guide to establishing constructive partnerships between parents and local educators.
...in your community:
- Most decisions that affect the availability of and funding for programs and services for gifted and advanced learners are made at the local level. Therefore, in addition to supporting strong policy and funding for talent development at the state and federal levels, it is critical that parents and concerned educators engage with local school administrators and school board members to ensure that addressing the needs of advanced learners is a high priority.
...at the state level:
- Although Illinois does have laws requiring schools to have policies on Acceleration and to report certain data, including demographic data, related to gifted and advanced programming, there is no funding for gifted education in Illinois.
- Now is the time to get to know your state legislators and understand their positions on gifted education.
- As your representatives, it is important that your legislators understand your perspectives and concerns with respect to gifted education. Write a letter to the Governor and your State Representative. Find out how and where to send it...
- Annually, the IAGC and NAGC request Congressional support for the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program to support state and local work to identify and serve students who have been underrepresented in gifted and talented programs.
Government & NGO Reports:
- Jones, E. D. & Gallagher, S. A. (2019) America Agrees: Public attitudes towards gifted education. Institute for Educational Advancement.
- Xiang, Y., Dahlin, M., Cronin, J., Theaker, R., & Durant, S. (2011). Do high flyers maintain their altitude? Performance trends of top students. Washington DC: Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Retrieved from https://eric.ed.gov/?id=ED524344
NAGC "Backgrounders" on Federal Legislation:
General Advocacy Information: