Illinois Association for Gifted Children
The new report Is There a Gifted Gap? by the Fordham Institute shines a glaring light on how unevenly and unfairly services for high-ability students are distributed throughout the state of Illinois and how out of step we are with the rest of the country.
A few important statistics from the report underscore just how far behind Illinois is in providing equitable access to gifted services:
The Illinois Association for Gifted Children has been a voice for disadvantaged high-ability children, arguing that the steep drop in the number of Illinois’ elementary and middle school districts that offer gifted programs – from over 80% in 2003 (the last year that the state provided funding to districts for their gifted programs) to 27% as of 2016 – has had a disparate impact on black, Hispanic, and low-income students.
The State Board of Education, legislators, and the Governor heard our message and supported the passage of the Accelerated Placement Act this past year, which requires all Illinois districts to create policies allowing early entrance to Kindergarten and 1st grade, whole grade acceleration, and single subject acceleration. This is a great step forward in providing advanced students with appropriately challenging learning opportunities, but we have more work to do to close opportunity and excellence gaps, and to ensure that we identify and nurture talent equitably throughout Illinois.
The Gifted Gap report helps emphasize how critical it is that Illinois continue to strengthen its policy support for advanced students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Visit our Policy & Advocacy webpages and contact the co-chairs, Carolyn Welch (carolynEwelch@comcast.net) and Eric Calvert (firstname.lastname@example.org), to get involved!