Illinois Association for Gifted Children

IAGC Question of the Month-March 2020: Why Advocate for Gifted and Advanced Programming?

03/02/2020 8:24 AM | Anonymous member

Now more than ever in Illinois and nationally we need teachers, parents, and community members to advocate for programming to meet the needs of children from all cultures and backgrounds with advanced learning needs. 

Advocate in Illinois:

At this time, Illinois lacks funding for gifted programming and professional development opportunities focused on supporting teachers of advanced learners.

In 2003, prior to NCLB and the end of state funding, approximately 80% of districts in Illinois had gifted programs. Currently, only approximately 27% of Districts offer gifted programming (Dwyer and Welch, 2016).

This lack of gifted programming disproportionately affects low income and minority students and creates opportunity gaps and excellence gaps. In Illinois, according to a January 2018 Fordham Institute Study by Christopher Yaluma and Adam Tyner, the percentage of high poverty schools with gifted programs is 32.8% -- much lower than the national average of 69.1%.

To learn more about opportunities for advocating for gifted learners in Illinois, click this button:

Advocate Nationally:

The following message from NAGC and invitation to the 2020 Leadership and Advocacy Conference in Washington on March 15-17, 2020 underscores the importance of advocacy in Illinois and nationally:

  • As educators and parents, we observe the inequities in gifted education and have a passion for changing the narrative, but often don’t know how to start facilitating change. However, you’re not alone. There are resources, tools, and mentors available to help.

    The National Association for Gifted Children’s 2020 Leadership & Advocacy Conference March 15-17, in Alexandria, VA, is one place to meet fellow advocates, learn skills, and build your advocacy strategy.  Here’s why you should attend:

  •  The NAGC Leadership & Advocacy Conference is the only national advocacy event tailored exclusively to serving the needs of gifted and talented children.
  • The U.S. Department of Education just released its FY21 budget, and has proposed to eliminate the Jacob K. Javits Program. Javits is the only dedicated federal funding stream committed specifically to gifted and talented students, particularly those in underserved populations. The event culminates with a trip to Capitol Hill to meet with legislators asking them to retain the Javits Program.
  •  2020 is the optimal year to meet with candidates and to build relationships with legislators who will be setting the agenda for gifted children in moving forward.

We must join voices and forces in 2020 to reach our federal, state, and local policymakers to ensure the needs of gifted and talented children are met.  Register for the 2020 Leadership & Advocacy Conference today!

Contact Us:

Illinois Association for Gifted Children

1500 Sullivan Road
Aurora, IL 60506

Ph: 630-907-5047
Fax: 630-907-5976

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