The history and culture of a nation can be charted to a large extent by the contributions of its most gifted and talented citizens. America has enjoyed a long and rich history of creative productivity. However, in recent years our nation’s preeminence has been placed at risk, as much by decaying standards and performance in our educational system as by intensified competition from abroad. If we are to continue to maintain a position of world leadership, it is imperative that a significant portion of our educational resources be invested in those young people who have the highest potential for making creative contributions to the arts and sciences and to all fields of human endeavor in which imagination, invention, and unique solutions to pressing problems are required. It is also imperative that opportunities for the development of high potential be extended to the vast number of young people that frequently have been excluded from traditional programs for the gifted because of race, gender, socioeconomic background, or limited conceptions about the nature and development of giftedness.