A. Harry Passow
Rose A. Rudnitski
This study consists of an analysis of state policies on the identification and education of the gifted as reflected in legislation, regulations, rules, recommendations, and guidelines provided by 49 of the 50 states. The report is not a state-by-state description of policies but rather an analysis of the elements or components that comprise a comprehensive policy for identifying and nurturing talent potential.
The analysis indicates considerable variability among states so that there is no single model that provides a pattern for other states to follow. Some state policies are clearer, more positive, and more directive than others. Some documents are stronger with respect to specific components (e.g., nature of mandate, identification, curriculum, or evaluation).
The elements examined include:
- State mandated services
- District plans for the gifted
- Gifted education as part of special education
- Philosophy or rationale
- Definitions of gifted and talented
- Identification procedures
- Programs for the gifted
- Differentiated curriculum and instruction
- Counseling and other support services
- Program evaluation
- State funding for the gifted
The fact that all 50 states have formulated policies in the form of legislation, regulations, rules, or guidelines that support education of the gifted and talented represents a very significant achievement, a consequence of vigorous and persistent efforts on the part of many advocates. Having attained this goal, the time is now right for a reexamination of existing policies, taking into account research, experience, and developments in education, psychology, organization, and related fields; the ongoing school reform and restructuring efforts; the changing context for society and schooling that is occurring; the distinctive state-local relationships by which diverse mandates and the regulations permitting discretionary programs are implemented differently; and the consequences of the ways local school districts have implemented state policies.
A number of suggestions are provided for educators and other advocates as they reexamine and reassess their state’s policies. These suggestions deal with the elements or components of a comprehensive policy for the education of the gifted and talented.
State Policies Regarding Education of the Gifted as Reflected in Legislation and Regulation
A. Harry Passow
Rose A. Rudnitski
- All 50 states have formulated policies in the form of legislation, regulations, rules, or guidelines that support education of the gifted and talented.
- The absence or presence of strict controls and jurisdictions determine the nature of programs for the gifted.
- About a fifth of the states include the gifted and talented under a special federal education legislation.
- Basic frameworks are provided for identifying and educating gifted children. Policies regarding identification procedures range from broad guidelines to specific standards to very detailed lists of instruments.
- States vary widely with respect to programs elements (definition, identification procedures, instruction, organization, evaluation, and funding) that are required or recommended.
- A few states suggest that gifted and talented students have distinctive counseling and psychological needs.