Senator Grassley (R-IA) continued his long-time leadership in gifted education by introducing the bipartisan To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers (TALENT) Act (S. 512), along with Senators Casey (D-PA) and Mikulski (D-MD), on March 11, 2013.
• Supporting Educator Development to Ensure Academic Growth for High-Ability Students: The TALENT Act recognizes the critical role of teachers as the catalyst for learning and academic growth and as such seeks to expand professional development opportunities in gifted education pedagogy for teachers nationwide.
• Confronting and Addressing the National Excellence Gap: The TALENT Act responds directly to recent research demonstrating a growing “excellence gap” at the top achievement levels between students from low-income or minority backgrounds and their more advantaged peers by emphasizing opportunities for students who are economically disadvantaged, English language learners, individuals with disabilities, and individuals from rural areas throughout the bill.
• Providing Public Transparency of Student Achievement Data: The TALENT Act emphasizes the importance of paying attention to the highest performance levels in the accountability system, with an emphasis on closing the “excellence gap”.
• Continuing Research and Dissemination on Best Practices in Gifted Education The TALENT Act recognizes that the expanding research in gifted education is the foundation for the success of our nation’s students with gifts and talents.
In a press release from the CEC, Senator Grassley said:
“America cannot afford to ignore the needs of its brightest students and, by doing so, squander their potential. Our legislation would make modifications to federal education policy in order to develop and encourage the high achievement that’s possible for so many gifted and talented students. By doing so, it would help to enhance the future prosperity of our nation.”
Senator Grassley’s sponsorship sends an important message that the needs of gifted students must be considered in federal education reform efforts. The Belin-Blank Center applauds Senator Grassley for his leadership in gifted education.