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Guidebooks: Davidson Institute Guidebooks

Advocating for Exceptionally Gifted Young People: A Guidebook

The Davdison Institute Team designed this guidebook for parents interested in addressing the needs of their exceptionally gifted children. It is to be used as an organizational tool and informational guide to building a strong foundation for parent advocacy efforts. The information included is presented in a series of steps to prepare you for effective advocacy results.

Organizations: International

Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS)

With members worldwide, the Association for the Education of Gifted Underachieving Students (AEGUS) serves as an advocate for this special population providing a forum for ideas and interventions aimed at helping these twice-exceptional students reach their full and considerable potential. This organization publishes a newsletter, position papers, bibliographies, a resource directory and hosts annual and regional conferences to further their educational goals.

Council for Exceptional Children (CEC)

The Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) is the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving the educational success of individuals with disabilities and/or gifts and talents. CEC advocates for appropriate governmental policies, sets professional standards, provides professional development, advocates for individuals with exceptionalities, and helps professionals obtain conditions and resources necessary for effective professional practice.

Prometheus Society

Established in 1982, this international society brings together highly gifted individuals from the top 1 in 30,000 people and offers online discussions, newsletters, and online tools to connect these profoundly gifted people.

The Global Center for Gifted and Talented Children

This organization offers a broad spectrum of services for gifted children, parents and specialists involved in gifted education. Daily work includes psychological and pedagogical consultancy, diagnosis and coaching. Their vision is to help gifted children discover their own strengths and dreams; and to pursue those dreams against all odds.

The International Gifted Consortium (IGC) and Research Center for the Highly/Profoundly Gifted (Scottsdale, AZ)

The International Gifted Consortium (IGC) is the philanthropic coming together of leaders from across the globe, who possess an empathetic understanding of giftedness in its most acute, highly developed stage. IGC professionals have committed their work to researching and supporting the unique development of this often misunderstood population. Together, the IGC harnesses collective expertise, to educate the world and eradicate misunderstanding, for the betterment of human development.

Organizations: Local

Boulder Gifted Parent Support (BoulderGPS) - Boulder, CO

BoulderGPS (Gifted Parent Support) is an independent cooperative group of parents formed to help facilitate connections, communication and support among families in and around the Boulder area.

Chicago Gifted Community Center (Chicago, IL)

The Chicago Gifted Community Center is a volunteer-based nonprofit organization created by parents of gifted children living throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. From firsthand experience, members understand how difficult it can be for gifted students to find a place where they fit in and can be their true authentic selves; where they can be welcomed, accepted and valued for who they really are. The goal of this organization is to pull together the people, ideas and resources to maximize the opportunities and connections available to gifted children and their families in the Chicago area.

Colorado - Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented

Boulder Valley Gifted and Talented (BVGT) is a group of parents and educators who advocate for the academic and affective needs of gifted and talented individuals.

Colorado - Denver Association for Gifted & Talented (DAGT)

DAGT is the Denver Affiliate of the Colorado Association of Gifted & Talented (CAGT).

Colorado - Douglas County Gifted and Talented

This is a local gifted organization serving the Douglas County region of Colorado.

Colorado - NOCO (Northern Colorado Gifted)

The NOCO Gifted Community is an official affiliate of the Colorado Association of Gifted & Talented, serving Loveland and Ft. Collins.

New York - Synergy: Westchester's Advocacy for Gifted & Talented Education (New Rochelle, NY)

Synergy is an organization of concerned parents, educators and advocates dedicated to promoting the education and welfare of gifted and talented learners in Westchester County, New York. We invite parents, teachers, administrators and all those interested in gifted and talented education to become part of Synergy. For frequent updates on the field of the gifted, please become a fan on our Facebook page: Synergy: An Advocacy Group for Gifted and Talented Education.

Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Scholars (New York, NY and San Francisco, CA)

SEO Scholars is an academic advocacy program based in New York City and San Francisco, which aims to motivate low-income public high school students to get to, and graduate from, competitive colleges and universities. High school students are offered classes on Saturdays, after school and during the summers to prepare them for college. Once in college, SEO Scholars are supported through direct, ongoing counseling to assist with adjusting to college life, building academic success skills, exploring career options and securing internships.

Sycamore GEAR - Gifted Education, Advocacy and Resources (Cincinnati, OH)

Parent-led support and advocacy group for gifted services at Sycamore Community Schools, located in suburban Cincinnati, Ohio.

Organizations: National

American Association for Gifted Children at Duke University (AAGC) (NC)

The American Association for Gifted Children (AAGC) is the nation's oldest advocacy organization for gifted children. Throughout its history, AAGC has published materials for the educational research community, for people in the medical profession, and for parents and teachers of gifted children.

Center for Gifted Education Policy (CGEP)

The mission of CGEP is to generate public awareness, advocacy, clinical applications, and cutting-edge research ideas to enhance the achievement and performance of children and adolescents with special gifts and talents. The CGEP, housed within the American Psychological Association (APA), provides public awareness, support, new research discoveries and clinical applications that develop success and performance for gifted and talented children and adolescents.

Child Mind Institute (New York, NY)

This organization seeks to improve the lives of children and teens struggling with psychiatric and learning disorders by integrating the following: Accessible, evidence-based clinical care for children and their families; collaborative research engaging scientists from around the world; comprehensive information and resources to educate and empower parents; and focused advocacy to destigmatize childhood psychiatric disorders and bring effective care to families around the globe.

Davidson Institute for Talent Development

In 1999, Bob and Jan Davidson founded the Davidson Institute for Talent Development to support our nation's brightest young people. This national nonprofit, headquartered in Reno, Nev., provides a variety of programs including: Davidson Young Scholars, Davidson Fellows scholarships, the THINK Summer Institute, Educators Guild and The Davidson Academy of Nevada. Additionally, the Davidsons co-authored the book Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds, published by Simon & Schuster in 2004.

Educational Options - Deborah L. Ruf

Educational Options is about meeting the social, emotional, and academic needs of the intellectually gifted. It is about "thinking outside the box," for people who do not fit the norms. Educational Options is centered in Minnesota and serves the needs of gifted children in Minnesota, but it is possible to arrange for assessments and consultations anywhere in the country.

GT Carpe Diem - Self-Advocacy for Gifted Teens

GT Carpe Diem Workshops empower gifted teens to speak up for themselves through a clearer understanding of their unique needs as outliers and their rights to an appropriately challenging educational experience. Following this day of exploration and reflection they are better able to take charge of their own educations and lives. Adults who attend (teachers, gifted education coordinators and school counselors) actively engage with students throughout the day and advocate for them in their home schools.

Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation, established by Jack Kent Cooke to help exceptionally promising students reach their full potential through education. The Foundation offers financial support to qualified applicants through the Young Scholars Program with students applying in their 7th grade year. The foundation has launched an undergraduate college scholarship for high-performing high school seniors.

Malone Family Foundation

The Malone Family Foundation was founded in 1997 by Dr. John C. Malone and his family, with one principal objective: to improve access to quality education -- particularly at the secondary school level -- for gifted students who lack the financial resources to best develop their talents. Through the Malone Scholars Program, the Foundation has provided scholarship endowments to select independent secondary schools throughout the United States, insuring continuing scholarships for top students who are motivated to excel but lack the resources to fund such an education. Malone network schools have been selected through a rigorous research process, and the schools themselves select Malone scholars annually. The Malone Schools Online Network (MSON) is a consortium of Malone schools that provides upper level students (generally juniors and seniors) at participating schools with a variety of superior online courses that enhance each member school's existing curriculum.

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC)

The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), an organization of parents and educators, addresses the needs of children from all cultures, racial and ethnic backgrounds, and socioeconomic groups with demonstrated gifts and talents as well as those children who may be able to develop their talent potential with appropriate educational experiences. NAGC supports and engages in research and development, staff development, advocacy, communication, and collaboration with other organizations and agencies who strive to improve the quality of education for all students.

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) - Administrator Toolbox

With short videos, factsheets, diagrams and a program evaluation checklist, the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) Administrator Toolbox is a webpage for school district leaders and administrators across the nation with free resources to help them better serve high-ability learners. The materials in the toolbox are grouped into four sections: rationale for gifted education; basics of gifted education programming; accountability for gifted student learning; and connecting gifted education to other school practices, such as Response to Intervention.

National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC)

The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of all young children, with particular focus on the quality of educational and developmental services for all children from birth through age 8. NAEYC is committed to becoming an increasingly high performing and inclusive organization. Founded in 1926, NAEYC is the world's largest organization working on behalf of young children with more than 100,000 members, a national network of nearly 450 local, state, and regional Affiliates, and a growing global alliance of like-minded organizations.

National Council for the Social Studies

This website contains useful resource for social studies educator and full of information about curriculum and teacher standards, legislative updates, discussion boards and journals, just to name a few.

National Honor Society and National Junior Honor Society

"The National Honor Society (NHS) and National Junior Honor Society (NJHS) are the nation's premier organizations established to recognize outstanding high school and middle level students. More than just an honor roll, NHS and NJHS serve to honor those students who have demonstrated excellence in the areas of Scholarship, Leadership, Service, and Character."

National PTA

"National PTA is the largest volunteer child advocacy organization in the United States. A not-for-profit association of parents, educators, students, and other citizens active in their schools and communities, PTA is a leader in reminding our nation of its obligations to children."

National Society for the Gifted & Talented™ (NSGT), (Stamford, CT)

The NSGT is a non-profit foundation that honors and encourages gifted and talented children and youth by providing recognition of their significant academic and artistic accomplishments and access to educational resources and advanced learning opportunities directly related to their interests and talent areas. (Parent Advocates) is an online newsmagazine which seeks to inform and empower parents. The goal of is to put your child's education into your own hands. Through our website, you can learn about your rights as a public school parent or guardian, as well as those programs, monies and more to which your child may be entitled. We invite you to join us as we establish a national forum on the design and implementation of education policies that empower all children to achieve their personal bests in school and in life.

Princeton Learning Cooperative (NJ)

The Princeton Learning Cooperative is a center that helps teenagers live and learn without school by supporting teens to create a personalized education based on their interests, abilities and goals. The organization offer help developing a personalized plan, classes that run throughout the day, tutoring, help finding internship and volunteer opportunities, mentoring, help with college admissions and a safe and comfortable place for students to work and socialize.

Stand for Children

Stand for Children is a grassroots organization that gives voice to children’s issues. Members mobilize on all levels, including local, national and state. Information is provided on how to develop a chapter in your area to advocate for various issues affecting youth.

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG)

Supporting Emotional Needs of the Gifted (SENG) is a national non-profit organization "dedicated to fostering environments in which gifted adults and children, in all their diversity, understand and accept themselves and are understood, valued, nurtured, and supported by their families, schools, workplaces and communities."

The Center for Effective Collaboration and Practice

"It is the mission of the Center to support and to promote a reoriented national preparedness to foster the development and adjustment of children with or at risk of developing serious emotional disturbance. To achieve that goal, the Center is dedicated to a policy of collaboration at Federal, state, and local levels that contributes to and facilitates the production, exchange, and use of knowledge about effective practices. We have strategically organized the Center to identify promising programs and practice, promote the exchange of useful and useable information, and facilitate collaboration among stakeholders and across service system disciplines."

Thomas B. Fordham Foundation (Washington, DC)

This organization is the nation's leader in advancing educational excellence for every child through quality research, analysis, and commentary, as well as on-the-ground action and advocacy in Ohio.

XQ: The Super School Project

The XQ Institute is in service of parents and pioneers, entrepreneurs and teachers, business leaders and administrators, youth and education experts who are joining a movement to rethink America’s schools. Together, we can use our knowledge, rigor, and creativity to create a new model for school itself.

Organizations: Regional

Gifted Support Network (Missouri)

Based in Missouri, the Gifted Support Network seeks to provide information, connection, and enrichment to families of gifted and high-ability children. The Gifted Support Network is based in St. Charles County, although their events are also easily accessible from the neighboring St. Louis, Warren, and Lincoln counties. They also partner with Lindenwood University to offer graduate credit to educators.

Located in New York, Dr. Susan Paynter, a child advocate, award-winning educator, and nationally recognized expert on gifted learners, helps schools and families create customized strategies designed to help gifted children feel challenged, successful, and fulfilled. She works one-on-one and collaboratively to design programs that adapt teaching methods to the learning styles of these unique students, rather than trying to adapt the students to the teaching methods. Dr. Paynter offers social skills training, parent support, enrichment classes and IEP development to help gifted kids flourish.

Prodigy Northwest (Spokane, WA)

The goals of this organization are to provide the highest level of academic and enrichment opportunities for gifted students by: providing an assortment of enrichment opportunities; working in conjunction with regional K-12 school districts to assist in their efforts to effectively serve gifted students; and assisting in the process of what can be an overwhelming journey for many families.

Organizations: State

California Association for the Gifted (CAG) (CA)

California Association for the Gifted (CAG) is an organization of educators and parents dedicated to meeting the unique needs of gifted and talented students.

Green Mountain Center for Gifted Education (Colchester, VT)

This nonprofit organization seeks to affirm, educate, and support Vermont gifted students and their parents and increase awareness of the needs of the gifted and talented. Through the Center, Vermont's gifted youth have access to summer programs, adults who understand them, programs specially tailored for their needs, and more.

Tennessee Initiative for Gifted Education Reform (TIGER) (TN)

The purpose of Tennessee Initiative for Gifted Education Reform (TIGER) is to support programs, policy initiatives, and legislation that will expand and enhance advanced educational opportunities for PreK-12 students in Tennessee, and to foster an understanding of gifted children and their exceptional needs. TIGER provides a communication network for parents, educators, policy makers, and other members of the community who are interested in promoting these goals.

Printed Materials: Books

A Forgotten Voice: A Biography of Leta Stetter Hollingworth

This book by author A.G. Klein, is about Leta Stetter Hollingworth, the mother of gifted education. Hollingworth has been forgotten, even though her words of 100 years ago are still as relevant today as they were back then. Born in 1886 in rural Nebraska, Leta Hollingworth rose above an abusive childhood and strong prejudice to become an influential psychologist, feminist, educator, author, and advocate for gifted children.

A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses that Hold Back America's Brightest Students

This is the 10-year follow-up to the acceleration report titled, A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students. The publication includes updated research on the long-term effects of educational acceleration, acceleration and STEM education, effects of acceleration on the social emotional lives of gifted students, acceleration practices with twice exceptional students, radical acceleration, state residential STEM schools, diverse populations and acceleration, professional development for teachers and counselors, public policy and much more. A Nation Empowered tells the story of how well we have applied what we have learned during the past 10 years, and inform educators, parents, and policy makers of current research on acceleration, how that information has been applied to educational policy throughout the nation, and how educators can use the findings to make decisions for their brightest students.

Academic Advocacy for Gifted Children: A Parent's Complete Guide

In this revised edition to 1997's Empowering Gifted Minds: Educational Advocacy That Works, award-winning author Barbara Gilman walks parents and teachers through the process of documenting a child's abilities to providing reasonable educational options year by year. Learn about the problems and solutions for gifted students: Underachievement, Curriculum and Instruction, The Experience of Giftedness, and more.

Acceleration Strategies for Teaching Gifted Learners (The Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education)

In this concise introduction to the topic, Dr. VanTassel-Baska offers many teacher-friendly ways in which acceleration can be employed in classrooms at all levels and in all subject areas. The author offers specific strategies for identifying candidates for acceleration, programmatic approaches to employ, and teacher strategies to use for content acceleration in the classroom.

Advocacy for Gifted Children and Gifted Programs (The Practical Strategies Series in Gifted Education)

Supporters of gifted education need to develop the skills of advocacy in order to help build strong, lasting, effective programs. This book by Joan D. Lewis, Ph.D. describes a wide variety of successful strategies that can be used to advocate for gifted students at all levels.

Aiming for Excellence: Annotations to the NAGC PreK-Grade 12 Gifted Program Standards

This book offers a comprehensive review of the gifted education program standards developed by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). The standards, which represent professional consensus on essential practice in gifted education, provide a blueprint to encourage and guide schools in developing and evaluating high-quality programming.

Annemarie Roeper: Selected Writings and Speeches

This book contains articles, essays, and addresses spanning Dr. Roeper's life and work. The articles encompass education, psychology, and Dr. Roeper's philosophy of global awareness, all of which she believes are closely interconnected.

Building a Gifted Program: Identifying and Educating Gifted Students in Your School

This book by Monita R. Leavitt, is great for anyone building a gifted program from scratch or evaluating or changing your program. A CD is included with exciting PowerPoint slides, along with a manual to give you everything you need for staff development, allowing you to customize sessions for parents or school boards. The manual contains background material with references as well as reproducible pages that can be used as handouts.

Critical Issues and Practices in Gifted Education: What the Research Says (2nd ed.)

This book is the definitive reference book for those searching for a summary and evaluation of the literature on giftedness, gifted education and talent development. The book presents more than 50 summaries of important topics in the field, providing relevant research and a guide to how the research applies to gifted education and the lives of gifted children. This second edition updates every topic with new research and introduces several critically important topics such as cluster grouping, Response to Intervention, programming standards, the Common Core State Standards, educational leadership, and legal issues. This book provides an objective assessment of the available knowledge on each topic, offers guidance in the application of the research, and suggests areas of needed research.

Designing and Developing Programs for Gifted Students

This handbook is a practical guide for starting your own gifted program. The author gives tips on Designing and implementing curriculum for pre-K through middle school, identifying and selecting the best teachers, creating the vital support networks among parents, school, and community, assessing the program’s impact on children, parents, and teachers and developing special programming for the disadvantaged gifted students.

Dumbing Down America: The War on Our Nation’s Brightest Young Minds (and What We Can Do To Fight Back)

With more than 35 years of experience in gifted education, Dr. James Delisle writes with immense passion in the book, Dumbing Down America. Delisle calls on America for change; he urges our nation to support America’s gifted children and provide them with the same opportunities as the rest of the student population which equates to an appropriately challenging education. Click here to read a review of this book.

Genius Denied: How to Stop Wasting Our Brightest Young Minds

This book tells the stories of gifted children who have suffered the tedium of classes years behind their ability level, and others who have excelled while learning in an enriching academic environment. Authors Jan and Bob Davidson, with Laura Vanderkam, explore the impact of gifted education policy and advocacy efforts in various locations around the United States. Click here to read a review of this book.

Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement without Giving In

This book offers a concise, step-by-step, proven strategy for coming to mutually acceptable agreements in every sort of conflict. It tells you how to separate the people from the problem; focus on interests, not positions; work together to create options that will satisfy both parties; and negotiate successfully with people who are more powerful, refuse to play by the rules, or resort to 'dirty tricks.'

Gifted and Talented Children: A Planning Guide

This book is for teachers and parents who have children of special ability/gifted. This resource takes an accessible, practical and inclusive approach to ways of working with highly gifted children.

Gifted Children and Legal Issues in Education: Parents' Stories of Hope

A moving set of reports on the trials and tribulations of parents who strive for an appropriate and high quality education for their gifted and talented children. After an introduction which sets the stage by offering the basic information which all advocates of the gifted should have, the book offers one set of stories on early admission and the general problem of admission to programs, a second set on parents' efforts to get proper instruction for their gifted children, and a third on early high school graduation and the awarding of credits.

Gifted Children and Legal Issues: An Update

This book addresses options for parents and teachers alike in the advocacy process for gifted children in schools. Learn about legal issues and school policies of gifted education in the new millennium. Our brightest children are often neglected or even hindered by school structures and policies. This book reports court cases brought against schools since 1991 in areas such as appropriate curriculum, civil rights, and home schooling.

Gifted Children and the Law: Mediation, Due Process and Court Cases

While this book is the first comprehensive and analytical study on case law and hearing officer decisions involving gifted students, its purpose is to prevent gifted education disputes from reaching the courts. Too often resources are spent trying education cases when the time and money could be more efficiently spent on the education process.

Handling Difficult Parents: Successful Strategies for Educators

It is possible to prevent problems with parents who are upset, angry, defensive, argumentative, or otherwise hard to deal with. Tried-and-true methods offered in this sensible guide will not only help you defuse stressful and counterproductive interactions, they will teach you ways to gain the parental cooperation you need to help children succeed.

Helping Gifted Children Soar: A Practical Guide for Parents and Teachers (2nd Edition)

This updated, user-friendly guidebook educates parents and teachers about important issues facing gifted children and the adults who guide them, such as selecting appropriate schools, expanding and differentiating the curriculum for gifted learners, and supporting children who experience stress, depression, perfectionism, friendship issues, and more. The information and useful advice contained in this book make it an ideal resource for those just starting to learn about gifted children, as well as seasoned veterans. The second edition includes the concepts of misdiagnosis and a discussion of Dabrowski’s Theory of Disintegration.

Infinity & Zebra Stripes: Life with Gifted Children

Wendy Skinner shares her family’s story of struggle and eventual success in working with the school system to meet her children’s needs. Enlightening anecdotes of the author’s experience demonstrate strategies for minimizing parent-school conflict. Learn how to build trusting relationships with teachers and administrators, and how your voice can change your child’s life. Click here to read a review of this book.

Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education

In this book, Suzanne Donovan and Christopher Cross of the U.S. National Research Council, consider possible contributors to the disproportionate representation of racial and ethnic minority students in GT programs. Discussions include early biological and environmental influences and inequities in opportunities for preschool and K-12 education, as well as the possibilities of bias in the referral and assessment system that leads to placement in special programs.

Nurturing Brilliance: Discovering and Developing Your Child's Gifts

This book offers advice to parents about what they can do to nurture the talents of children who demonstrate evidence of various types of giftedness. It includes concrete recommendations for getting appropriate educational adjustments from a child’s school, as well as how to help a child develop communication and motor skills, deal with friendship and parent-child relationship issues, learn the best way to become financially responsible, and choose the right college.

Parenting Gifted Children: The Authoritative Guide From the National Association for Gifted Children

This comprehensive guide covers topics such as working with high achievers and young gifted children, acceleration, advocating for talented students, serving as role models and mentors for gifted kids, homeschooling, underachievement, twice-exceptional students and postsecondary opportunities.

Patterns and Profiles of Promising Learners From Poverty (The Critical Issues in Equity and Excellence in Gifted Education Series)

Written by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ed.D., this book provides a comprehensive review of the issues surrounding the education and inclusion of promising students from poverty in gifted and talented programs.

Real Education: Four Simple Truths for Bringing America's Schools Back to Reality

With four simple truths as his framework, Charles Murray sweeps away the hypocrisy, wishful thinking, and upside-down priorities that grip America’s educational establishment. Ability varies. Children differ in their ability to learn academic material. Doing our best for every child requires, above all else, that we embrace that simplest of truths. America’s educational system does its best to ignore it.

Reflections on Gifted Education: Critical Works by Joseph S. Renzulli and Colleagues

In this book, more than 40 years of research and development are highlighted in a collection of articles published by Joseph S. Renzulli and his colleagues. Renzulli's work has had an impact on gifted education and enrichment pedagogy across the globe, based on the general theme of the need to apply more flexible approaches to identifying and developing giftedness and talents in young people. This collection of articles and chapters has strong foundational research support focusing on practical applications that teachers can use to create and differentiate learning and enrichment experiences for high potential and gifted and talented students.

Special Education and the Law: A Guide for Practitioners

This guide is aimed at saving time by thoroughly translating legal regulations so educators can fully focus on the services their students need. Allan Osborne and Charles Russo touch on the relevant topics of court decisions surrounding student placement, legal definitions of parental rights and legal requirements of special education students and disciplinary actions.

Special Needs Advocacy Resource Book: What You Can Do Now to Advocate for Your Exceptional Child's Education

Written by Rich Weinfeld and Michelle Davis, this book is a unique handbook that teaches parents how to work with schools to achieve optimal learning situations and accommodations for their child’s needs. From IEPs and 504 Plans, to IDEA and NCLB, navigating today’s school system can be difficult for even the most up-to-date, education savvy parent. Special needs advocates Rich Weinfeld and Michelle Davis provide parents and professional advocates with concise, easy-to-understand definitions and descriptions of legal terms and school regulations, along with checklists, tips, questionnaires, and other tools.

Stand Up for Your Gifted Child: How to Make the Most of Kids' Strengths at School and at Home

If you think your gifted child isn't getting the education he or she needs, this book is for you. It helps you recognize your child's gifts, understand his or her problems at school, find out your district's policy on gifted education, explore various options (pull-out programs, acceleration, grade skipping, clustering, etc.), communicate effectively with the school and district, and provide enrichment at home. Click here to read a review of this book.

Straight Talk About Schools Today: Understand the System and Help Your Child Succeed

Schools in the United States are changing, with a teaching focus on core subject areas and basic skills. Funds are getting tighter, program priorities are shifting, and parent involvement is more important than ever. Writing in easy-to-follow Q&A style, an award-winning educator takes you by the hand and guides you through the system: understanding how public and private education works in the United States, choosing a school, making sense of grades and report cards, the No Child Left Behind act, standardized tests, your rights as a parent, and more. Includes a glossary of “edu-speak” terms, resources, and plenty of encouragement.

The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools

Alfie Kohn has been described as "perhaps the country's most outspoken critic of education's fixation on grades [and] test scores." In this book, his central message is that standardized tests are "not a force of nature but a force of politics...and can be questioned, challenged and ultimately reversed."

The Complete IEP Guide: How to Advocate for Your Special Ed Child

Lawrence Siegel provides an overview of special ed and the IEP process; sample IEP forms and letters; organization and planning tips; a listing of support groups, advocacy organizations and federal and state departments of education. The entire IEP process is spelled out in easy to follow steps that guides one through the process.

The Everything Parent's Guide to Special Education: A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Advocating for Your Child with Special Needs

Children with special needs who succeed in school have one thing in common--their parents are passionate and effective advocates. It's not an easy job, but with this book, parents will learn how to evaluate, prepare, organize, and get quality services, no matter what your child's disability. This valuable handbook provides the tools needed to navigate the complex world of special education and services, with information on: assessment and evaluation; educational needs for different disabilities, including multiple disabilities; current law, including the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA); working within the school system to create an IEP; the importance of keeping detailed records; and dealing with parent-school conflict.

The New Meaning of Educational Change

In 1982, this book first appeared and revolutionized how educational reform was regarded. Now, author Michael Fullan has greatly revised and expanded the ideas that make this book the definitive up-to-date reference for the educational innovator in the new millennium. It provides powerful insights in to the complexity of reform and recommends inspiring and practical strategies for lasting improvement. Written in clear, accessible language, Fullan provides a classic guide to reform.

The New Public School Parent: How to Get the Best Education for Your Child

Bob Chase, a veteran teacher and leading advocate for public education, provides parents with a roadmap for navigating today's increasingly complex public school system. Click here to read a review of this book.

The Survival Guide for Parents of Gifted Kids: How to Understand, Live With, and Stick Up for Your Gifted Child

This book by authors Sally Yahnke Walker and Susan Perry offers up-to-date, authoritative information about giftedness, gifted educucation, problems, personality traits, and more. You'll learn what 'giftedness' means, how kids are identified as gifted, and what's good—and bad—about the label. You'll find out how to keep from raising a 'nerd,' how to prevent perfectionism, and how to advocate for your child at school.

Underserved Gifted Populations: Responding to Their Needs and Abilities

This book by Joan Smutney is a collection of 25 papers that address issues of the underserved gifted, including environmental influences, multicultural and global factors, special learning problems, and the highly gifted and creatively gifted.

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

In this comprehensive book, readers will find clear, concise answers to frequently asked questions about IEPs. Learn what the law says about: IEP teams and meetings; parental rights and consent; steps in developing the IEP; placement, transition, assistive technology; and, strategies to resolve disagreements. Click here to read a review of this book.

Wrightslaw: From Emotions to Advocacy, 2nd Edition

This book is a great reference for parents of children in need of special education services. The book is packed with tips, techniques and a wealth of resources, from web sites to worksheets, forms and sample letters. The chapters about tests and evaluations were expanded to include information about academic and achievement tests used to evaluate children. The chapter about SMART IEPs was completely revised in light of changes in IDEA 2004 and includes sample measurable academic and functional IEP goals.

You Know Your Child Is Gifted When . . . A Beginner's Guide to Life on the Bright Side

This entry level book is written by Judy Galbraith for parents of children ages 2-8. It includes characteristics of gifted, descriptions of terms used in gifted education, perfectionism, parenting the gifted child, working with the schools and the rights of parents.

Printed Materials: Online Documents

Acceleration for Gifted Students

This background paper by Margaret DeLacy was created for the Portland Public School District Talented and Gifted Advisory Committee. The article includes discussion of acceleration and enrichment, research concerning the effects of acceleration, the academic effects of acceleration, book references and more.

Amplifying the Voices of the Gifted through Advocacy – Keynote Presentation

As keynote presenter at the New England Conference on Gifted and Talented Education on October 15, 2011, Colleen Harsin, Director of The Davidson Academy, spoke about cost-effective options for gifted education, educational advocacy examples and tips. Her presentation featured brief video segments to provide the audience with the opportunity to hear student, parent and educator perspectives on addressing the educational needs of gifted students. Programs, services and resources were also highlighted in this presentation.

Guidelines for Developing an Academic Acceleration Policy

Compiled by members of a National Work Group on Acceleration representing the Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration (IRPA), the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), and the Council of State Directors of Programs for the Gifted, this document is meant to provide guidance and to encourage the systematic adoption and practice of acceleration in schools across the nation. The Guidelines document can assist schools in writing and modifying acceleration policy that is suited to local needs and adheres to research-based best practices.

Printed Materials: Periodicals/Reports & Studies

A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students

Some of America's brightest gifted students are held back and left behind, according to The Templeton National Report on Acceleration. This easy-to-read, user-friendly report explains why many schools, parents and teachers have not yet come to terms with acceleration - despite overwhelming evidence in its favor. Teachers and parents are presented information on early-entrance, grade skipping, the AP program and early college. Comments are accepted; this report can be downloaded online.

Digest of Gifted Research

Formerly the Duke Gifted Letter, this quarterly magazine-type newsletter has articles and book/product reviews of general interest to the parents of gifted and highly gifted children. Regular features include product tips, highlights of educational programs, social and emotional needs of gifted children, technology, parents platform, consultant feedback on questions, expert views and opinions, research briefs and relevant book reviews.

Schools & Programs: Independent

North Star (Hadley, MA)

This organization provides a customized academic plan to map a personal educational approach. The academic plan will be based on the teen’s interests while also fulfilling the parent’s needs. North Star facilitates this process through discussion, brainstorming, and recommendations based on 16 years of supporting families through this process. If the teen is under age 16 the organization will help parents develop a homeschooling curriculum for submission to the local superintendent to certify the student as a homeschooler. This is the contract that makes leaving school legal for youths under age 16.

Websites & Other Media: Commercial

Special Education Advocacy

This web page offers special education article links about laws and advocacy strategies.

Websites & Other Media: For Educators

National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) - National Programming Standards

NAGC has developed national standards in programming and services and teacher preparation to guide high quality education for the nation’s estimated 3 to 5 million gifted and talented students. Standards provide a basis for policies, rules, and procedures that are essential for providing systematic programs and services to any special population of students. While standards may be addressed and implemented in a variety of ways, they provide important direction and focus to designing and developing options for gifted learners at the local level.

Websites & Other Media: Informational

A Different Place

This website features differentiated activities in all content areas. For students the site offers additional/alternate activities if a classroom activity is too easy or too hard. For parents, there is information about the gifted and how to advocate for your student in the classroom. For teachers, there is information about the gifted, differentiation, and lesson plans.

A Lexicon of Learning - Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD)

This site offers clear, precise definitions of educational terms that you are likely to encounter while advocating for your child. This dictionary includes links to alphabetical listings of the definitions. Gifted Children

This site is filled with articles, a blog and other useful information for anyone interested in learning more about gifted students. Topics include how to identify gifted young people, their educational needs and parenting help.

Acceleration Institute

The Acceleration Institute was first established under the name, "Institute for Research and Policy on Acceleration" in 2006 at The Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development at the University of Iowa. The organization is dedicated to the study of curricular acceleration for academically talented children.

Alliance for Excellent Education

Based in Washington, D.C., the Alliance for Excellent Education is a national policy and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring that all students, particularly those who are traditionally underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work and citizenship. The Alliance focuses on America’s six million most at-risk secondary school students - those in the lowest achievement quartile - who are most likely to leave school without a diploma or to graduate unprepared for a productive future.

Asimov's law and advocacy

This article discusses the shortcomings of a school system as a result of ignorance, rather than malice, and the idea that to effectively advocate parents need to "inform in order to reform." Asimov's Law: 'Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by ignorance or stupidity.'

Celebrating High Potential

Celebrating High Potential welcomes children, teens, and adults who are gifted or twice-exceptional and are seeking advice, support and resources, in order to understand and celebrate who they are, develop their talents, and enhance their experiences at home, school or homeschool, and in the community. CHP also welcomes parents and teachers who are seeking advice, support, and resources in order to understand, challenge, develop, and celebrate the talents of the gifted people they live with and work with.

Cultivating otherwise untapped potential

This article by Deborah Smith, touches on how "People have talents in various areas, but if those talents aren't developed, they're not going to mean anything."

Davidson Institute's Gifted Issues Discussion Forum

With more than 2,500 members, the Davidson Institute's Gifted Issues Discussion Forum is a free, public, constantly-growing online forum where parents of gifted students can share their experiences and post information about advocacy, research and other gifted education issues.

This web site is an easy-to-use, free, one-stop destination for parents of preschool through grade 12 aged children where parents can search for cutting-edge editorial, useful tools, community features, and over 2,000 reference articles on education and child development from the most respected universities, government agencies, and nonprofits in the U.S. is a fresh approach to the age-old problem of increasing coverage of education news. Education is not a topic that news organizations are able to provide premium coverage to all the time, so all education experts face the problem of educating the public. The mission of is to become the most frequently used tool on the Internet for disseminating education news.

EMERGENCY! CRISIS! HELP! First Steps for the Parent Attorney or Advocate

This article, hosted by and written by Peter W. D. Wright, Esq., is recommended as a place to start when beginning to advocate for your gifted child.

This website, which is non-profit, was created with the idea of providing easy to navigate resources for parents and educators of gifted and creative children.

Gifted Canada

This website aims to provide a forum for Canadian researchers, educators, organizations and families to share information concerning gifted education, research and resources across Canada.

Gifted Resources

Based in Australia, Gifted Resources is an information service for parents and teachers of gifted students and the service providers who cater for them. (Ireland) is an Irish website with huge amounts of information and resources for parents, kids, teens, adults, teachers. It is an online survival guide for parents and teachers of gifted children in Ireland.

Homeschool Success

This website was created by homeschool consultant Barbara Hettle. She provides a number of resources related to homeschooling.

'Mathematics for All' Must Include High-Ability and Highly Motivated Students

This article written by Glenda Lappan and hosted on the National Council for Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) website, advocates the need for gifted children to be challenged in their course work, specifically in mathematics. She stresses the importance of using outside resources for children to read and study on their own. Lappan states that mathematics clubs can provide extra opportunities.

Meeting the Needs of High-Ability and High-Potential Learners in the Middle Grades

This webpage presents the joint position statement of the National Middle School Association (NMSA) & the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC). The article helps teachers in gifted education classrooms by defining giftedness, listing possible sceanarios that teachers have encountered when culture has not been understood and explains many aspects of culture to help them become aware of the issues.

National excellence: A case for developing America's talent

This 1993 publication was first national report on the status of educating gifted and talented students since 1973. The crux of the paper outlines the 'quiet crisis' occurring in our educational system. There are historical data, analyses and recommendations.

One Profoundly Gifted Kid's Story

This is a brief overview of the approach one family took to raise and educate a profoundly gifted child. The article concentrates on how the family found the academic fit that kept their child at least moderately challenged while giving him the social opportunities they felt he needed.

Passing Grades, IQ Scores & Evaluations of Students with Learning Disabilities: Letter to Lillie/Felton

Hosted on, this is a policy letter about special ed eligibility that was published by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) in 1995. This letter clarifies several key points: eligibility teams may consider support provided by parents; children with high IQs are not excluded from special education eligibility; and evaluations must include testing of the seven areas mentioned in the special ed regulations.

Project Appleseed

Project Appleseed is the primary provider for information on parental involvement in America's public schools. Thousands of parent leaders and educators turn to us for information and advice every single day of the year. An Internet search on the nation's leading search engine, Google, produces 18 million results for 'parental involvement in public schools' and it lists Project Appleseed as the #1 resource for effective information on parental involvement.

CyberSafety: How do you take care as good parents to ensure your children are not meeting the wrong type of stranger online? Safe2read allows you to allocate everyone in your family their own email account, with a level of automatic supervision appropriate to their age.

Spark Action: Parent Involvement in Education

This website offers a variety of useful tools to help involve parents in their child's education. The Parent Involvement in Education section has various articles and resources that cater to advocating for education. This is a great website for parents and teachers.

Stan Davis's Stop Bullying Now

As a culture, we are focusing new attention on childhood bullying and harassment. As we watch children being crushed by bullying, we often feel powerless. No more! There are ways to stop bullying, based on decades of research. There is little need to describe why people want to stop childhood bullying. Childhood bullies are more likely to become young adult criminals than are non-bullies. Bullied children may grow up with diminished self-confidence. The links on this site will lead you through an exploration of interventions that work to reduce bullying in schools.

Strategy, Assessment, and Tactics

The beginning of a new school year is a good time to think about what direction you want your child's education to take. Before that first parent-teacher conference, before the first IEP meeting, before the first call from the principal, plan your strategy, assess the situation and your child's abilities, and learn some new tactics for obtaining what your intellectually gifted child needs for a successful school year.

The art of writing letters

This webpage, a chapter from the book Wrightslaw Tactics & Strategy Manual, provides information and ideas for writing letters to schools in compliance with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 1997. Sample letters are provided as well as different approaches to take when writing about your child.

The TEAK Fellowship

The TEAK Fellowship aims to help talented New York City students from low-income families gain admission to and succeed at top high schools and colleges. Students are eligible for admission to TEAK in the fall of their sixth grade year. Along with academic support, TEAK provides leadership training, exposure to the arts and outdoors, mentoring, career experience, and assistance with the high school and college application processes. If accepted, programming begins the summer after 6th grade and continues with intensive after-school and Saturday classes during the 7th grade year and beyond.

Twenty years after 'A Nation at Risk' - The Christian Science Monitor

The publication of A Nation at Risk on April 26, 1983 connected the education of bright students to the well-being of the nation. Read this article from 2003 for a look-back.

Twice Exceptional Students: Supporting the Achievement of Gifted Students with Special Needs

The state of Maryland has adopted into law and the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Board of Education has adopted into its policy the key concepts of the defi nition of gifted and talented students originally stated in the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Act (1988). This guidebook meets that requirement of the state and county policy. It does so with the goal of helping to increase the number of students realizing their true potential.

Understanding tests and measurements for the parent and advocate

This is such a great resource to help parents understand tests and measurements. It talks about evidence and law of testing, the process of educational decision-making, statistics and general principles. It also discusses the bell curve and understanding the test data. This is a very in-depth article. - Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)

This website for parents, educators, and advocates provides information about special education law, education law and advocacy for children with disabilities. Wrightslaw has thousands of articles, cases, and free resources about dozens of topics: IDEA 2004, Special Education, Law, Advocacy and Training & Seminars.