Category: National

News and Connections related to NAGC

Get Free Resources and Win Scholarships in M3 Math Challenge

NMAG would like to promote student participation in the Moody’s Mega Math Challenge introduced here by Adrienne P. Ali of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). Check out their free downloadable Guidebook for Math Modeling as a model your gifted problem-based mathematics. You can also freely use their “What is Math Modeling” video library. Get ready for the Challenge Weekend at the end of this month.


Registration for Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge 2017 will close in about one month!

It may seem like there is plenty of time, yet students who plan to do well are already registered and excitedly using the many resources offered, including FREE, year-long licenses to Mathematica and MATLAB, granted to all students on a team. Fully national since last year, students across the country are putting their heads together to vie for a share of $150,000 in scholarships to be awarded.

As a thought leader in education, can we count on you to help connect teachers and students in your area with this opportunity by distributing the below blurb? This ready to publish blurb is great for newsletters, online calendars, social media posts, and forwarding over email.

Also, please reply directly if you wish to receive promotional flyers, freebie mechanical pencils, and nice door prizes to giveaway at your meetings and events.

Thank you!

Adrianne, for M3 Challenge

Moody’s Mega Math Challenge

Registration for Moody’s Mega Math (M3) Challenge 2017 will close on February 17! Time is running out to register a team of three to five high school juniors and seniors to participate in the M3 Challenge for a chance at part of $150,000 in scholarships. The contest is free and open to U.S. high schools.

Participants solve an open-ended, math-modeling problem focused on a real issue in just 14 hours. Challenge weekend is set for February 24-27, 2017. Register before the deadline: Friday, February 17 at 4 p.m. EST sharp!

Students who hope to do well should use some or all of the many resources offered, including FREE, year-long licenses to Mathematica and MATLAB, available to all registered teams by request. Complete details, rules, and more resources are available at: http://M3Challenge.siam.org.

E-mail contact: m3challenge@siam.org

Designed to motivate students to study and pursue careers in applied math, economics and finance, the contest is sponsored by The Moody’s Foundation and organized by the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

Note: If you would like flyers or posters with more information about the Challenge to distribute to your organizations or colleagues, please send a request with the quantity, due date, and shipping address at the e-mail above.

Introducing No Boundaries Campaign of NAGC

We at New Mexico Association for the Gifted are intensely interested in this issue. We are so glad to share the announcement of NAGC’s Giftedness Knows No Boundaries Campaign. We encourage all NM educators to learn about, advocate for, and support the cause. Please read more and click through to get involved. NAGC recognizes that “Gifted children in poverty and from minority groups are 2.5 times less likely to be identified for, and in, gifted and talented programs in schools. Children deserve fair identification strategies.” Continue reading

Anti-discrimination Letter

At our last board meeting we discussed the issue of convening the 2017 national convention in North Carolina, which has legislated a ban on policies of anti-discrimination against diverse sexual orientation and identity that we in our organization support.

Anti-discrimination laws protect persons of diverse sexual orientation and identity.

In consideration of this conflict, NMAG’s board advises the National Association of Gifted Children to relocate the 64th National Convention. NMAG Secretary Kathrine Kelton wrote this letter from NMAG to Dr. George Betts, President of NAGC. Please read it and join us in this request with a comment, either here on nmgifted.org, or on linked social media.

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Report: NAGC State Affiliates Conference

At the beginning of March this year, Dr. PJ Sedillo (NMAG President-Elect) and I attended the annual State Affiliates Conference in Washington, DC. Attendees (teachers, administrators and gifted specialists) from across the country met to talk about issues related to children identified as gifted, both in our respective states, as well as nationally. Our report focuses on the new ESSA.

President’s Report on the Every Student Succeeds Act

Photo report: Senator Heinric Christy Jewell-Roth Dr. PJ Sedillo

Christy Jewell-Roth, Senator Martin Heinrich, and Dr. PJ Sedillo in Washington DC during the NAGC State Affiliates Conference.

One topic, in particular, was of great interest to those of us in gifted education, that of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). In December 2015, President Obama signed this federal legislation into law. As you likely already know, this is the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act and will replace No Child Left Behind, beginning in the 2016-17 school year. There are some great provisions in the law that relate to gifted students, which have not been there previously. Continue reading

PARCC and Gifted Education

The PARCC, who publish the eponymous test used to measure educational progress toward college and career readiness in New Mexico, has released version 4 of its Accessibility Features and Accommodations Manual.  Accommodations for PARCC are specifically targeted at English language learning students and those with 504 or IDEA disabilities. Gifted students who are not ELLs or twice exceptional are not part of that group.

PARCC Homepage Screen ShotI have met many educators who have written testing accommodations into individual plans for gifted students.  I have myself.  For those smart students who have the slow, deliberative processing style of a creative person, it can be tempting to extend testing time.  Students who express anxiety around testing or who are affected by high levels of perfectionism may present a need for a customized testing experience as well.

Fortunately, the PARCC provides two sets of features that may be applied to any student: “administrative considerations,” and “accessibility features.”  Administrative considerations include small group settings, special timing allowances, or frequent breaks.  The PARCC’s accessibility features include spell checking, highlighting, selective text-to-speech, glossaries, and noise buffers.  But which features should you consider for your gifted students?  The answer is dependent on the purpose of and way we interpret standardized tests.

The Purpose of Standardized Tests

Ask any random group people why we give standardized tests, and you’re likely to get as many answers as you have conversations.  Policy makers and school administrators use tests to evaluate the efficacy of programs and teachers.  Colleges and special programs employ them to determine the likely success of candidates and select participants.  Teachers may see tests as diagnostic tools for best planning educational opportunities. In the era of Value Added Modeling, tests become opportunities for greater pay and accolades on one hand and liabilities weighing against their evaluations on the other.  Parents might view tests as a measure of whether their students are doing well in school or which school to select.  Students may see tests as measures of their success or failure or simply trials to get past, depending on their experience.

While some purposes of testing may have more merit than others, any meaningful use of a test requires that it be reliable and valid.  Reliable tests produce consistent scores.  Valid scores measure what they purport to measure. And both reliability and validity require that test administration be controlled.

If validity and reliability are dependent on standardization, why do we give some students accommodations, changing those usually controlled conditions?  Because for some students, accommodations produce a significantly more valid and reliable result.  In my humble opinion, this should be the test of when to allow a change to the standardized administration of a test, through accommodations, administrative considerations, or accessibility features. Continue reading

Cory Messenger: Javits-Scholar at NAGC Conference

This past year, Gifted Educator, Cory Messenger, was able to attend the NAGC Annual Convention as a recipient of the NAGC’s Javits-Frasier Scholarship. Below he discusses some of his experiences and thoughts on the convention and the scholarship program.

What would you like teachers and parents of gifted students in New Mexico to know about NAGC?

The NAGC community is much larger than I had anticipated. It is filled with some of the most dedicated and passionate people I’ve ever met. I think it would be extremely beneficial for the teachers and parents of gifted students to attend the conference as often as possible. There are many impressive speakers covering a vast range of topics related to gifted education and there’s something for everyone there to learn, no matter how experienced he/she may be. Unfortunately, since gifted education is not federally funded, it can become financially challenging for educators to attend. I was very fortunate to be awarded the scholarship, because it may have been my only chance to attend.

Cory Messenger

Cory Messenger

How were you inspired to apply for the Javits-Frasier grant that allowed you to attend the NAGC Annual Convention?

It was my wife’s idea actually. I had been lamenting the fact that I’d probably never be able to afford to go to the conference and she suggested I look for a scholarship. I had never heard of a scholarship of this nature, so while I was skeptical, I took her suggestion. I visited the NAGC website and saw a page dedicated to the Javits-Frasier Scholarship for Diverse Talent Development. As I read the requirements, I couldn’t help but think that I was a perfect applicant. Continue reading

Highlights from the NAGC Affiliate Conference

March 21-24, Washington, DC

By Christy Jewell-Roth, President-Elect, and Dr. PJ Sedillo, Legislative and Higher Education Liaison

We were proud to represent New Mexico at the National Association for Gifted Children State Affiliate Conference held in Washington, DC, in late March. With advocates from states across the country, we discussed local and national issues affecting gifted education. On the last day of the conference, we visited Capitol Hill and met with New Mexico lawmakers and their staff to lobby for gifted legislation before Congress. Specifically, we urged Senators and House members to support legislation known as the TALENT Act that would help close the “excellence gap” between high-achieving students from disadvantaged backgrounds and their more affluent peers. It would do so by reforming how the learning progress of high-achieving students is tracked and reported each year and by ensuring federal teacher training dollars can be used to support gifted education teachers.

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National News

Playing Games Develops Social Skills for Students

It is often said that life is not a game, but a new program funded by the Copperas Cove Education Foundation teaches students lifelong skills through gaming.

How does a teacher’s race affect which students get to be identified as ‘gifted’?

Black students are more likely to be identified as “gifted” when they attend schools with higher proportions of black teachers, according to a new study, and Latino students are more likely to be called gifted when they go to schools with more Latino teachers.

The study doesn’t get at why there is such a correlation, but it adds another layer to a long-simmering debate about why black and Latino children are less likely to be called “gifted” than their white and Asian peers.

Skip A Grade? Start Kindergarten Early? It’s Not So Easy

There may be benefits to allowing advanced students to enter kindergarten early, to skip a grade or take a course above their grade level, according to two recent reports. However, 20 states have policies that prohibit early enrollment in kindergarten, one study found.

IDEA Applies To ‘Twice Exceptional’ Students, Too

The U.S. Department of Education recently sent a reminder memorandum to states saying districts must provide services to “twice exceptional” students under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Federal officials say they have received complaints that some districts are reluctant to evaluate students with intellectual gifts, who also have emotional or mental-health issues.

TAG program pushes county students to reach next level

A Virginia school district meets the needs of its students in gifted education through various enrichment and in-classroom supports. Elementary students work with gifted-education specialists during the school’s intervention period, and specialists work with middle- and high-school teachers to enhance their regular classroom lessons.

N.J. district revives gifted-education program

A New Jersey school district has re-established its gifted and talented education program with the launch of a middle-school program. Students have been engaged in hands-on learning projects such as engineering a bridge and writing a book.

How poverty can affect gifted education

Educators and researchers are reviewing testing profiles and programs to better meet the unique needs of students with intellectual gifts who also live in poverty. This article highlights some of the challenges and programs aimed at serving such students.