NAGC Applauds Congressmen Jared Polis and David Young for Introducing TALENT Act
July 8, 2015

WASHINGTON (July 8, 2015) – The National Association for Gifted Children applauded the introduction of bipartisan legislation aimed largely at strengthening public accountability and reporting on the achievement of our nation’s high-ability and high-potential learners.

Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) and David Young (R-IA) introduced H.R. 2960, To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers or TALENT Act. This bill would help ensure federal education programs allow more teachers to receive professional development that helps them meet the needs of gifted and talented students. The bill also calls for more reporting and public accountability for this group of learners. It is a companion to S.363, introduced earlier in the year by Senators Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Barbara Mikulksi (D-MD), Bob Casey (D-PA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and John Boozman (R-AR).

“NAGC applauds Congressmen Polis and Young for introducing the TALENT Act and for their deep level of commitment and passion to advancing policies that reverse the longstanding federal neglect of our high-ability and high-potential students, especially in Title I settings” NAGC Executive Director M. René Islas said.

“Too many talented students, especially in areas with high poverty rates, don't have access to the support and opportunities that allow them to reach their potential,” Rep. Polis said. “The TALENT Act, offers no-cost ways to identify outstanding students, provide opportunities for them to excel, and help build the talent base necessary to make our workforce more competitive in a global economy.”

Added Congressman Young: “In Iowa and across the country we have exceptionally gifted students who are not reaching their full potential. We simply are not maximizing their abilities in the classroom, but the TALENT Act changes that and it is good policy. It does not cost more money and it gives states and local school districts the tools they need to fully embrace the abilities of this younger generation,” Young said. “I am glad to join my colleague, Rep. Jared Polis in co-sponsoring this legislation; it will empower our students as the next round of leaders for our great country.”

A number of the elements of the TALENT Act have been incorporated for the first time into the Senate version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization measure. These provisions include a requirement that states report the  annual achievement of high-ability students, disaggregated by subgroup, and that states include the needs of gifted and talented student in their plans for improving teaching quality.

“The goal of the TALENT Act is simple – provide the same level of public accountability and reporting on how states and districts serve high-ability students that we have long expected them to provide for all other students. By providing such transparency as well as by explicitly permitting federal teacher professional development dollars to be used to support this subset of students, the TALENT Act will begin to transform how we serve our gifted and talented learners,” Islas said.