Creating Change

Today, the Washington Senate is holding a hearing on a new bill, SB 6508, Equity in Highly Capable Identification (HCP).

NAGC applauds Senators Rivers, Rolfes, Kuderer, and Saldaña, as well as Representatives Vick, Harris, Senn, Frame, Young, Muri and Kloba (HB 2927) for introducing this important legislation that will require appropriate universal screening of all students.

Last year, I had the opportunity to testify before the Washington Senate Education Committee on the importance of ensuring stable and reliable state funding to support the identification of and service to all gifted children. Such funding is particularly necessary to support children from minority, economically disadvantaged and other communities that are woefully under-represented in gifted education programs. Gratefully, the state passed a bill that addressed this funding shortfall.

Now we need to focus on moving a new bill that will increase equity and access through universal screening, evaluation using multiple criteria, and eligibility for services based on local norms. Additionally, the bill recognizes the importance of professional development and accountability.

Advocacy efforts are so important. I am proud to stand in solidarity with the advocates in the State of Washington and collaborate with them to build a supportive education infrastructure where all children can thrive.

Together, we can make a difference. NAGC’s national Giftedness Knows No Boundaries campaign seeks to change minds, change policies, and change practices to support the identification of and service to all gifted learners regardless of race or income. We believe robust state policies, like SB 6508 and HB 2927, will increase equity, improve consistency and quality of programing, and ensure that children from all backgrounds can reach for their personal best and contribute to their communities. 

M. René Islas is the executive director of the National Association for Gifted Children.