Home > Advocacy and policy > Legislative news: U.S. Congress now considering the TALENT Act to support gifted education

Legislative news: U.S. Congress now considering the TALENT Act to support gifted education

Legislation that would establish new standards for gifted education has been introduced in both the U.S. House and the U.S. Senate.

The TALENT Act (To Aid Gifted and High-Ability Learners by Empowering the Nation’s Teachers Act) was introduced in both houses of Congress in recent weeks. Elements of the bill would:

  • require states, districts and schools to measure the academic growth and performance of high-ability students.
  • support research into teaching methods that are most effective with gifted students.
  • provide grants for teachers to learn new techniques to use with gifted students, with priority given to schools where high ability students are typically under-served.

The National Association of Gifted Children provides a summary of the bill on its web site, or you can read the full text of the House version or Senate version.

Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), one of the sponsors in the Senate, concluded his remarks introducing the bill with this statement:

For too long, Federal education policy has been so focused on preventing failure that we have neglected to promote and encourage success. We can no longer afford to ignore the needs of our brightest students and thus squander their potential. My legislation will put our country on track to tap that potential which is so essential to the future happiness of the students and the future prosperity of our Nation.

(If you have a minute, Sen. Grassley’s moving and pointed statement is worth reading in its entirety.)

The TALENT Act is in the Senate as S.857 and in the House as H.R. 1674. In both houses, the bill has been referred to the committee that handles education matters.

This legislation is sorely needed to help our gifted and talented students achieve at their best. I encourage you to voice your support for the TALENT Act. Here’s what you can do:

  1. Contact our U.S. Senators, Johnny Isakson and Saxby Chambliss, and ask them to cosponsor S.857, the TALENT Act. Sen. Isakson serves on the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which has the bill now, so it’s also appropriate to encourage him to work with the committee to return the bill to the full House with a favorable report as soon as possible.
  2. Contact your Representative in the U.S. House. (The “Find Your Representative” tool on the U.S. House web site makes it simple to locate and contact the right person.) Ask him or her to become a co-sponsor of H.R. 1674, the TALENT Act. No Representatives from Georgia are on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, which has the bill.

I will be keeping an eye on both of these bills and will keep you posted on their progress.

Categories: Advocacy and policy

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