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TEXAS EDUCATION AGENCY
1701 NORTH CONGRESS AVENUE
AUSTIN, TEXAS 78701
In 1990, when the last state plan for the education of gifted students was adopted by the Texas State Board of Education, the mandate to identify and serve these students had just been implemented. That plan was designed to provide program guidance and to assure that all students had the opportunity to be fairly and accurately assessed for advanced level services. This new Texas state plan, adopted by the State Board of Education in November 1996, builds on that effort and takes districts and campuses to the next level of program implementation: refining existing services and creating additional curricular options that lead to exceptionally high levels of student performance.
This new plan is designed to accomplish the two requirements that are included in Section 29.123 of the Texas Education Code. First, the acceptable column of each section of the plan will be used as the basis of program accountability. The indicators in this column reflect those activities that will be included in the District Effectiveness and Compliance review process. The second requirement of the law is that the state plan serve as a guide for the improvement of program services. This task is accomplished through the second and third columns of each section, which indicate recognized and exemplary levels of commitment on the part of district and campus personnel. These activities, which are neither mandated nor prescribed, represent methods that educators and community members may decide to use to improve services for students. Over the next several years, updates of promising practices may supplement these indicators so that districts and campuses have a comprehensive set of alternatives that can be implemented to improve student performance and meet the new state goal that is a part of this plan. Texas faces many formidable tasks in the years ahead. Success in meeting those responsibilities can be achieved only if all Texas students are educated to their maximum capabilities. By focusing on the goal of this plan-that gifted students develop "innovative products and performances that are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment"-we can assure that Texas meets the future with confidence that all its students have been challenged to work at the highest levels. It is hoped that this state plan will assist districts in meeting their obligations to gifted students. The development of this plan was a group effort, with input coming from local district educators, regional education service center personnel, and from the general public. The commitment of these dedicated individuals will make it possible for the public schools of Texas to plan and maintain programs that meet the needs of advanced and gifted learners.
Commissioner of Education
JACK CHRISTIE, D.C., Houston
Chair of the State Board of Education
MONTE HASIE, Lubbock
Vice Chair of the State Board of Education
MARY HELEN BERLANGA, Corpus Christi
Secretary of the State Board of Education
ALMA A. ALLEN, Ed.D., Houston
DONNA BALLARD, The Woodlands
JOE J. BERNAL, Ph.D., San Antonio
DAVID BRADLEY, Beaumont
WILL D. DAVIS, Austin
GERALDINE MILLER, Dallas
RICHARD B. NEILL, Fort Worth
RENE NUNEZ, El Paso
ROBERT H. OFFUTT, San Antonio
ROSIE COLLINS SORRELLS, Ed.D., Dallas
RANDY STEVENSON, Bullard
RICHARD WATSON, Gorman
MIKE MOSES, Ed.D.
Commissioner of Education
(Executive Officer of the State Board of Education)
The Texas Education Agency expresses appreciation to the following individuals and the districts they represent for assistance in the development of the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students:
Ann Brock, Burleson Independent School District
Donna J. Corley, Conroe Independent School District
Gwendolyn Fort, Round Rock Independent School District
Kathy C. Hargrove, Southern Methodist University
Joyce E. Miller, Texas A&M-Commerce
Elizabeth Montes, El Paso Independent School District
Angie Ramos, Corpus Christi Independent School District
Mary L. Seay, San Angelo Independent School District
Michael W. Torres, Bishop Consolidated Independent School District
Ann Wink, Killeen Independent School District
TEXAS STATE PLAN FOR THE EDUCATION OF GIFTED/TALENTED STUDENTS
Section 1: Student Assessment
Section 2: Program Design
Section 3: Curriculum and Instruction
Section 4: Professional Development
Section 5: Family-Community Involvement
Text of Texas Education Code, Sections 29.121-29.123 and Section 41.156
Text of Texas Administrative Code, Chapter 89
Throughout the United States, there has been a call for America's students to master more complex skills and to demonstrate understanding of more sophisticated content. In response, states throughout the country have increased their expectations for student performance. However, while basic competencies are being raised, often there is little done to enhance services for more advanced learners. National Excellence: A Case for Developing America's Talent, published by the United States Department of Education in 1993, notes that, "Most American students are encouraged to finish high school and earn good grades. But students are not asked to work hard or master a body of challenging knowledge or skills. The message society often sends to students is to aim for academic adequacy, not academic excellence (p.1)."
To assure that this trend is reversed in Texas, the State Board of Education has adopted numerous incentives that encourage districts to support services that go beyond the minimum and that meet the needs of gifted learners. In order to express its commitment to high level learning opportunities for all students, the Texas State Board of Education adopts the following as its goal for services for gifted learners.
STATE GOAL FOR SERVICES FOR GIFTED STUDENTSStudents who participate in services designed for gifted students will demonstrate skills in self-directed learning, thinking, research, and communication as evidenced by the development of innovative products and performances that reflect individuality and creativity and are advanced in relation to students of similar age, experience, or environment. High school graduates who have participated in services for gifted students will have produced products and performances of professional quality as part of their program services.
According to Section 29.123 of the Texas Education Code, the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students forms the basis of program accountability for state mandated services for gifted/talented students. The plan, then, is developed to be compatible with the Texas accountability system. "Acceptable" performance measures are included for five areas of program performance. This level reflects those actions that are included in either state law or rule. However, some districts, in collaboration with the communities they serve, will provide more comprehensive services. To offer some guidance to those districts or campuses, examples of "recognized" and "exemplary" performance are included in the plan. While these actions are not mandated by the state, they provide viable targets that local district educators seeking excellence, both for their district and for their students, may strive to attain. In all cases, those activities in the "recognized" column include and build on those actions included in the "acceptable" column. In turn, "exemplary" actions build on those that merit a "recognized" designation.
Providing comprehensive services to advanced and gifted learners will be a challenge to districts. To assist them in their work, the Texas Education Agency will:
|SECTION 1||STUDENT ASSESSMENT|
|Instruments and procedures used to assess students for program services measure diverse abilities and intelligences and provide students an opportunity to demonstrate their talents and strengths.|
Written policies on student identification for gifted and talented programs are approved by the district board of trustees and disseminated to all parents. (19 TAC ¤89.1)
Nomination procedures and forms for assessment of gifted/talented students are communicated to families in a language and formthat the families understand or a translator or interpreter is provided.
The district and/or campus offers an awareness session prior to the nomination period for families to receive an overview of the assessment procedures and services for gifted/talented students.
Written policies include provisions regarding furloughs, reassessment, exiting of students from program services, transfer students, and appeals of district decisions regarding program placement. (19 TAC ¤89.1(5))
Policy related to student furloughs allow for students to have a leave of absence from gifted/talented program services for specified reasons and for a certain period of time without being exited.
Board policies on student assessment are reviewed at least once every three years and modified as needed.
Students not yet identified are considered for nomination and screened once a year for services that are a part of the program for gifted students. (19 TAC ¤89.1(1))
Students not yet identified are nominated and screened at least once a year at the elementary grades and once a semester at the secondary level for services provided as part of the program for gifted students.
The nomination process for services provided as part of the gifted program is on-going, and screening of students occurs at any time the need arises.
Students in grades K-12 shall be assessed and, if identified, provided services. (TEC ¤29.122 and 19 TAC ¤89.1(3))
Students in grades 1 through 12 are assessed and served in all areas of giftedness included in TEC ¤29.121.
Assessment of students for gifted/talented programs includes measures collected from multiple sources for each area of giftedness served by the district. (19 TAC ¤89.1(2))
Based on a reviewof information gathered during the assessment process, the selection committee recommends placement for students whose data reflect that programplacement is the most appropriate educational setting.
Data and procedures assure that all populations of the district have access to assessment and, if identified, services offered as part of the program for gifted students. (19 TAC ¤89.1(3))
Gains have been made over the last two (2) years toward having the population of the gifted programreflect the population of the district.
The population of the gifted/talented programreflects the population of the total district or has for two of the past three years.
Final selection of students for services designed for gifted students is made by a committee of at least three (3) local district or campus educators who have received training in the nature and needs of gifted students. (19 TAC ¤89.1(4))
The majority of members of the selection committee have completed thirty (30) hours of training as delineated in 19 TAC ¤89.2(1).
The majority of members of the selection committee have completed thirty (30) hours of gifted/talented training and are current with the six-hour update training as required in 19 TAC ¤89.2(2).
|SECTION 2||PROGRAM DESIGN|
|A flexible system of viable program options that provide a learning continuum is developed throughout the district and reinforces the strengths, needs, and interests of gifted/talented students.|
School districts assure an array of learning opportunities that are commensurate with the abilities of gifted/talented students, and that emphasize content in the four (4) core academic areas. Services are available during the school day as well as the entire school year. Parents are informed of these options. (19 TAC ¤89.3(3))
Information concerning special opportunities (contests, academic recognition, summer camps, community programs, volunteer opportunities, etc.) is available and disseminated to parents and community members.
Services for gifted/talented students are comprehensive, structured, sequenced, and appropriately challenging, including options in the four (4) core academic areas, arts, leadership, and creativity.
Program options enable gifted/talented students to work together as a group, work with other students, and work independently during the school day as well as the entire school year. (19 TAC ¤89.3(1))
Flexible grouping patterns and independent investigations are employed in the four (4) core academic areas.
Schools districts, when possible, shall provide out-of-school options relevant to the student's area of strength. (19 TAC ¤89.3(3))
Options that meet the needs of advanced learners are available on a continuous basis outside the regular school day.
Local board policies are developed that are consistent with State Board of Education rules on credit by examination (19 TAC ¤74.24) and Early High School Graduation. (TEC ¤56.203).
Flexible pacing is employed, allowing students to learn at the pace and level appropriate for their abilities and skills.
District administrators, counselors, and teachers actively facilitate accelerated options.
School districts shall ensure that no more than 15%of state funds allocated for gifted/ talented education are spent on indirect costs as defined in Bulletin 679 ( Financial Accounting Manual). Eighty-five percent of the funds allocated to gifted education shall be spent on assessment and services for gifted students (19 TAC ¤89.4(1))
Local funding for gifted/talented education programs is used to enhance the state funding formula.
Additional funding frombusiness partnerships, scholarships, parent group fund raisers, etc. is used to enhance the state funding.
School districts shall ensure that student assessment and services comply with accountability standards included in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students. (19 TAC ¤89.5)
Annual evaluation activities are conducted for the purpose of continued program improvement and development.
Ongoing formative and summative evaluation strategies, based on quantitative and qualitative data, are used for substantive program improvement and development and reviewed by the school board.
A person who has 30 hours of staff development in gifted/talented education as required in 19 TAC 89.2(1) is assigned to coordinate district level services for gifted/talented students in kindergarten through grade 12.
A person(s) who has an endorsement or advanced degree in gifted/talented education is assigned to coordinate a district K-12 gifted/talented education program.
|SECTION 3||CURRICULUM AND INSTRUCTION|
|Curriculum and instruction meets the needs of gifted students by modifying the depth, complexity, and pacing of the general school program.|
School districts shall provide an array of appropriately challenging learning experiences for gifted/talented students in grades 1 through 12 that emphasize content fromthe four (4) core academic areas and shall inform parents of the opportunities. (19 TAC ¤89.3)
Opportunities are provided for students to pursue areas of interest in selected disciplines through guided and independent research.
Curriculum for gifted/talented students provides options in intellectual, creative, or artistic areas; leadership; and specific academic fields.
A continuum of learning experiences is provided that leads to the development of advanced-level products and/or performances. (19 TAC ¤89.3(2))
Students at all grade levels are involved in experiences that result in the development of sophisticated products and/or performances that are targeted to an audience outside the classroom.
Students who have been served in a gifted programfor one or more years will develop sophisticated products and/or performances assessed by external evaluators who are knowledgeable in the field that is the focus of the product.
Opportunities are provided to accelerate in areas of student strengths. (19 TAC ¤89.3(4))
Flexible pacing is employed, allowing students to learn at the pace and level appropriate to their abilities and skills.
Scheduling modifications are implemented in order to meet the needs of individual students.
District and campus improvement plans include provisions to improve/modify services to gifted/talented students. (TEC ¤11.252, ¤11.253)
Curriculum is modified based on annual evaluations.
Specialists in content areas, instructional techniques, and gifted/talented education collaborate with curriculum planners as curriculumis being designed and evaluated.
Release time and/or extended contracts are provided to enable teachers at all levels to form vertical teams that coordinate advanced-level services in the district.
Student progress/performance in programs for the gifted is periodically assessed and this information is communicated to parents or guardians.
Student performance is periodically assessed by standards developed by experts in the areas served in the district's program for gifted students.
|SECTION 4||PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT|
|All personnel involved in the planning, development, and delivery of services to gifted students have knowledge to enable them to offer appropriate options and curricula for gifted/talented students.|
Teachers who provide instruction and services that are a part of the program for gifted students have a minimum of thirty (30) clock hours of staff development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students, assessing student needs, and curriculum and instruction for gifted students. (19 TAC ¤89.2(1))
Teachers are encouraged to pursue advanced degrees or obtain additional professional development in their teaching discipline.
District support in the formof release time or tuition assistance is available for an endorsement in gifted education for teachers who provide direct services to the gifted.
Teachers who provide instruction and services that are a part of the program for gifted students receive a minimum of six hours annually of professional development in gifted education. (19 TAC ¤89.2(2))
All staff receive an orientation to the district/or campus program for gifted/talented students and training on the nature and needs of the gifted.
Mentors and others who offer specialized instruction for gifted/talented students are provided training to increase their understanding of the nature and needs of these students and the district goals for the program.
Administrators and counselors who have authority for program decisions have a minimum of six (6) hours of professional development that includes nature and needs of gifted/talented students and program options for gifted/talented students. (19 TAC ¤89.2(3))
Local district board of trustees are encouraged to pursue professional development on the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students.
Administrators and counselors who have authority for program decisions receive a minimum of six (6) hours annually of professional development in gifted education.
Evaluation of professional development activities for gifted/talented education is ongoing, and the results of the evaluation are used in making decisions regarding future staff development plans. (19 TAC ¤89.5)
Opportunities for professional development in the area of gifted education are provided on a regular basis and information on them is disseminated to professionals in the district.
A long-range plan for professional development culminates in endorsement in gifted/talented education and/or advanced degrees for a majority of the teachers who provide advanced level services.
|SECTION 5||FAMILY - COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT|
|The district regularly encourages community and family participation in services designed for gifted/talented students.|
School districts shall develop written policies on student identification that are approved by the local board of trustees and disseminated to parents. (19 TAC ¤89.1)
Input from family and community representatives on the assessment procedures is invited prior to submission to the local board of trustees.
The school district or campus annually provides information and holds meetings requesting parent and community nominations for program services.
School districts shall provide an array of learning opportunities for gifted/talented students in kindergarten through grade twelve and shall inform parents of the opportunities. (19 TAC ¤89.3)
The district or campus provides orientation and periodic updates for parents of students identified and served in options that are part of the gifted program.
Community volunteers are organized and given special orientation in working with gifted students.
The district evaluates the effectiveness of the program annually and uses the data to modify and update district and campus improvement plans. Parents are included in the evaluation process. (TEC ¤¤11.251-11.253)
In this subchapter, "gifted and talented students" means a child or youth who performs at or shows the potential for performing at a remarkably high level of accomplishment when compared to others of the same age, experience, or environment and who:
Using criteria established by the State Board of Education, each school district shall adopt a process for identifying and serving gifted and talented students in the district and shall establish a program for those students in each grade level. A district may establish a shared services arrangement program with one or more other districts.
¤29.123. State Plan: Assistance
The State Board of Education shall develop and periodically update a state plan for the education of gifted and talented students to guide school districts in establishing and improving programs for identified students. The regional education service centers may assist districts in implementing the state plan. In addition to obtaining assistance from a regional education service center, a district may obtain other assistance in implementing the plan. The plan shall be used for accountability purposes to measure the performance of districts in providing services to students identified as gifted and talented.
Texas Education Code as passed by the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas. Effective September 1, 1995.
Texas Education Code as passed by the 74th Legislature of the State of Texas. Effective September 1, 1995.
School districts shall develop written policies on student identification that are approved by the local board of trustees and disseminated to parents. The policies must:
School districts shall ensure that:
School districts shall provide an array of learning opportunities for gifted/talented students in kindergarten through Grade 12 and shall inform parents of the opportunities. Options must include:
School districts shall ensure that:
School districts shall ensure that student assessment and services for gifted/talented students comply with accountability standards defined in The Texas Plan for the Education of the Gifted/Talented.
|Area of Giftedness||the specific ability in which a student performs or shows potential to perform at a remarkably high level of accomplishment|
|Intellectual||possessing superior intelligence, with potential or demonstrated accomplishments in several fields of study; ability to perform complex mental tasks|
|Creative||possessing outstanding imagination, thinking ability, innovative or creative reasoning ability, ability in problem solving, and/or high attainment in original or creative thinking|
|Artistic||possessing outstanding ability in the visual and performing arts|
|Leadership||possessing the natural ability to influence others; possessing skills in interpersonal relationships demonstrated, for example, by outstanding ability in such activities as student government|
|Specific Academic Fields||possessing superior ability or potential in a specific course of study such as science, mathematics, language arts, or social studies|
|Qualitative Measures||measures used to assess student needs that include observations, anecdotal records, checklists, interviews, student products, performances, etc.|
|Quantitative Measures||standardized tests that are used to assess students|
|Furlough||a leave of absence from program services that can be due to a variety of circumstances|
|Depth||exploration of content within a discipline; analyzing from the concrete to the abstract, familiar to the unfamiliar, known to the unknown; exploring the discipline by going past facts and concepts into generalizations, principles, theories, laws; investigating the layers of experience within a discipline through details, patterns, trends, unanswered questions, ethical considerations|
|Complexity||extending content in, between, and across disciplines through the study of themes, problems, and issues; seeing relationships between and among ideas in/within the topic, discipline, and disciplines; examining relationships in, between, and across disciplines over time, and from multiple points of view|
|Continuum of Learning Experiences||articulated learning experiences that provide planned experiences that build upon one another each year a student is in school|
|Array of Learning Experiences||a menu of challenging learning experiences or opportunities that fit the unique interests and abilities of advanced level students|
|Concurrent Enrollment||the practice of enrolling in a college or university to earn college or university credit while in high school|
|Dual Enrollment||the practice of enrolling in a college or university while enrolled in high school for the purpose of earning high school and college credit simultaneously|
TITLE VI, CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964; THE MODIFIED COURT ORDER, CIVIL ACTION 5281, FEDERAL DISTRICT COURT, EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS, TYLER DIVISION Reviews of local education agencies pertaining to compliance with Title VI Civil Rights Act of 1964 and with specific requirements of the Modified Court Order, Civil Action No. 5281, Federal District Court, Eastern District of Texas, Tyler Division are conducted periodically by staff representatives of the Texas Education Agency. These reviews cover at least the following policies and practices:
In addition to conducting reviews, the Texas Education Agency staff representatives check complaints of discrimination made by a citizen or citizens residing in a school district where it is alleged discriminatory practices have occurred or are occurring.
Where a violation of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act is found, the findings are reported to the Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.
If there is a direct violation of the Court Order in Civil Action No. 5281 that cannot be cleared through negotiation, the sanctions required by the Court Order are applied.
TITLE VII, CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1964 AS AMENDED BY THE EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY ACT OF 1972; EXECUTIVE ORDERS 11246 AND 11375; EQUAL PAY ACT OF 1964; TITLE IX, EDUCATION AMENDMENTS; REHABILITATION ACT OF 1973 AS AMENDED; 1974 AMENDMENTS TO THE WAGE-HOUR LAW EXPANDING THE AGE DISCRIMINATION IN EMPLOYMENT ACT OF 1967; VIETNAM ERA VETERANS READJUSTMENT ASSISTANCE ACT OF 1972 AS AMENDED; IMMIGRATION REFORM AND CONTROL ACT OF 1986; AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990; AND THE CIVIL RIGHTS ACT OF 1991.
The Texas Education Agency shall comply fully with the nondiscrimination provisions of all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations by assuring that no person shall be excluded from consideration for recruitment, selection, appointment, training, promotion, retention, or any other personnel action, or be denied any benefits or participation in any educational programs or activities which it operates on the grounds of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or veteran status (except where age, sex, or disability constitutes a bona fide occupational qualification necessary to proper and efficient administration). The Texas Education Agency is an Equal Employment Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer.
Here are two related Texas Education Agency documents:
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/gted/steplanq.html Q and A for the Texas Plan
http://www.tea.state.tx.us/gted/gtdec.htm District Effectiveness and Compliance Reference Guide for Gifted/Talented Education
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