A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students

nationThese two notable studies address the state of gifted education in the nation.

A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students is a watershed work that informed us of the status of research-based practices for challenging academically talented youth. Despite the evidence that acceleration is a beneficial practice when implemented correctly, many teachers and parents are reluctant to accelerate students. The report presents the research on acceleration in an effort to increase the number of students who have access to acceleration.
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A Nation Empowered provides an update to that watershed work and tells the story of how well we have applied what has been learned. This report supplies evidence that no other educational intervention works as well as acceleration for gifted students. It provides parents, educators, administrators, and policymakers with the research on acceleration and the tools to advocate for the nation’s brightest students.
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A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students,  Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline, Miraca Gross
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America’s schools routinely avoid academic acceleration, the easiest and most effective way to help highly capable students. While the popular perception is that a child who skips a grade will be socially stunted, fifty years of research shows that moving bright students ahead often makes them happy.
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Acceleration means moving through the traditional curriculum at rates faster than typical. The 18 forms of acceleration include grade-skipping, early-entrance to school and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. It is appropriate educational planning. It means matching the level and complexity of the curriculum with the readiness and motivation of the student.
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Students who are moved ahead tend to be more ambitious and they earn graduate degrees at higher rates than other students. Interviewed years later, an overwhelming majority of accelerated students say that acceleration was an excellent experience for them. Accelerated students feel academically challenged and socially accepted, and they do not fall prey to the boredom that plagues many highly capable students who are forced to follow the curriculum for their age-peers.
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For the first time, this compelling research was available to the public in a bold new initiative to get these findings into the hands of parents, teachers, and principals. The report is available at no cost to schools, the media and parents requesting copies.
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You’ll find information about entering school early, skipping grades in elementary school, the Advanced Placement program, and starting college ahead of time. You’ll read the comments of accelerated students, Deans of Colleges of Education, a school superintendent and a school board member. Every sentence in this volume is culled from the research of America’s leading education experts. If you’d like more research information, see Volume II of this report.
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With all this research evidence, why haven’t schools, parents, and teachers accepted the idea of acceleration? A Nation Deceived presents these reasons for why schools hold back America’s brightest kids:
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Limited familiarity with the research on acceleration
Philosophy that children must be kept with their age group
Belief that acceleration hurries children out of childhood
Fear that acceleration hurts children socially
Political concerns about equity
Worry that other students will be offended if one child is accelerated.
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This report shows that these reasons are simply not supported by research. By distributing thousands of copies and launching a public-awareness campaign, the Nation Deceived report provides teachers and parents the knowledge, support, and confidence to consider acceleration.
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A Nation Empowered: Evidence Trumps the Excuses Holding Back America’s Brightest Students, Nicholas Colangelo, Susan G. Assouline, Joyce VanTassel-Baska, Ann Lupkowski-Shoplik
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The purpose of A Nation Empowered is to inform educators, parents, and policy makers of current research on acceleration, how that information has been applied to educational policy throughout the nation, and how educators can use the findings to make decisions for their brightest students.
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What Do We Need to Know About Academic Acceleration and Gifted Students?
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• Acceleration works. An extensive research base supports acceleration for gifted students.

• Well-researched methods have been developed for systematically evaluating a candidate for acceleration and guiding teachers, counselors, administrators, parents, and the student through the process.

• Acceleration can be provided in a variety of ways, including content acceleration (where a student studies advanced content in only one subject), grade skipping, curriculum compacting, and dual enrollment in high school and college. Therefore, acceleration can be tailored to the academic and social needs of the individual student.

• Acceleration supports the social and emotional development of students by placing them with other like-minded students.

• Acceleration provides academic challenges and stimulation, which are needed for continuous development of students’ abilities.