2017 Javits Projects

Project CRITICAL Syracuse University, NY—Scaling-Up Project CRITICAL in which CRITICAL is an acronym for five objectives and outcomes: (1) Curriculum Restructuring: 125 Content Teachers including those with high numbers of English Learner (EL) students in Community School District 5 (CSD 5) in New York City are restructuring their courses to focus on social problems and integrate the theories of Renzulli, Borland and Wright’s strategies for teaching gifted and talented students and differentiating curriculum; (2) In-service Training: 125 teachers will acquire the theoretical, substantive and methodological knowledge and skills necessary to implement the gifted and talented models (Renzulli, Gardner, Bloom), Borland and Wright’s curriculum differentiation strategies, Box’s EL strategies, and the project’s new Public Policy Analyst (PPA) Internet applications; (3) Identification: 500 disadvantaged students in regular content classes will be identified as gifted and talented as a result of using Renzulli’s Scales; (4) Computer Applications: 125 teachers will incorporate the project’s new PPAs; (5) Learning outcomes: 500 students identified as gifted and talented and 3,000 regular students and ELs will score significantly higher (.05) than randomly selected Control students on project content measurements. The overall goal of the program is to support evidence-based research and innovative strategies, to build and enhance the ability of schools, and to identify gifted and talented students and meet their special educational needs. Award #S206A170008

Project BEAM University of Hawaii, HI—Uses the BEAM Model, a culturally responsive, accelerated and enriched algebra intervention using multiple evidence-based strategies. The project will serve 540, 7th and 8th grade Native American, Hispanic, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Island students. The project intends to use the term, “promising,” instead of the conventional labels such as “gifted” or “talented” (Sheffield, 2012) to broaden the participation of underrepresented groups of students in gifted and talented education (Borland, 2004; Ford, 2003; Renzulli, 2011). In identifying promising students, as attending to the pragmatic and moral aspect (e.g., what are the consequences of identification in the education of children?), rather than using the scientific-empirical criteria for judging giftedness (e.g., giftedness = above IQ 130), this project aims to understand how indigenous and Hispanic students have potential in math and what their needs are to fulfill the potential. The overall goal of the program is to scale up and evaluate a model designed to increase the number of underrepresented students who perform at high levels of academic achievement through gifted and talented education programs. Awrad #S206A170014

Scaling-up and Expanding Excellence for Underrepresented Students (SEE US!) Project Milwaukee Public Schools, WI—Seeks to bridge the excellence gap between economically disadvantaged (ED) students (primarily minority) and their counterparts through a Response to Intervention framework and evidence-based, innovative strategies. The SEE US! project uses the guiding principles of the federally-funded U-STARS~PLUS (USP) and Expanding Excellence projects and will serve 30 classroom teachers (grades 1-3) serving approximately 900 students through the use of USP’s hands-on, inquiry-based science and literacy units, lessons and high-end learning opportunities. The overall goal of the program is to increase the level and depth of collaboration among school and district personnel, students, and student families to support the academic success of students from ED and culturally different families; increase the number of high-ability/high-potential (HA/HP) ED students identified for and immersed in advanced services through the evaluation of existing measures and the implementation of expanded measures; increase the percentages of HA/HP ED students that achieve at advanced levels in reading and mathematics; and to continue full implementation for at least three years after the grant. Award #S206A170011

Project BRIDGE St. John’s University, NY—Will implements an evidence-based mathematics program built upon the Mentoring Young Mathematicians (M²) Project (2008-2013) funded by the National Science Foundation and Project HOPE (2009-2014) funded by the Jacob K. Javits Program. The project will serve 300 Gifted English Learners (GELs). The overall goals of the program are to improve mathematical proficiency and English proficiency of kindergarten through grade 2 students by implementing the Project BRIDGE program during the afterschool hours for three years; increase the number of young GELs who are officially identified by the New York City Department of Education; increase teachers’ use of effective Language Scaffolding Strategies for young GELs; and disseminate a professional development program that helps teachers employ effective instructional strategies to develop academic proficiency of young GELs. The M2 project is based on gifted pedagogy demonstrated a positive impact on math achievement and mathematical reasoning of Grade K-2 students (Casa, Firmender, Gavin, & Carroll, 2017; Firmender, Gavin, & McCoach, 2014; Gavin, Casa, Adelson, & Firmender, 2013; Gavin, Casa, Firmender, & Carroll, 2013). Language scaffolding strategies of Project HOPE were found to contribute to the increased math achievement, creative problem solving, and English proficiency of Grade 3-5 Gifted English Learners (GELs) (Cho, Yang, & Mandracchia, 2015). Award #S206A170028

Florida Atlantic University Academies of Innovation and Research (FAU-AIR) Program Florida Atlantic University, FL—Will increase the numbers of gifted and talented students from underrepresented groups and will be adapted to improve services to meet the unique social and emotional needs of an increasingly diverse, gifted student population. FAU is partnering with the FAU College of Education to study and replicate FAUS’s highly successful early college model aimed at serving the most gifted students from all backgrounds in the area. The overall goal of the program is to provide a viable avenue for gifted students of all backgrounds, including students from underrepresented groups, to earn a bachelor’s degree without the financial burden or college transitions required by typical early college models. FAU-AIR will serve 1,700 students in grades 7-12 over a 60-month period at FAU High School, School of Integrated Science and Technology and A.D. Henderson K-8 school. Specific activities include targeted middle school, intrusive advising, near peer mentoring, and professional development focused on culturally responsive teaching and social-emotional learning. A rigorous evaluation based on a quasi-experimental design with matched comparison groups will investigate the efficacy and replicability of the enhanced model. Award #S206A170005

Maryland Gateway to Gifted and Talented (GT) Education Project Maryland State Department of Education, MD—An online technical assistance resource through which information, data, instructional toolkits, professional learning, guidance, and a forum for collaboration will be available to educators, students, families, researchers, and community members. Gateway to GT Education will host and facilitate the development and implementation of state policy and recommended identification protocols, thereby increasing local school system capacity to identify and serve more underrepresented students. The Maryland State Department of Education is partnering with Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Center for Technology in Education, to create the Gateway to GT Education online platform. The overall goals of the program are to provide an online platform that will be a repository of resources, including data, identification and service delivery models, instructional strategies, and interactive online training modules and courses and to research and develop an equitable state policy and supporting guidelines for the identification of gifted and talented students. Award #S206A170010

Thinking Like Mathematicians University of Connecticut, CT—Will provide grade 3 students in general education classrooms access to high quality mathematics curriculum that will incorporate principles of differentiation. Over time, the project anticipates serving 1, 000-1,250 students. The curriculum will be challenging and engaging, but responsive to students’ learning needs, and it will uncover and promote students’ talents. It also will offer teachers the necessary guidance to implement high quality curriculum organized in lesson plan format. The teacher’s manual will include sample scripts and teacher/student conversations to guide the implementation of each lesson, which is a form of educative professional development (Davis & Krajcik, 2005). The overall goals of the program are to yield additional data on the efficacy of using pre-differentiated (i.e., tiered lessons) and enriched, challenging, and engaging curriculum, based on Common Core State Standards and 21st Century Skills (4Cs: Communication, Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creativity) and to enhance the learning of all students in general education classrooms. It also will serve as a potential developmental identification strategy capitalizing on teachers’ observations of students’ performance and their reflections on students’ mathematical skills and understandings. Award #S206A170023

Gifted and Talented (GT) Visual Arts and Leadership Program San Antonio Independent School District, TX—The overall goal of the program is to identify and provide services for an estimated 600 students who show potential for advanced levels of performance in Visual Arts and Leadership by (1) increasing the number of students identified as gifted, especially students from underserved populations; (2) increasing the visual and leadership skills and academic performance of gifted students from underserved populations; and (3) providing resources to support the implementation of the GT Visual Arts and Leadership Programs throughout the district as well as additional outside independent school districts in order to increase opportunities for leadership and visual arts gifted students to be recognized and supported. This project will develop new information that assists schools in the identification of, and provision of services to, gifted and talented students (including economically disadvantaged individuals, individuals who are English learners, and children with disabilities) who may not be identified and served through traditional assessment methods. This project will be implemented using a quasi-experimental design that will produce findings on the ability of alternative GT programs to improve academic achievement, especially for students from underserved populations (economically disadvantaged individuals, individuals who are English learners and children with disabilities). Award #S206A170013

Project LIFT University of Connecticut, CT—Seeks to enhance professional preparation and practice related to recognizing and developing advanced academic potential in the primary grades, particularly in students from underserved populations. Serving 3,200-4,000 students, the focus is on teacher perceptions and instructional practices as they relate to student demonstration of high-potential behaviors. The project aims to promote teacher understanding and to equip teachers with tools to enhance their practice, toward the goal of facilitating student achievement among students of high potential across diverse populations. Project LIFT engages teachers in close examination of instructional focus linked to particular standards, with an eye to observing high-potential behaviors and supporting their development. University of Connecticut is partnering with the Connecticut Association for the Gifted to support recruitment efforts. The overall goals of the program are to enhance teacher understanding of the types of behaviors that may be indicative of high potential in the primary grades, particularly in underserved populations; promote teacher capacity to support advanced-level learning through engagement with materials that promote student discourse, higher-level thinking, and demonstration and development of high-potential behaviors; support student achievement in core content areas through instructional approaches that emphasize discourse, higher-level thinking, and other key evidence-based practices; and disseminate project resources for professional development and replication. Award #S206A170030

California Lutheran University (CLU) Project for the Advancement of Gifted and Exceptional Students California Lutheran University, CA—Aims to address the needs of the Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Academy of Integrated Arts and Technology (The Academy) in order to increase appropriate identification and development of skills for gifted and talented students, including 210 twice-exceptional students with autism spectrum disorders, ensuring both student populations are better prepared to enter four-year, post-secondary institutions. CLU is partnering with the LAUSD to ensure that more students who are gifted will be appropriately identified and experience higher rates of academic success. The overall goals of the program are to increase the number of students who are identified as gifted and talented, including twice-exceptional and underrepresented students; strengthen the capability of LAUSD teachers to employ effective instructional strategies for gifted and talented, including twice-exceptional, students; measure the impact of teacher training on academic performance of gifted and talented, including twice-exceptional, students; and increase college readiness of gifted and talented, including twice-exceptional students. Award #S206A170042

Project Reach EACH Through Literacy University of Southern California, CA—An experimental design that proposes increasing student achievement scores in literacy for each student within a heterogeneous classroom through the implementation of a companion curriculum to the State adopted English Language Arts curriculum and district selected text. The curriculum proposed in this project will utilize the following elements and is supported by the research in literacy and language development, curriculum design, and gifted education: motivation and an enjoyment of reading; advanced Reading Comprehension Strategies; the Depth and Complexity Model; and Thinking Like a Disciplinarian. The University of Southern California is partnering with the California Department of Education to bring both recognition and resolution to issues articulated by the project goals. The overall goals of the program are to improve literacy and reading comprehension for the continuum of diverse learners (gifted, special education, twice exceptional, and general education students) in heterogeneous classrooms; increase recognition of gifted behaviors among diverse learners and their possible identification through non-traditional methods inherent within the design and implementation of a differentiated reading comprehension curriculum; design and deliver professional development of various types to all classroom teachers; and affect changes in policies and procedures in the California state frameworks and other essential documentation to change perceptions and practices relating to gifted education (identification and services). Award #S206A170031

Culturally Responsive Talent Identification and Career Exploration (TICE) Project University of Iowa, IA—An integrative model to broaden the participation of underrepresented students in talented and gifted programs. Approximately 400 middle school students will be recruited from 40 Iowa school districts. This project by the University of Iowa (UI) Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development directly addresses the critical national need to increase educator capacity to identify and provide talented and gifted programming to underrepresented students. Underrepresented students, especially students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, students of color, rural students, and students with disabilities, are at risk of being overlooked for participation in talented and gifted programs. Project personnel will integrate an expanded talent development model, Talent Development (Assouline, Ihrig, & Mahatmya, 2017), and a career intervention program, A Future in Iowa Career Education (FICE; Ali, Yang, Button, & McCoy, 2013), will be used to maximize the identification and development of underrepresented talented and gifted students. Talent Development and FICE have established promising evidence for increasing the identification, achievement, and academic self-efficacy of the target population (Ali et al., 2013; Assouline et al., 2017). The University of Iowa is partnering with the Iowa Online AP Academy to broaden underrepresented students’ opportunities to be identified and served in gifted and talented programs. Award #S206A170017

Greenville County Schools (GCS) Placement Program School District of Greenville County, SC—Is developed to establish, enhance, and evaluate a multi-faceted plan to increase the number of students who are identified and enrolled in the district’s gifted and talented program, Challenge. This program has three defined objectives that include (1) increase the number of students who may be eligible for participation in the GCS Placement Program as measured by pre-identification assessments purchased through this grant and administered to kindergarten and 1st grade students; (2) increase the number of students and parents who are engaged in the Challenge Program through a summer programming; and (3) increasing overall academic achievement as measured by SC Ready, Measures of Academic Progress, or Mastery Connect. Oversight of the GCS Placement Program grant proposal involves a multi-layered approach that includes district level administrators, school-based administrators and faculty, and project partners that may include parents, experts from local businesses and higher education, and others committed to providing a rigorous gifted and talented learning environment. The overarching goal of the program is to develop independent learning skills, critical and creative thinking skills, problem solving, decision making skills, communication skills, creative expression, and aesthetic valuing. Award #S206A170029