Effective Advocacy

Effective advocacy is more than being passionate about gifted education. The effective advocate knows how to convey the message that needs to be heard – how to frame information in a manner that drives the point without alienating those who influence the decision-making process.

Regular sessions of the Texas Legislature convene on the second Tuesday in January of every odd numbered year for 140 days to conduct state business. The state’s budget, on which public education is dependent, is developed for the biennium during these legislative sessions.

The following links will provide helpful guidance for gifted education advocacy and public education policy:

  • Research That Supports the Need for and Benefits of Gifted Education
    by Sally M. Reis, Legislative Chair, The National Association for Gifted Children, and Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor at Neag School of Education, The University of Connecticut (PDF on the NAGC website)
  • A Checklist for Advocating with Public Policy Makers
    Some useful tips and reminders about what you should and should not do when advocating for gifted education.
  • Supporting Gifted Education Through Advocacy
    This 1990 report outlines the importance of effective nurturing of giftedness in children and adolescents through a cooperative partnership between home and school, one that is characterized by mutual respect and an ongoing sharing of ideas and observations about the children involved. To accomplish this partnership, parents and educators must know something about giftedness, understand the children’s needs, and understand some basic principles of advocacy.
  • Advocating for Appropriate Education for Your Child
    This article is one of the most informative and detailed guides for parents of gifted children when dealing with teachers and administrators in the public schools. It provides a very positive approach to being a good advocate for your child so that you can create a win-win situation.

Texas Education Agency 

Governor: Rick Perry
Commissioner of Education: Michael L. Williams
State Department of Education – Gifted and Talented: Debbie Gonzales

State Definition of Gifted: “‘[G]ifted and talented student’ 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:

  1. exhibits high performance capability in an intellectual, creative or artistic area;
  2. possesses an unusual capacity for leadership; or
  3. excels in a specific academic field.”         

(Texas Education Code Ann. § 29.121)

The Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students (Texas Education Agency, updated September 2009) English | Spanish

The Texas Education Code on Gifted Education
§29.121 – §29.123 and §42.156

The Texas Performance Standards Project

ESTUDIOS, A J.K. Javits Grant Program

Frequently Asked Questions on the State Plan