Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education

MISSION

The mission of the Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education is to encourage and support the education of students who are identified as gifted and talented and twice exceptional (2e) in accordance with the Annotated Code of Maryland, Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 17.04.07: Gifted and Talented Education, the Maryland Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Program Guidelines, as well as the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) 2013 standards for gifted programming through education, advocacy, and recognition in order to ensure identification and services.

GUIDING PRINCIPLES

  • Gifted and talented students have outstanding talent and perform, or show the potential for performing, at remarkably high levels of accomplishment when compared with other students of a similar age, experience, or environment.

  • Gifted and talented and twice-exceptional (2e) students need different services beyond those normally provided by the regular school program in order to develop their potential.

  • Children with outstanding talent and advanced learning capabilities are present in all populations, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.

  • Equity of opportunity and access to high quality programs and services, as defined by NAGC 2013 standards, are necessary for all Maryland students requiring gifted and talented services.


RESPONSIBILITES

The Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education:

  • Encourages the development and consistent implementation of comprehensive, high quality services with regard to gifted and talented education, in order to assure equity of access for all children throughout the state.
  • Advises the State Superintendent of Schools on issues and best practices relevant to the education of gifted and talented students in Maryland.
  • Supports the Maryland State Department of Education and local leadership in developing, implementing, and monitoring plans and programs for gifted and talented education.
  • Informs and educates parents and caregivers, educators, elected officials, communities, and other stakeholders about the unique needs of gifted and talented students.
  • Identifies and recognizes schools that have earned EGATE certification.
  • Stays abreast of research-based best practices for gifted and talented education and its role as an integral facet of education in Maryland.


ACTIONS

The Maryland Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education:

  • Analyzes data provided by the MSDE with regard to gifted and talented education in Maryland

  • Prepares an annual report for the State Superintendent of Schools, delivered in writing or in person, which includes a summary of the Advisory Council's  goals, accomplishments, and a plan of action for the upcoming year

  • Receives periodic status reports as requested from MSDE with regard to implementation, completion, or projected timelines, and analyzes the progress in the implementation of recommendations previously accepted and/or adopted by the Board

  • At the request of the State Superintendent of Schools, presents publicly to the State Board of Education a progress report on the status of gifted and talented education in Maryland and makes recommendations for Board consideration and/or action


HISTORY

Establishment of an Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education was a recommendation in Renewing our Commitment, the 1994 Task Force report on gifted education.  The recommendations in the report were subsequently adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education.

In 2001, the Final Report of the Commission on Funding and Services for Gifted and Talented Student Education in Maryland reiterated the Council’s importance and urged its continuation.  This recommendation was adopted by the Maryland State Board of Education at its January 2002 meeting.

From 2007-20012, the GTAC worked collaborativel with MSDE staff and LEA Supervisors to update the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.04.07 Gifted and Talented Education. In 2009, COMAR 13A.12.03.12: Gifted and Talented Education Specialist was adopted. The final COMAR update was adopted in 2012.

In 2009, additional COMAR, 13A.12.03.12 Gifted and Talented Education Specialist was adopted. This established criteria for earning certification as a Maryland Gifted and Talented Education Specialist.

In 2010, the Excellence in Gifted and Talented Education (EGATE) Awards program was initiated. This recognition program honors Maryland public schools that offer exemplary gifted and talented education programs that align with the objectives and critera set out in the Maryland Criteria for Excellence: Gifted and Talented Program Guidelines and the Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR) 13A.04.07: Gifted and Talented Education. Each year, the GTAC awards formal recognition to schools who apply and fulfill the requirements to become an EGATE school. EGATE schools are awarded this designation for a period of three years and must re-apply and fulfill all requirements again at the end of their term, in order to continue to be recognized as an EGATE school.

MEMBERSHIP

The Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education includes professional educators, parents, Institutions of Higher Education, school and district administrators, as well as community and business stakeholders. They represent all levels of education and the major geographic regions of Maryland.

The Council Chair, in conjunction with MSDE staff, nominates individuals with regard to statewide representation. The State Superintendent of Schools, having received candidate nominations, makes the final appointments annually.

The parent advocacy group, Maryland Coalition for Gifted and Talented Education (MCGATE); teacher advocacy group, Maryland Educators of Gifted Students (MEGS); Maryland PTA, Maryland MENSA, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Talented Youth each maintain at least one seat on the Council. An open seat is maintained for a representative of the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC).

Members serve three-year terms that are staggered so that one-third of the membership is appointed each year.  Members may be re-appointed at the discretion of the Superintendent. Members serving as Chair or chair-elect will have extended terms, to facilitate fulfillment of their duties.

OFFICERS

The Chairperson and MSDE GT Lead Specialist select a Chair-elect, to serve a two-year term, whose responsibilities are to assist the Chair in everyday duties, agenda creation, act as Chair in his/her absence, as well as oversee subcommittee work. At the conclusion of the two-year term, the Chair-elect becomes the Chairperson, serving in that position for two additional years.

The Chair creates meeting agendas; facilitates meetings; act as an advisor to the State Superintendent upon request; prepares an annual letter to the Superintendent that includes the Advisory Council's goals/objectives, annual accomplishments, and plan of action for the following year which may be presented to the Superintendent, Deputy Superintendent, or a designee. Additionally, the Chair makes may be requested to make presentations to the State Board of Education, at the request of the Superintendent; stays abreast of current data, trends, and literature regarding gifted and talented education; acts as a liaison to MEGS, MCGATE, NAGC, and other organizations; and works with and advises MSDE GT Office staff to help to ensure that gifted and talented students in Maryland are properly identified and receiving the services included in COMAR 13A.04.07 Gifted and Talented Education. The Chair and Chair-elect also oversee the annual Excellence in Gifted and Talented (EGATE) School Awards selection process, as well as the annual Maryland State Gifted and Talented Education Awards.

The Chair and Chair-elect will appoint or seek volunteers for the office of Secretary, who shall take and submit meeting minutes to the MSDE GT Office after each meeting. These minutes will be published on the MSDE website on the Advisory Council's page. The Chair-elect may act as Secretary of the Advisory Council or appoint a temporary replacement, in the Secretary's absence.

MEETINGS

The entire Advisory Council meets at least four times in an academic year.  Additional meetings may be held to facilitate sub-committee work, research, and/or to address specific ad hoc issues or concerns. 

The Leadership Team of the GTAC will meet with MSDE GT leadership on Monday, August 7 from 9:00AM until about 11:00AM at the Maryland State Department of Education to plan the 2017-2018 meetings and annual objectives, as well as to discuss a fall meeting with the MSDE Deputy Superintendent.

CURRENT OFFICERS

Co-chair: Theresa Jackson
Co-chair: Penny Zimring
Secretary: Julie Skolnick


Updated: 07/31/17