How to Spend TAG Dollars (when there are any)
Here are a few of the
things I'd do if I had a friendly millionaire or billionaire around. The common
theme in all these is to get the maximum result for the minimum cost.
Here are some I think could actually be funded
Create a model g/t Endorsement curriculum and provide education grants for
teachers who enrolled
Hold a conference in some very attractive spot for district superintendents
and administrators and provide three days of intensive g/t training geared
carry out a "needs
assessment" with families and educators
Develop a model "inservice" training and set of materials
Provide regular inservice/continuing education programs for district
superintendents and administrators
Pay for a contingent of administrators and g/t coordinators to visit
exemplary programs in other districts (by "exemplary" programs, I mean
programs that really provide advanced instruction, not just differentiation
in regular classrooms or enrichment).
Make professional- quality videos about exemplary programs and distribute
them for free (on U-tube?) Videos would include actual classroom
instruction in g/t classes but also information about how program is put
Provide funds to match up "mentor" staff from exemplary districts/schools
with staff in other districts including site visits and continued mentoring.
Fund memberships of NAGC and/or the California Association for the Gifted
for superintendents across the country.
Fund publication/ internet access/distribution to more material from the
NAGC such as some of their compilation books.
Fund collection/analysis /publication/ distribution of more data by the NAGC,
such as the State of the States report. Make it more attractive and
accessible, including provision of a media packet each time it is released.
Fund NAGC/CAG conference expenses for a given number of parents each
year. Perhaps they could be chosen by lot?
Offer support to state associations/subsidize their participation in NAGC conferences
Create a fund to provide scholarships for summer programs and Saturday programs for low income students
Create/support a college prep bootcamp
The NAGC could offer state associations a set of free webinars to use in local meetings
Fund library book sets
for SENG groups
Here are some that would be nice but would take money from small donors
(that's us, guys)
Establish a g/t legal defense fund
Pay for free-lance reporters and/or potential donors to attend CAG or NAGC
as "our guests" Pick up the costs of travel, hotel rooms and meals. Staff
reporters aren't allowed to accept freebies but free-lancers do it all the
Hire a "development" expert for NAGC
"Buy" some sponsorship announcements for gifted organizations on public
radio or TV
Pay a lobbyist in DC to work for a national gifted mandate--the longer we
wait for a "good time" to do this, the longer it will be before anything
happens at all and the greater the chance that no one will be prepared if
that time does come.
create a "statehouse support" package (how to lobby, model legislation, technical assistance)
And this might not require any funding at all:
Acquire a "celebrity spokesman" My choice would be Matt Damon--especially
if I got to meet him! This does not mean someone who will talk to US--it's
someone who will talk to the public and get attention.