Advocacy - Institute for Educational Advancement

IEA believes that all children deserve to learn something new every day, including gifted students.

Currently, nearly half of all public schools in America spend no money on supporting the gifted population, while countries like China and India have invested millions of dollars in gifted and talented children. This leaves many gifted students across the country with little access to resources that challenge and engage them to learn. These children are our future engineers, planners, doctors, scientists, and leaders. We must nurture these students and support their skills and talents, or our nation will fall behind in the global economy.

IEA has advocated for gifted students on the local and national level for nearly 20 years. We work to dispel harmful myths about giftedness, educate parents and teachers on the traits of these students, and support adequate funding to meet their essential needs. Read on to learn more about all of the public policy initiatives pursued by IEA. 

Poll: Public Attitudes Towards Gifted Education

Recently, we commissioned the first-ever national survey assessing the American public’s views on gifted education. The results indicate that the public recognizes that this population is often underserved. We are working on additional initiatives to inform and create change. We invite you to view and share our interactive poll report website, the full poll report and poll summary below: 

Public Attitudes Towards Gifted Education Interactive Website

Download the Full Poll Report And Summary

Download the Poll Summary

To request a hard copy of the full report please contact Morgan at

IEA’s Policy Initiative 

In 2014, the Institute for Educational Advancement (IEA) approached The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation with a proposal to fund a symposium as the first phase of a larger public policy initiative to advance programs and services for gifted youth. With the funds, IEA invited a diverse group of eleven individuals with backgrounds in business, technology, education, politics and innovation to discuss why this part of our educational system continues to fall short and what can be done to make effective change. Through our dialogue, it was clear the first step to making progress was to conduct a study determining how the American public feels about the issue. The hope was that with this information, we might better understand why gifted students are still not a priority.

In the fall of 2016, IEA commissioned Benenson Strategy Group and the Winston Group to conduct the first national poll surveying American voters about their perceptions of gifted education in the United States. This information is designed to equip advocates with the tools to communicate more effectively with their elected officials, school boards, and communities.

In September 2017, IEA gathered gifted education leaders from across the country in Pasadena to discuss the next steps in advocating for a policy solution supporting gifted learners. The gathering included a presentation of the results from the first-ever voter poll about gifted learners, commissioned by IEA, roundtable discussions and a conversation on how organizations can work together to advocate for our nation’s gifted students. The gathering included leaders from IEA, Gifted Support Center, Johns Hopkins University & Center for Talented Youth, Math Academy, the National Association for Gifted Children, the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, University of California Berkeley, the University of Southern California and Untapped Potential Project.

Get Involved

Now, more than ever, gifted students need your support. Advocacy is essential to achieving lasting improvements for gifted education in our public school system. Please assist us in advocating on their behalf by contacting your elected officials and voicing your commitment to ensuring that all students are given the opportunity and resources to be challenged. Even gifted kids.

contact your elected officials
resources for speaking with your representatives
join your state gifted organization

Additionally, you can find more resources in our Gifted Resource Center.

Additional Research

Accelerate Illinois

The Institute for Educational Advancement is proud to endorse Accelerate Illinois. Data demonstrates that acceleration is an extremely cost effective and successful tool for supporting gifted children academically, socially, and emotionally. This report advocates for a state wide acceleration policy in Illinois. It is our hope that this research will spur policy change in states throughout the nation.

read the full report

Is There a Gifted Gap? Gifted Education in High-Poverty Schools

The Thomas B. Fordham Institute has published a report on the “gifted gap” in high-poverty schools. The report details the results of an extensive national study on gifted programs in low and high poverty schools, including participation rates of minority students. It also includes suggestions for closing this gap so more gifted students receive needed services.

read the full report

EQUAL TALENTS, UNEQUAL OPPORTUNITIES: A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students

The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation published a report examining and grading each state’s support for gifted low-income students. The document shares several recommendations that can be implemented to better serve these students. 

read the full report