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November 5, 2012
Media Contact: Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
44325 Woodridge Parkway
Lansdowne, VA 20176
(703) 723-8000 x262
Lansdowne, VA – Smart, talented students from low-income families are one of this country’s most under-utilized resources. That’s one of the main conclusions of a recently released report from the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC), Unlocking Emergent Talent: Supporting High Achievement of Low-Income, High-Ability Students, funded in part by a grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The report challenges the nation to identify and develop the talents of students who are capable of high achievement regardless of socioeconomic status.
“We are experiencing an enormous but preventable talent drain in our nation,” said Dr. Lawrence Kutner, executive director of the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which provides scholarships and other programs for high-achieving, low-income youth. “Unlocking Emergent Talent highlights how education policies focused solely on proficiency miss the opportunity to raise achievement levels of high-potential, low-income students.”
The recent report, which echoes the Foundation’s 2007 Achievement Trap: How America is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students from Lower-Income Families, calls on educators and policy makers to support high expectations and high achievement from all students rather than simply “proficiency.” The authors cite the need to improve teacher training and expand access to challenging curricula and rigorous educational programs, both in and out of school.
The new report builds on the two-day National Summit on Low-Income, High-Ability Learners, which brought together 50 leading experts to explore the effects of poverty on students, identify key research gaps, and offer best practices and policy recommendations.
“The Foundation’s Young Scholars Program and our grants to like-minded organizations are reaching a small percentage of the high-ability students who have financial need,” said Emily Froimson, Vice President of Programs at the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. “In partnership with educators, funders, and organizations, like NAGC, we can achieve more for learners in this often overlooked population.”
The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation is a private, independent foundation dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Because we believe that high-potential, low-income students will excel educationally when given the resources to develop their talents, the Foundation supports exceptional students from elementary to graduate school through scholarships, grants, direct service, and knowledge creation and dissemination. Founded in 2000 by the estate of Jack Kent Cooke, the Foundation has awarded $100 million in scholarships to more than 1300 students, and $70 million in grants to organizations that support our mission. www.jkcf.org