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Release: Immediate

UI's Belin-Blank Center hosts national conference on gifted education Oct. 22-23

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A panel of nationally known scholars in the field of gifted education will be the guest speakers for a two-day conference on the education of high ability students and how K-12 schools can better respond to their needs during the first Gifted Education Policy Institute Thursday, Oct. 22 and Friday, Oct. 23 at the University of Iowa.

The First Biennial H.B. and Jocelyn Wallace National Policy Conference, sponsored by the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development in the UI College of Education, will be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 22 at the Iowa Memorial Union.

Speakers will address the current and future policies affecting gifted education in the United States.

The session will be followed on Friday, Oct. 23 with "School Reform: Policy and Curriculum Issues in Gifted Education," beginning at 8 a.m. The Friday conference, co-sponsored by the Institute for School Executives, will also feature several prominent Iowa educators and administrators discussing the role of gifted education in K-12 schools.

The sessions are open to the public, but require advanced registration. The cost is $140 to attend both days. Prices for single day attendance are available.

Sessions qualify for continuing education credits, but additional registration and a $5 fee is required.

Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center, says the two-day session is a rare opportunity for teachers, administrators, scholars and students to discuss both the latest research in gifted education and to explore how it applies to school settings.

"The presenters for the conference are some of the top people in the field of gifted education and can provide a picture of what a national policy should be," Colangelo says. "We hope to make a meaningful, substantive contribution to the ongoing discussion of how gifted education and high ability students fit into the larger education policy picture."

Invited speakers for the Wallace conference include: James Gallagher of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Peter Rosenstein of the National Association for Gifted Children, Patricia O'Connell Ross of the U.S. Department of Education; Rena Subotnik of Hunter College; and Joyce VanTassel-Baska of the College of William and Mary.

Invited speakers for the school reform conference include Gallagher and VanTassel-Baska of the Wallace conference and Robert Steele of Area Education Agency 14; Galen Johnson of Des Moines Community Schools; James Spelhaug of Pleasant Valley Community Schools; Wendy Kirkpatrick of Urbandale Community Schools; and Arlis Swartzendruber of Waterloo Community Schools.

For more information, contact the Belin-Blank Center, 210 Lindquist Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-1529; phone: (319) 335-6148 or 1-800-336-6463; fax: (319) 335-5151; or visit the website: