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University of Iowa News Release

Jan. 25, 2006

Colangelo Named Among 10 Most Influential Educators For 'A Nation Deceived'

An online publication dedicated to covering news about higher education has named University of Iowa gifted education expert Nicholas Colangelo one of 10 individuals in the country who made a difference in education last year., based in Sugar Land, Texas, has awarded the director of the UI's Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development one of its First Annual Upton Sinclair Awards for Influential Educators.

Colangelo was the only Iowan to receive the award. Other recipients included author Christina Asquith for "The Emergency Teacher," her book about the challenges faced by beginning teachers; Gerald W. Bracey, an educational researcher and writer who specializes in assessment and policy analysis and who maintains the Education Disinformation Detection and Reporting Agency website; and author Jonathan Kozol, best known for such books as 1991's "Savage Inequalities: Children in America's Schools" and 2005's "The Shame of the Nation: The Restoration of Apartheid Schooling in America."

The judges described Colangelo as a proponent of and advocate for gifted children and gifted education.

"We feel he is worthy of acknowledgement and recognition for all of his work with the report, 'A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students,'"'s editors said. "He has consistently, cogently and carefully worked for the education of gifted and talented children for many years, but his contributions in 2005 were exemplary."

First issued in September 2004 by the Belin-Blank Center, "A Nation Deceived" (co-authored with Belin-Blank Center Associate Director Susan Assouline, Ph.D., and Miraca Gross, Ph.D., a professor of gifted education at the University of New South Wales in Australia) translates the key findings of five decades of research regarding accelerated education into straightforward, bold and succinct language. A companion volume expands on those findings in 11 chapters written by leading researchers. Topics include entering school early, grade-skipping, high school challenges, Advanced Placement courses and how adults who were accelerated in school now feel about their experiences.

The report, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and endorsed by the National Association for Gifted Children, dispels many of the myths about accelerated education and argues that far more harm than good can come from holding back students, not only to the students themselves, but to society.

Word of the publication spread quickly in 2004 and 2005. The report is now in its third printing, and 36,000 paper copies have been distributed since the report came out. Additionally, more than 1.2 million users have visited the report's companion Website -- -- and downloaded more than 47,000 copies of a PDF version of the report.

"Clearly 'A Nation Deceived' resonates with many people involved in the education of academically gifted students, including parents, teachers, education administrators and lawmakers," Colangelo said. "Getting professional recognition is certainly an honor for me personally. But it's far more gratifying to know that the Belin-Blank Center is making a real difference in the lives of educators who are working to ensure that students have opportunities to reach their full intellectual potential."

Colangelo, the Myron & Jacqueline Blank Professor of Gifted Education in the UI College of Education, has directed the Belin-Blank Center since its creation in 1988. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on the counseling, and affective development, of gifted students. He is the editor (with Ronald Zaffrann) of the textbook "New Voices in Counseling the Gifted" and of "The Handbook of Gifted Education" (with Gary A. Davis, professor emeritus of educational psychology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison), the third edition of which was released in 2002.

Colangelo has served on the editorial boards of major journals, including Counseling and Development, Gifted Child Quarterly, Journal of Creative Behavior, Journal for the Education of the Gifted, and Roeper Review.

In addition to his scholarly contributions, Colangelo is one of the UI's most active researchers. During fiscal year 2004-05, he netted federal and other grants totaling more than $2 million.

In 1991, Colangelo was presented with the Distinguished Scholar Award by the National Association for Gifted Children; in 1993, he received the Distinguished Service Award from the Iowa Talented and Gifted Association; in 1995, he received the Alumni Achievement Award presented by the School of Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and in 2002 the National Association for Gifted Children gave him its President's Award for his contributions to gifted education.

In 2000, Colangelo was elected to the Iowa Academy of Education and received the State of Iowa Regents Award for Faculty Excellence.

More information about the Upton Sinclair Award is available at

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Media: Stephen Pradarelli, 319-384-0007,