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Common Core State Standards: Resources for Gifted Education 

Below is a compilation of resources in key areas to assist university personnel, administrators, and coordinators of gifted programs at state and local levels in implementing the new Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for gifted learners.In addition, the new NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Programming Standards should be used as a tool to understand the elements that a differentiated curriculum for the gifted learner would include.  For university personnel, it would be helpful to review the gifted education teacher preparation standards to see the extent to which there is alignment to the new CCSS. 

Below is a sampling of resources that might be considered in implementing the CCSS with gifted students.


Assessments for measuring the progress of gifted and talented students may be found in the NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 Gifted Education Programming Standards: A Guide to Planning and Implementing High-Quality Services (Johnsen, 2012).  Sulak and Johnsen (2012) describe informal assessments that might be available without charge and used informally in assessing student outcomes in creativity, critical thinking, curriculum, interests, learning and motivation, and social/emotional areas. They also have identified specific product and performance assessments and other assessments that might be useful in program planning and evaluation. While many of the assessments do not have technical information, 23 do provide either reliability or validity information.

Johnsen, S. K. (Ed.). (2012).  NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 gifted education programming standards:  A guide to planning and implementing high-quality services.  Waco, TX:  Prufrock Press.

Sulak, T. N., & Johnsen, S. K. (2012).  Assessments for measuring student outcomes.  In S. K. Johnsen (2012).  NAGC Pre-K-Grade 12 gifted education programming standards:  A guide to planning and implementing high-quality services (pp. 283-306).  Waco, TX:  Prufrock Press.

The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) is 24-state consortium that has been formed to develop a common assessment system to measure the CCSS.  To learn more about their work and the progress of their assessment development, visit

Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium is a state-led consortium working to develop assessments that are aligned to the CCSS. The web-based resources includes the alignment of the Common Core to International Baccalaureate, the Texas College Career Readiness Standards, depth of knowledge and breadth of coverage within a domain.  To learn more about the consortium, alignments with other standards, and their progress on developing assessments for the standards, visit and

Information regarding standardized achievement tests may be found in Identifying Gifted Students:  A Practical Guide (Robins & Jolly, 2011).  In their chapter, Robins and Jolly provide a list of 28 instruments that are frequently used in the identification of gifted students and their technical qualities.  Since many of these assessments are also used to identify students who are above grade level in specific academic areas, they would be appropriate for measuring a gifted student’s academic progress.

Robins, J. A., & Jolly, J. L. (2011).  Technical information regarding assessment.  In S. K. Johnsen (Ed.), Identifying gifted students: A practical guide (2nd ed., pp. 75-188).  Waco, TX: Prufrock Press.

Curriculum and Instructional Strategies

Carnegie Mellon Institute for Talented Elementary and Secondary Students (C-MITES) offers resources/links to curriculum in mathematics, science, technology, engineering, language arts, and social studies.  For more information, visit

The Center for Gifted Education at the College of William & Mary have designed curricular units in the areas of Mathematics, Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies that are based on the three dimensions of the Integrated Curriculum Model:  advanced content, higher level processes and products, and interdisciplinary concepts, issues and themes.  The materials emphasize a sophistication of ideas, opportunities for extensions, the use of higher order thinking skills, and opportunities for student exploration based on interest.  Specific teaching strategies are also described on the website including literature webs, the hamburger model for persuasive writing, vocabulary web, the use of Paul’s Elements of Reasoning, analyzing primary sources, and a research model for students.  For more information about the units, visit the Center for Gifted Education at 

The Davidson Institute for Talent Development offers links to resources in mathematics, language arts, science, social studies, arts and culture, and related domains.  It also provides links to information about educational options such as ability grouping, acceleration, enrichment programs, competitions, and other services.  To explore these resources, visit

The Illinois State Board of Education provides educator resources, which include progressions in Mathematics, lesson examples, and links to other resources.  To access these resources, visit

Indiana Department of Education has developed presentations on the CCSS, which includes “Using the Common Core Standards to Deliver High Ability Curriculum.”  To access this presentation and others related to the CCSS, visit

The Maine Department of Education provides resources for implementing the CCSS for Language Arts, which includes performance tasks and examples of student writing.  For implementing the CCSS for Mathematics, they have developed three modules that provide an overview, alignment with other standards, and professional development modules.  To access these resources, visit

The Neag Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development offer online resources that describe research studies and defensible practices in the field of gifted and talented education.  Some of the studies address curriculum at the high school level, the explicit teaching of thinking skills, cluster grouping, algebraic understanding, reading with young children, differentiated performance assessments, and content-based curriculum. To access the studies, visit 

Project M2 provides differentiated units in Mathematics for grades K-2 that focus on geometry or measurement at the primary level and engage students in critical and creative thinking and problem solving.  For more information regarding the project, visit the University of Connecticut at

Gifted Education Programming

A Nation Deceived:  How Schools Hold Back America’s Brightest Students.  Templeton National Report on Acceleration by Colangelo, Assouline, and Gross is a two-part report that provides research-based information about acceleration and examines current practices. To download the entire report, visit

The Colorado Department of Education provides Gifted Education Guidelines and Resources in programming for gifted and talented students that describe differentiated instruction for gifted learners (e.g., acceleration, content extension, higher order thinking skills); content options to address identified areas of strength, advanced learning plans, and acceleration tables. To retrieve the resources, visit

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