The University of Iowa
The University of Iowa News Services Home News Releases UI in the News Subscribe to UI News Contact Us

University of Iowa News Release

Dec. 2, 2004

UI Gets Grant To Print More Copies Of Popular 'Nation Deceived' Report

The University of Iowa College of Education has a runaway bestseller on its hands.

"A Nation Deceived: How Schools Hold Back America's Brightest Students" is a clarion call to policymakers, educators and parents that schools are not doing enough to challenge academically precocious students and in some instances are actively preventing them from reaching their full potential.

The report, funded by the John Templeton Foundation and spearheaded by the UI's Connie Belin & Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, has struck a nerve across the country since it was unveiled Sept. 20. Nearly 25,000 print copies of the two-volume report have been ordered, and 19,581 copies have been downloaded from the report Web site at http://www.nationdeceived.org.

Additionally, the Web site has had 414,117 hits from people seeking more information about the report. The report's lead author, Belin-Blank Center Director Nicholas Colangelo, says interest is likely to grow even more, if comments made at several speaking engagements around the country are any indication.

To help keep up with the demand, the Templeton Foundation has just awarded the Belin-Blank Center $100,000 to print 20,000 more copies of the report. The Templeton Foundation's initial study grant of $205,000 included money for a first printing of just 6,000 copies. But when the Belin-Blank Center realized how much demand there would be for the report, the foundation awarded a supplemental grant of $56,800 for 7,000 more copies -- for an initial run of 13,000 copies.

"These are pretty impressive figures in such a short time," Colangelo said, adding that the report has only been out 10 weeks. "Clearly many people believe something has to be done to make sure that students ready for greater challenges are given the opportunity to fully realize their potential. And as this report shows, it takes little to no additional resources to do this. The alternative is to allow students to become bored, restless and frustrated."

"A Nation Deceived" is one of the most comprehensive syntheses to date of research on academic acceleration, a term that covers such practices as grade-skipping, early entrance to college, single-subject acceleration and Advanced Placement (AP) courses. Endorsed by the National Association for Gifted Children, the report is being made available at no charge to schools, parents and media across the country.

The report is co-authored by 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. It includes contributions from some of the country's top researchers and practitioners in the area of academic acceleration, including Linda E. Brody and Julian C. Stanley of Johns Hopkins University, Ann E. Lupkowski-Shoplik of Carnegie Mellon University, David Lubinski of Vanderbilt University and James A. Kulik of the University of Michigan.

The first volume of the report translates the key findings of five decades of research into straightforward, bold and succinct language, while the second expands on these findings in 11 chapters written by leading researchers. Topics include entering school early, grade-skipping, high school challenges, AP courses and how adults who were accelerated in school now feel about their experiences.

The study 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. It points out that those who benefited from accelerated education include Nobel Peace Prize recipient Martin Luther King Jr., who graduated from high school at 15; author, sociologist and civil rights leader W.E.B. Dubois, who grade-skipped and graduated from high school at 16; writer Eudora Welty; poet T.S. Eliot; Joshua Lederberg, an expert in the fields of medicine and physiology and the youngest recipient of the Nobel Prize; scientists James Watson and Charles Townes; and Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who graduated from high school at 16.

The report has garnered a great deal of media coverage and was a central focus of a larger report on accelerated education by Time magazine recently. Articles have also appeared in Education Week, The New York Times, the Charleston Post and Courier, the Buffalo News in New York and many other media outlets.

Colangelo has also discussed the report at keynote talks around Iowa and in various other states, including South Carolina, Arkansas, Ohio and Florida. He also spoke at the National Association for Gifted Children's national conference in Salt Lake City last month.

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, stephen-pradarelli@uiowa.edu.