Building a Broader, More Diverse Pipeline of Advanced Learners …

Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development

Campus/Building Maps

Panel: Building a Broader, More Diverse Pipeline of Advanced Learners: Lessons From the National Working Group on Advanced Education — Nicholas Colangelo, Scott J. Peters, Jonathan Plucker, Sneha Shah-Coltrane, & April Wells with Michael J. Petrilli as moderator

Monday, May 20, 2024, 7:00 – 8:30 pm, Student Union

This session will cover recommendations for districts and states for better prioritizing the needs of traditionally underserved populations of advanced students, drawing on the work of the National Working Group on Advanced Education, convened by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. It will highlight research-proven policies and practices to advance the development of these students.

Nicholas Colangelo Picture
Nicholas Colangelo is the Director Emeritus of the Belin-Blank Center and the Dean Emeritus of the College of Education, University of Iowa. His work in the field of high ability learners has focused on counseling needs and the research basis for acceleration as a curriculum intervention. Dr. Colangelo has received a number of awards from the University of Iowa and from NAGC.


Scott Peters Picture
Scott J. Peters, Ph.D. is a Senior Research Scientist at NWEA. Prior to joining NWEA he served as a Professor of Assessment and Research Methodology at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater for 13 years. His research work focuses on educational assessment and data use, gifted and talented student identification, equity within advanced educational opportunities, and educational policy. His scholarly work has appeared in the Australian Educational Researcher, AERA Open, Teaching for High Potential, the British Journal of Educational Psychology, Exceptional Children, Gifted Child Quarterly, the Journal of Advanced Academics, Gifted and Talented International, the Journal of Career and Technical Education Research, Ed Leadership, Phi Delta Kappan, Gifted Child Today, and Pedagogies. He is the first author of Beyond Gifted Education: Designing and Implementing Advanced Academic Programs and Designing Gifted Education Programs and Services: From Purpose to Implementation, both from Prufrock Press, and the co-author (along with Jonathan Plucker) of Excellence Gaps in Education: Expanding Opportunities for Talented Students, published by Harvard Education Press.


Jonathan Plucker Picture
Jonathan Plucker is Professor of Education and Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. He is a past-president of the Society for the Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts (APA Division 10) and the National Association for Gifted Children.


Sneha Shah-Coltrane Picture
Sneha Shah-Coltrane is the Director of the Office of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education at the NC Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI). She works with public school leaders and teachers, policy-makers, families, colleges/universities, and other related advocates to ensure that the advanced learning needs of students are effectively met in the state of North Carolina. Shah-Coltrane has direct responsibility for overseeing the state implementation of Academically and/or Intellectually Gifted programs, Career and College Promise, NC’s dual enrollment program including Cooperative Innovative High Schools/Early Colleges, and NC Governor’s School. She also leads NCDPI’s efforts for AP/IB/Honors programming, Credit by Demonstrated Mastery, and other advanced learning programs. Over the last 15 years, she has led the formation of the Office of Advanced Learning and Gifted Education, consolidating all areas focused on advanced learning opportunities. As an additional role, she serves as senior policy analyst for agency-wide academic needs. Shah-Coltrane has served the public education community for over 27 years in various roles. Her path has included serving as a classroom teacher, AIG lead specialist, district leader, Associate Director of Project U-STARS~PLUS, a Javits grant with UNC-Chapel Hill, and various positions in several professional organizations, including the Early Childhood Division Chair for NAGC and CEC-TAG Board of Directors. Most recently, she has served as Past-President of the Council of State Directors of Programs for Gifted.


April Wells Picture
April Wells is the Gifted Coordinator in Illinois School District U-46, where she facilitated the redesign of the district’s gifted program. She is an educational consultant, conference presenter, and author. April serves on the Board of Directors for the National Association for Gifted Children and she was a member of the inaugural Thomas B. Fordham Institute National Working Group on Advanced Education. Her work has served as inspiration for other organizations highlighting universal screening, talent development, and the use of local norms for gifted programming. She has presented extensively at conferences. She is a national consultant and professional development provider whose message centers around the equity imperative. Her interests focus on equity pedagogy, underrepresented learners, developing gifted continuum of services, and providing instructional supports that allow students to maximize their pursuits. She received one of the 2018 Gifted Coordinator Awards from the National Association for Gifted Children. Her first book, Achieving Equity in Gifted Programming: Dismantling Barriers and Tapping Potential was published in January 2020. April is also the CEO of Well Suited Solution, LLC, a full service justice, equity, diversity, and belonging consulting firm.


Michael Petrilli Picture
Michael J. Petrilli is president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, executive editor of Education Next, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow for the Education Commission of the States. An award-winning writer, he is the author of The Diverse Schools Dilemma, editor of Education for Upward Mobility, and co-editor of How to Educate an American and Follow the Science to School. An expert on charter schools, school accountability, evidence-based practices, and trends in test scores and other student outcomes, Petrilli has published opinion pieces in the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, and Slate, and appears frequently on television and radio. Petrilli helped to create the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Innovation and Improvement and the Policy Innovators in Education Network. He serves on the advisory boards of the Association of American Educators, MDRC, and the National Association of Charter School Authorizers. He lives with his family in Bethesda, Maryland.