Article

Money over Merit? Socioeconomic Gaps in Receipt of Gifted Services

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Abstract

In this essay, Jason A. Grissom, Christopher Redding, and Joshua F. Bleiberg investigate the receipt of gifted services based on the socioeconomic status (SES) of elementary school students and their families. Using nationally representative longitudinal data, they show that gaps in the receipt of gifted services between the highest and lowest SES students are profound, and these gaps remain substantial even after taking into account students' achievement levels and other background factors and using school fxed effects to explain school sorting. The authors discuss several potential approaches schools and districts can use to ameliorate the apparent disadvantages students from low-SES families experience in processes surrounding receipt of gifted services.

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... Considering how exposure to accelerated coursework may be the source of academic achievement benefits associated with gifted identification and how participation in integrated classes can contribute to student wellbeing in myriad ways, it leads to questions 62 For a summary of this literature, see Burris (2019) 61 Dobbie & Fryer (2013) 60 Hamilton et al. (2018) 59 Crabtree et al. (2019) 58 Grissom et al. (2019) 57 Consistent with national survey findings in Callahan et al. (2017) about how beneficial it actually is for students to receive gifted services in isolation from their peers. Furthermore, restricting access to accelerated elementary coursework to only a select few students may prove disruptive in promoting access into the advanced coursework pipeline, as explored in the following section. ...
... Parents also recognized that their child may be the only student of color in gifted classrooms that are traditionally not very racially diverse. Conversely, the Grissom et al. (2019) observed how middle-and upper-class parents tend to be more likely to participate in school activities, partially because of having fewer time constraints related to having basic needs met, but also because their cultural and racial experiences are more likely to align with that of the school. ...
... The VDOE gifted regulations also call for "identification and placement committees" at the division or school level for determining student eligibility for gifted and talented programs. 155 Grissom et al. (2019) 154 Peters & Engerrand (2016, p. 164) 153 Peters & Engerrand (2016) 152 Peters & Engerrand (2016) Card & Giuliano (2015); Rowe (2017) 149 Lidz (1991); Lidz & Macrineb (2001) The purpose of the committee is to "review pertinent information, records, and other 156 performance evidence for referred students." The regulations indicate that these 157 committees shall include teachers, administrators, assessment specialists, gifted program staff, and other professionals with experience in gifted education. ...
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Giftedness as a construct continues to be contested in academia, in the classroom and around kitchen tables. It means different things to different communities and, as a result, acquiring the "gifted" label looks different around the country. Once labeled, student giftedness produces different responses depending on state and district guidelines. A constant among the patchwork of defining, identifying and responding to student giftedness, though, is a serious racial and economic disparity in who is considered gifted and who is not. This report provides key takeaways from research literature on gifted and talented (GT) programs. It is organized according to five questions: 1) What does it mean to be "gifted?" 2) Who receives gifted services? 3) Why does this mater? 4) What factors contribute to disparities in gifted services? and 5) What strategies help to address disparities in gifted education?
... While there is a federal definition of giftedness outlined in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) that focuses on students demonstrating "evidence of high achievement capability" in a variety of domains, there is no universal definition of what it means to be "gifted" (Parr & Stevens, 2019). This means that giftedness is often defined at the state and division level (Callahan et al., 2017), which also means that there is often considerable variability in how it is determined (Grissom et al., 2019). Often, giftedness is assessed through students scoring in the 95th percentile or above on standardized measures of achievement (Crabtree et al., 2019). ...
... Identification for gifted programs is often based on standardized test performance, which have often been shown to be culturally biased (Grissom et al., 2017). Furthermore, if a school does not provide universal testing for its students for the purposes of gifted identification, testing may be more likely to occur privately by higher SES parents who are willing to request it, even repeatedly, through child psychologists (Grissom et al., 2019). • Tracking. ...
... Educators often serve as gatekeeping mechanisms for gifted programs by recommending students to participate (Callahan et al., 2017). While identification may also be based on more seemingly objective measures like standardized testing, requesting subjective recommendations from educators may contribute to the potential for bias in who gets identified (Grissom et al., 2019). • School resource differences. ...
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MERC is developing a literature brief on gifted services in elementary school as a part of our Equitable Access and Support for Advanced Coursework Study. The brief will be published in the fall of 2020. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the research that help answer the question, “who receives gifted services in elementary school?” Writing Team: David Naff, PhD (MERC/VCU SOE), Amy Jefferson (VCU SOE), Genevieve Siegel-Hawley, PhD (VCU SOE), Michael Schad, PhD (VCU Alt Lab), Zoey Lu (VCU SOE), Kathryn Haines (Chesterfield), Morgan Saxby (Chesterfield)
... Many taken-for-granted school practices operate as what we call status-reinforcing processes. These include tracking, ability grouping, gifted programming, and standardized testing (Barlow and Dunbar 2010;Gamoran and Mare 1989;Grissom, Redding, and Bleiberg 2019;Grodsky, Warren, and Felts 2008;Horn 2018;Joensen and Nielsen 2009;Knoester and Au 2017;Kohn 2000;Lewis and Diamond 2015;Oakes 1982;Rist 1970;Rose and Betts 2004;Sacks 1997;Staiger 2004;Tyson 2011). ...
... In the U.S., despite known limitations of standardized tests (Becker 1972), mathematics performance is seen as a core indicator of students' aptitude (Stevenson and Stigler 1994;Uttal 1997). U.S. schools thus use students' math grades and test scores to determine ability-group, gifted program, and track placements from a very early age (Gamoran and Mare 1989;Grissom et al. 2019;Lewis and Diamond 2015;Oakes 2005;Oakes et al. 1990;Tyson 2011). Ability grouping and tracking influence students' math confidence and anxiety (Boaler 2002;Horn 2008) and their course-taking trajectories (Battey and Leyva 2016;Long, Conger, and Iatarola 2012;Muller et al. 2010;Planty, Provasnik, and Daniel 2007). ...
... Taken-for-granted practices in education serve as status-reinforcing processes when they amplify and then justify the inequitable treatment of students from different status groups. Tracking, ability grouping, gifted programming and standardized testing are key examples of such practices (Grissom et al. 2019;Grodsky et al. 2008;Horn 2018;Joensen and Nielsen 2009;Knoester and Au 2017;Kohn 2000;Lewis and Diamond 2015;Oakes 1982;Rist 1970;Rose and Betts 2004;Sacks 1997;Tyson 2011). In this paper, we reveal that homework practices can also operate as status-reinforcing processes. ...
Preprint
Practices like ability grouping, tracking, and standardized testing operate as status-reinforcing processes-amplifying then naturalizing unequal student outcomes. Using a longitudinal, ethnographic study following students from elementary to middle school, we examine whether math homework can operate similarly. Because of inequalities in families' resources for supporting homework, higher-SES students' homework was more consistently complete and correct than lower-SES students' homework. Teachers acknowledged these unequal homework production contexts. Yet, official policies treated homework as an individual endeavor, leading teachers to interpret and respond to homework in status-reinforcing ways. Students with consistently correct and complete homework were seen as responsible, capable, and motivated and rewarded with praise and opportunities. Other students were seen as irresponsible, incapable, and unmotivated; they were punished and docked points. These practices were status-enhancing for higher-SES students and status-degrading for lower-SES students. We discuss implications for homework policies, parent involvement, and interpretations of inequalities in school. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
... However, two challenges have plagued GT education since its inception and made it difficult to achieve this goal. First, gifted programs have been dominated by students from white, Asian American, and upper-income backgrounds (Grissom, Redding, & Bleiberg, 2019;Peters et al., 2019), and this disparity has persisted despite years of debate about how it should be addressed. Second, there is conflicting evidence about the outcomes of gifted programs. ...
... To some degree, both of these issues can be traced to the selection process for gifted programs. For example, the low proportion of Black students in these programs can be attributed, at least in part, to poorly designed approaches to determining which students will receive services, such as when school leaders rely on referrals from teachers and parents (Grissom, Redding, & Bleiberg, 2019;McBee, Peters, & Miller, 2016). For that matter, even a seemingly "objective" selection process can favor students who aren't likely to benefit from the program, while excluding those who would. ...
Article
In the 21st century, what does a defensible, equitable model of gifted and talented student identification look like? For too long, gifted education’s reason for being has been unclear, and the students it has served have been from too narrow a segment of the student population. With renewed attention to equity and personalized learning, gifted education should exist as one pathway through which students can have their needs met. Scott Peters, James Carter, and Jonathan Plucker outline several best practices in identifying gifted and talented students that, if implemented, would better align with the goal of gifted education, while also improving equity.
... This point means that parents with the cultural capital to advocate for their child's identification are more likely to have a student who is identified as gifted. The myriad ways that parents are able to insert themselves into the identification process may help explain the substantial SES differences in identification rates documented by Grissom et al. (2019). Card and Giuliano (2016) found that a system in which all students are screened or considered for gifted identification-thereby removing parental advocacy as a component in the gifted process-is far more equitable. ...
Article
K–12 gifted and talented programs have struggled with racial, ethnic, socioeconomic, native language, and disability inequity since their inception. This inequity has been well documented in public schools since at least the 1970s and has been stubbornly persistent despite receiving substantial attention at conferences, in scholarly journals, and in K–12 schools. The purpose of this article is to outline why such inequity exists and why common efforts to combat it have been unsuccessful. In the end, poorly designed identification systems combined with larger issues of societal inequality and systemic, institutionalized racism are the most likely culprits. I end the article with a hierarchy of actions that could be taken—from low-hanging fruit to major societal changes—in order to combat inequity in gifted education and move the field forward.
... In a follow-up analysis, Grissom et al. (2019) investigated the effects of socioeconomic status (SES) and the intersection of SES and other studentand school-level factors on probability of identification. The effect of higher SES was profound but also unequal in its benefits. ...
... Peters (2021) highlights a variety of systemic reasons traditional gifted identification processes may fail to equitably identify traditionally underrepresented students; however, at the core of Peter's argument is a defense of the gifted and talented label. Common criticisms of gifted education include that it promotes fixed labels attached to opaque instructional practices or services that provide greater advantages to a privileged few (Grissom et al., 2019). The gifted label also attracts stereotypes and misconceptions relative to student behaviors and services. ...
... Gifted and talented education (GATE) exemplifies racial and economic hierarchies that exist in our society, with historically marginalized (HM) students significantly less likely to be identified as gifted, and subsequently receiving gifted services, than their peers (Grissom et al., 2019). Peters (2021) advanced the dialogue around inequities by attempting to not only highlight their existence but to also offer insights into the barriers to overcoming inequity. ...
... The disproportionality in the ethnic-racial and socioeconomic make-up of students in gifted and talented education (GATE) programs has been identified by many scholars as the most critical and the most intractable issue facing the field of gifted education (e.g., Grissom & Redding, 2016;Olszewski-Kubilius & Steenbergen-Hu, 2017;Plucker & Peters, 2016;Worrell & Dixson, 2018). Considered a fundamental equity issue by many (e.g., Peters & Engerrand, 2016)-that is, an issue of fairness-there is a growing body of scholarship on what should be done (Ford, 1998;Grissom et al., 2019). However, despite the efforts of many researchers and educators (e.g., Horn, 2015;Lee et al., 2009), this disproportionality has not been remedied (Peters, Gentry, et al., 2019), and indeed, the problem is perceived as more urgent in the sociohistorical context of 2021, with the increased focus on civil rights and social justice. ...
... Current literature on gifted identification urges educators to apply multiple criteria to identify students for gifted programs (Acar et al., 2016;McBee et al., 2016), but how those multiple criteria are used also is of great importance Peters et al., 2020). Given the representation discrepancy in gifted identification by race (Grissom & Redding, 2016), English-language learner status and socioeconomic status (Grissom et al., 2019;Peters et al., 2019), strategies such as universal screening and universal consideration (McBee et al., 2016), the use of local norms (Peters et al., 2019), and the use of alternative assessment (Silverman & Gilman, 2020) seem to have the potential to improve the representational fairness of the identification process. ...
Article
In this study, we applied different text-mining methods to the originality scoring of the Unusual Uses Test (UUT) and Just Suppose Test (JST) from the Torrance Tests of Creative Thinking (TTCT)–Verbal. Responses from 102 and 123 participants who completed Form A and Form B, respectively, were scored using three different text-mining methods. The validity of these scoring methods was tested against TTCT’s manual-based scoring and a subjective snapshot scoring method. Results indicated that text-mining systems are applicable to both UUT and JST items across both forms and students’ performance on those items can predict total originality and creativity scores across all six tasks in the TTCT-Verbal. Comparatively, the text-mining methods worked better for UUT than JST. Of the three text-mining models we tested, the Global Vectors for Word Representation (GLoVe) model produced the most reliable and valid scores. These findings indicate that creativity assessment can be done quickly and at a lower cost using text-mining approaches.
... Finally, average school SES has been shown to predict achievement (Grissom, Redding, & Bleiberg, 2019). As a proxy for average school SES, we also included average school free or reduced lunch rate (FRL) as a control variable. ...
Article
Background: Students vary in their initial achievement when they enter school and their rate of academic growth as they move through school. These differences have implications for classroom instruction and educational policy. Although previous research has examined initial achievement and growth differences, a gap remains in understanding how initial level of achievement interacts with subsequent growth as children move through school. Aim: Using Vygotsky's zone of proximal development (ZPD) and return on investment as theoretical grounding, this registered report examined how students' initial academic performance relative to their school predicts their subsequent academic achievement. The stage 1 accepted registered report is available at https://osf.io/9zmak/. Specifically, we tracked the achievement of a cohort of students who started at or above their school's mean at the beginning of third grade and tested a range of hypotheses regarding their achievement and growth as well as which students showed the greatest gains from their time in school. Sample: Using a large database of student academic achievement in the United States, this registered report included de-identified data from all students from fall 2014 to spring 2017 in grades three through five from the ten US states with the highest participation for the Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress (MAP®) - a computer adaptive test of academic achievement in mathematics and reading. Because the MAP is taken at least twice per school year, up to six scores were included on mathematics and reading achievement for effective samples of approximately 220,000 students. Method: We built separate reading and mathematics three-level piecewise longitudinal hierarchical linear models (student repeated measures, nested within students, nested within schools) to model student growth from the beginning of third grade to the end of fifth grade (i.e., three academic years and two summers). Results: For both mathematics and reading, average student achievement growth slowed as they progressed from third through fifth grade. From there, the findings diverged. In mathematics, student growth was mostly similar across achievement levels and grades from third through fifth. However, in reading, above-average students demonstrated slower growth than average students during the school year but faster growth during the summer. Also of note, at the beginning of third grade, the highest achieving students outscored average students in their school by more than 2 years in mathematics and 3 years in reading. Conclusions: Our results may be able to be explained via a ZPD model, which posits development only occurs when students are placed in appropriately challenging environments. In mathematics, the observed pattern of relatively consistent growth across achievement levels suggests average students were just as likely to be in their ZPD as higher achieving students. In reading, as initial achievement increased, student reading growth slowed, which suggests the higher the initial achievement, the less likely students were to be in their ZPD. If a goal of education is for students to learn new things, our results suggest existing school offerings in reading are not meeting that goal equitably for students across the performance spectrum. Differential growth patterns should be considered when designing learning experiences for students who enter with a wide range of prior mastery.
... The highest income group produces 47% of those identified as gifted, and the lowest income group produces 9% of the students identified as being gifted and talented (Hodgkinson, 2006). Grissom et al. (2019) used a nationally representative data set to show that SES differences persisted even controlling for academic achievement among those in the same schools. Multiple ideas have been provided for why poverty has a strong impact on gifted and talented student identification including (a) limited access to resources to build foundational skills, (b) victim-blaming or identifying a culture of poverty in which poor students and families are seen as at fault for their poverty and lack of achievement, (c) overrepresentation of poor children in special education caused by higher rates of disability and poorer health care, and (d) the social and cultural context of the child and school (Burney & Beilke, 2008). ...
Article
We analyzed data from a large-scale ( N = 39,213), longitudinal study of urban students to assess child factors (gender, ethnicity, English language learner status, school readiness skills, type of pre-K attended, early elementary school academic performance) prospectively associated with eventual gifted identification in elementary school. Overall, 14.2% of students were identified as gifted in K-5th grade, with the majority identified by second grade. Multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that White and Latino students were more likely to be identified as gifted than Black students, even controlling for poverty and early academic performance. English language learners, boys, and those who attended public school pre-K programs were more likely to be identified controlling for other factors. School readiness assessments were also useful for predicting giftedness.
... Grissom et al. (2019) 129 Burney (2010); Theokas & Saaris (2013); Vansciver (2006) 128 Lewis & Sekaquaptewa (2016); ...
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This report from the Metropolitan Educational Research Consortium (MERC) explores research related to Advanced Placement (AP) courses through an equity lens. It answers five questions: 1) What are AP classes? 2) Who enrolls and succeeds in AP classes? 3) Why do disparities in AP matter? 4) What factors contribute to disparities in AP participation and performance? 5) What policies and practices help to address disparities in AP access, enrollment, and performance? The report comes from the MERC Equitable Access and Support for Advanced Coursework study.
... Carman and Taylor (2010) controlled for SES using eligibility for federal meal subsidy as a proxy to examine identification rates for gifted services for students identified using the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT; Naglieri & Ford, 2003). On a national scale, Grissom et al. (2019) examined the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Cohort (ECLS-K): 1998 and found that students from high SES households had significant advantages in being identified for gifted services compared with their peers from low SES households within the same school. Using nationally representative data sets to examine access to gifted education can be misleading, though, as state policies regarding gifted education vary greatly across the United States (Peters et al., 2019). ...
Article
Proportional identification of students for gifted services in Florida school districts is an important goal. A multi-level model was used to analyze school district data from the Florida Department of Education from the 2011–2016 academic years. Results from the study indicate that the likelihood of identification of students varied by their socioeconomic status. Students who were Black were 59% more likely to be identified for gifted services if they participated in federal meal subsidy programs. However, the likelihood of identification for students who are Latinx or Native American decreased by 47% and 38%, respectively, when compared with peers who did not participate in federal meal subsidy programs.
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The Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) is said to be a culturally neutral measure of ability that assesses both majority and minority students equally. Although research has examined the effects of ethnicity and gender on NNAT performance, little published research has examined the relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and NNAT performance. Correlations and multiple regression were used to examine the relationships between ethnicity, SES, and NNAT performance in a large kindergarten sample. The results suggest a significant relationship between ethnicity, SES, and NNAT performance. Even after adjusting for ethnic differences, children from low-SES families were half as likely as other children to be identified. Putting the Research to Use Does the NNAT really identify students with low-SES backgrounds at the same rate as students from average to high SES backgrounds? Although many believe using a nonverbal test levels the field for all students, the research we present does not support this belief. In this sample, students from average to high SES families were twice as likely to be identified than those from low-SES families. Since nonverbal tests are one of the most used methods of screening for G/T in our schools, if districts wish to continue to use the NNAT, it should not be as a solo measure of ability, but rather as part of a multiple measure process. In addition, districts using the NNAT should calculate the differential of any particular test administration on the basis of gender, ethnicity, SES or other variables to determine if any adjustments need to be made to ensure that elusive level playing field.
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Cambridge Core - Sociolinguistics - Ways with Words - by Shirley Brice Heath
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Class does make a difference in the lives and futures of American children. Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families, Unequal Childhoods explores this fact, offering a picture of childhood today. Here are the frenetic families managing their children's hectic schedules of "leisure" activities; and here are families with plenty of time but little economic security. Lareau shows how middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of "concerted cultivation" designed to draw out children's talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely on "the accomplishment of natural growth," in which a child's development unfolds spontaneously—as long as basic comfort, food, and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings its own benefits and its own drawbacks. In identifying and analyzing differences between the two, Lareau demonstrates the power, and limits, of social class in shaping the lives of America's children. The first edition of Unequal Childhoods was an instant classic, portraying in riveting detail the unexpected ways in which social class influences parenting in white and African American families. A decade later, Annette Lareau has revisited the same families and interviewed the original subjects to examine the impact of social class in the transition to adulthood.
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Many gifted education experts have found that Black, Hispanic, and Native American students are less likely to be identified for gifted programs than Asian American and White students. A study was conducted to ascertain the degree of underrepresentation of these groups in gifted programs in Utah. Using state-collected data from 14,781 students in six representative school districts in Utah, it was found through multiple logistic regression analysis that there was no statistically significant difference in the likelihoods that Black, Hispanic, or Native American students and White students would be identified as gifted; Asian American and Pacific Islander students were more likely to be identified as gifted than White students. After controlling for academic achievement and SES, it was found that all diverse demographic groups of students were more likely to be identified as gifted than White students, although the differences did not reach statistical significance for multiracial or Native American students. Further research into the nature and causes of disproportionate representation in gifted programs is suggested.
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Policymakers must assess the status of information on which they base their decisions. This article presents a meta-analysis of studies of the effects of special, homogeneous classes versus regular, heterogeneous classes on achievement and nonachievement outcomes of gifted students. The principal findings indicated that the gifted students in special classes achieved more than their gifted counterparts in regular classes. There were no differences in measures of self-concept, but the gifted students in regular classes had more positive attitudes toward peers. The magnitude of the effects were questionable, however, because of the methodological weakness of matching procedures employed to define the students in special and regular classes. The effect sizes were influenced largely by the number of variables used to match the gifted students in the two classroom frameworks. Larger effect sizes were associated with studies that used few variables to match the students in the special and regular classes.
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Although family life has an important impact on children's chances in life, the mechanisms through which parents transmit advantages are imperfectly understood. An ethnographic data set of white and black children around 10 years old shows the effects of social class on interactions at home. Middle-class parents engage in concerted cultivation by attempting to foster children's talents through organized leisure activities and extensive reasoning. Working-class and poor parents engage in the accomplishment of natural growth, providing the conditions under which children can grow, but leaving leisure activities to children themselves. These parents also use commands rather than reasoning. Middle-class children, both white and black, gain an emerging sense of entitlement from their family life. Race had much less impact than social class. Also, differences in a cultural logic of raising children gave parents and their children differential resources to draw on in their interactions with professionals from dominant classes and other adults outside home. Middle-class children gained individually insignificant but cumulatively important advantages. Working-class and poor children did not display the same sense of entitlement or advantages. Some areas of family life appeared immune from the effects of social class, however.
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In this article I seek to answer the question, ''When are racial disparities in education the result of racial discrimination?'' To answer it I synthesize the social science research on racially correlated disparities in education. My review draws from the sociology, anthropology, political science, psychology, history, and education literatures. I organize explanations into six categories: biological determinism, social structure, school organization and opportunities to learn, family background, culture, and the state. I arrive at three answers. The first is a definition: Racial discrimination in education arises from actions of institutions or individual state actors, their attitudes and ideologies, or processes that systematically treat students from different racial/ethnic groups disparately or inequitably. The second answer is that while distinguishing racial discrimination from disparities may be an interesting intellectual, legal, and statistical challenge, the conclusion probably is less meaningful than social scientists and policy makers might hope. The third answer follows from the first two. I propose the following reformulation of the original question: ''When are racial disparities in education not due to discrimination?'' I argue that the reformulated question is more likely to bring solutions to the race gap than the original one. Even if we conclude that discrimination does not cause racial disparities in education, we should not conclude that schools have no role in addressing them. If public schools do not address educational disparities, then who or what institution will?
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A dataset containing demographic information, gifted nomination status, and gifted identification status for all elementary school students in the state of Georgia (N = 705,074) was examined. The results indicated that automatic and teacher referrals were much more valuable than other referral sources. Asian and White students were much more likely to be nominated than Black or Hispanic students. Students receiving free or reduced-price lunches were much less likely to be nominated than students paying for their own lunches. The results suggest that inequalities in nomination, rather than assessment, may be the primary source of the underrepresentation of minority and low-SES students in gifted programs.
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This article discusses five reconsiderations (lessons) the research on the education of the gifted and talented suggests. Although several of the considerations derive from traditional practice in the field, some reconsideration is warranted because of more currently researched differences in how the gifted learner intellectually functions. It is argued that thinking of the gifted learner as idiosyncratic, not necessarily one of many classified as “the gifted,” requires a reconceptualization of how to appropriately and fully serve this unique learner. The research synthesized here covers the period from 1861 to present and represents the entire body of published research studies and representative literature (theory, program descriptions, and persuasive essays). Implications for service development and implementation are also discussed.
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This project was a 2-year investigation of elementary school children placed in programs for high-ability learners. The primary purpose of the study was to investigate academic and affective changes in students during their first 2 years in a gifted program. Students were assessed during the fall of one year and the spring of the next year. Subjects were from 14 different school districts in 10 states and included African American and Caucasian/ non-Hispanic students. The study compared students enrolled in gifted programs (special school, separate class, pull-out, within-class), high-achieving students from districts in which no program was available at the designated grade levels, and nongifted students in regular classrooms. This project focused on academic and affective student outcomes through multiple administrations of an achievement test, a self-perception survey, and a motivation inventory. In addition to comparing programs in general, an important dimension of the project was to examine characteristics of students from traditionally underserved populations. This was accomplished by including the variables of racial/ ethnic status and the social status of participants. Results revealed that there were differences in cognitive and affective outcomes across program types. Therefore, it is strongly advised that educators conduct ongoing evaluations of their programs to be better able to monitor and address all students' needs.
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Fifty college students were interviewed about their prior experiences in gifted programs and their perspectives on the impact of these experiences on their lives. Interview questions probed the types of experiences they remembered, including the types of instruction they had, their relations with peers, and their views about how their experiences in gifted programs affected other parts of their lives. Data were analyzed qualitatively with additional topics and themes emerging. In this paper, the author shares their voices and discusses the implications of their reports.
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This article presents results from a meta-analysis of findings on the effects of accelerated instruction on elementary and secondary school students. The data for the meta-analysis came from 26 controlled studies. The analysis showed that examination performance of accelerates surpassed by nearly one grade level the performance of nonaccelerates of equivalent age and intelligence. Examination scores of accelerates were equivalent to those of same-grade but older, talented nonaccelerates. Nonintellective outcomes were investigated relatively infrequently in the 26 studies and were not consistent from study to study.
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This paper discusses the rationale for developing performance assessment tasks to augment the identification of more economically disadvantaged and minority students for gifted programs in one state; provides a blue-print for the development protocol, including preteaching, rubrics, and exemplars; and shows major findings for use of the protocol with intended students. The performance assessment tasks were developed and revised based on try-out, pilot, and field test data collected across multiple districts with more than 4,000 students at primary and intermediate grades. Appropriate technical adequacy data were used for decision making on task and rubric revisions. Criterion levels of performance within domains were developed to ensure inclusion of populations of interest without compromising the integrity of the task protocols. The performance assessment tasks of Project STAR resulted in finding an additional group of students who were 12% African American and 14(Y) low-income children dunng the field test of the instrument. These students represent those who would not have qualified for gifted programs using traditional measures. In that sense, the assessment approach yields a “value-added” component to the state identification system. Thus, Project STAR provides an effective and innovative approach to finding more low-SES and minority gifted students for programs.
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Gifted and talented education programs provide children who have been identified as having high ability in some intellectual or creative characteristic with a supplemental curriculum to their traditional coursework. Despite the popularity of these programs, the literature lacks a comprehensive review of gifted education in the United States. This policy brief aims to fill this void by providing national and state-level statistics on participation rates, funding appropriations, and policies on gifted education. Since many of the operational details of these programs are determined by local education agencies, data on a nationally representative sample of schools are then used to provide information on gifted curricula, instructor training and experience, and the selection process for admission. Finally, a review of the research on gifted education is provided. This research highlights that gifted programs vary widely and that further research on this topic can provide valuable information to policy makers and educators. © 2011 Association for Education Finance and Policy
Article
This paper summarizes a qualitative study of family-school relationships in white working-class and middle-class communities. The results indicate that schools have standardized views of the proper role of parents in schooling. Moreover, social class provides parents with unequal resources to comply with teachers' requests for parental participation. Characteristics of family life (e.g., social networks) also intervene and mediate family-school relationships. The social and cultural elements of family life that facilitate compliance with teachers' requests can be viewed as a form of cultural capital. The study suggests that the concept of cultural capital can be used fruitfully to understand social class differences in children's school experiences.
Article
Words) Students with exceptional academic potential who come from low-income families are frequently not identified for and consequently are underrepresented in gifted and talented programs. Because of this, new means of identifying such children must be developed. This paper presents the findings of exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses conducted on the HOPE Scale, a 13-item teacher-rating instrument designed to identify academic and social components of giftedness in elementary-aged students. Participants included 349 teachers who completed HOPE Scales on 5995 ethnically and economically diverse students from three rural and two metropolitan school districts in the Midwest. MCFA was also used to evaluate measurement invariance between income groups. Findings suggest a two-factor model represents good fit for the data while remaining loyal to the latent constructs of academic and social giftedness. Invariance test results suggested equivalence of model form, factor loading, and factor variances across income groups.
Article
This study tracks the profile data of identification for gifted students in South Carolina, where a new performance-based dimension of identification has been employed, during a 3-year period. Targeted to identify more low-income and minority students, the identification protocol demonstrates efficacy in doing so. The study also tracks comparative data, showing the verbal and nonverbal profiles of students identified using this protocol in comparison to students more traditionally identified. Results suggest that students identified using performance tasks were more likely to be identified through the nonverbal assessment component of the tasks. Performance data are tracked across 2 years, showing that performance task-identified students, in general, perform at levels below traditionally identified students. In their area of strength, however, they tend to approach the mean for the traditionally identified gifted students on that portion of the high-stakes state test.
Article
This monograph describes Project START (Support To Affirm Rising Talent), a three-year collaborative research effort to develop and apply gifted identification procedures based on Howard Gardner's (1983) theory of multiple intelligences. Specifically, the study attempted to: (1) develop identification procedures; (2) identify high-potential primary age students from culturally diverse and/or low economic backgrounds using the multiple intelligences model; (3) investigate the reliability and validity of the identification procedures; and (4) test the efficacy of specific interventions on student achievement and attitudes about school and self. Identified students were assigned to one of three conditions: an experimental condition involving modification of classroom activities and a family outreach program; an experimental condition involving modification of classroom activities, a family outreach program, and a mentorship; and a control group. Findings of the qualitative and quantitative study are grouped into the following categories: psychometric properties of the assessment tools; achievement, attitude, and self-concept; teacher changes during the project; outcomes for students and their families; elements of the program found to be most effective; and other qualitative findings. Two appendices include a project lesson development flow chart and classroom observation protocols. (Contains approximately 225 references.) (DB)
Article
The Early Childhood Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Class of 1998-99 (ECLS-K), selected a nationally representative sample of approximately 22,000 kindergartners in the fall of 1998 and is following these children through the end of the fifth grade. Baseline data about these children, their families, and their kindergarten programs were collected by means of telephone interviews with the children's parents or guardians and from self-administered questionnaires completed by the kindergarten teachers. Data were also gathered during an individual assessment with each child. This report documents the design, development, and psychometric characteristics of the assessment instruments used in the ECLS-K. The focus is on the psychometric results of the assessment instruments for four time points: Fall- and Spring-kindergarten and Fall- and Spring-first grade. The assessment instrument examined three domains: the cognitive (direct and indirect), socioemotional, and psychomotor. In addition, the report discusses issues involved in analyzing longitudinal measures of cognitive skills, including the use of total scores and of proficiency probabilities to measure longitudinal change. Initial results revealed sex differences in prereading skills at kindergarten entry and the areas of gain. Public school children had the lowest reading skills at kindergarten entry, followed by Catholic school children, with private non-Catholic school children having the highest reading skills. There were differences in the areas of gain in children attending different types of schools. The report's five appendices include a summary of national mathematics and science curriculum standards, reading assessment content classifications used for test item development, ECLS item parameters and item fit by rounds, and score statistics for indirect and psychomotor measures for selected subgroups. (Contains 60 references.) (KB)
Article
Documents the activities, resources, and relationships available to three gifted urban elementary public school children living in poverty and describes their adjustment at home and at school over a three-year period. Despite their mothers' active involvement in their education, the children experienced limited academic opportunities. (CR)