Quote:
... gifted math across the district -- 75% boys vs 25% girls. There is not a large difference for gifted LA, although girls outweigh boys. I feel like there must be some flaw in their math identification as the girls aren't being recognized... The director of gifted ed did say that the version of the CoGAT that was used in the past was biased toward boys.
How is "biased" to be understood in this context?

- Simply that more boys were identified?

- That the sets of tasks to perform, while the same for boys and girls, were inherently more appealing to "stereotypical" boys and/or especially off-putting for "stereotypical" girls?

- That girls were assigned a relatively more difficult form of the test (required to perform more steps, and/or at a higher level, and/or in less time, etc)?


If one expects the number of pupils identified to resemble a statistical representation of the population, one must be careful not to apply this wrongly by expecting the data points of each individual class to match this statistic (such as by applying quotas).

An analogy to the weather: A thermometer is the tool used to measure the daily high/low temperature. This yields a set of data from which statistical averages for each season, month, and day are calculated for comparison to each prior year's measurements. There is no inclination to cap daily high temperature measurement readings or make them match the statistical daily high average. There is no inclination to cease recording record low temperatures or make them match the statistical nightly low average. If the temperatures for a season, month, or day do not match the statistical average, there is no inclination to declare the measurement tool broken; The tool is broken when it always measures the same and does not respond to differences. By taking consistent measurements over time, meaningful trends may emerge: Are daily highs moderating? Are nightly lows fluctuating more widely? Are seasonal temps varying in roughly a 4 year cycle? If one were to force temperature readings to match statistical averages one would miss measuring the trends as they occur.

If a teacher/school/district were to force gifted identification to match statistics, one would miss measuring the trends as they occur.