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    #225094 - 11/11/15 05:31 AM Who Gets into Gifted Programs?
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Who Gets into Gifted and Talented Education Programs?
    In Can Universal Screening Increase the Representation of Low Income and Minority Students in Gifted Education? (NBER Working Paper No. 21519), David Card and Laura Giuliano explore the experience of a school district that they describe as "one of the largest and most diverse" in the nation.

    Until 2005, the district selected candidates for its elementary-level gifted and talented program from among first- and second-graders recommended by parents and teachers. This pool was then winnowed based on IQ scores and evaluation for such traits as motivation, creativity, and adaptability. While the district offered free IQ testing, private psychologists did a thriving business administering tests to more affluent students who wanted to skip the queue or try again if their initial scores fell short.

    To qualify for gifted status, students generally had to score at least 130 on the IQ test. However, to offset economic and linguistic disadvantages, a lower threshold of 116 applied to students who received subsidized lunches or were designated as English language learners. Despite this effort to level the playing field, enrollment in the gifted program was skewed toward white students from higher-income families. Blacks and Hispanics made up fewer than 30 percent of the students in the program, although they accounted for 60 percent of the district's students overall.

    #225095 - 11/11/15 08:01 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3638
    In this WP article, the district is identified as Broward County, Florida:

    You can also see a few additional graphs, broken down somewhat by race/ethnicity.

    #225097 - 11/11/15 08:21 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: aeh]
    indigo Offline

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4228
    One aspect mentioned, but under-emphasized, may be found in the article's phrase "where parents were more involved in education."

    Greater parental involvement appears correlated with greater achievement which appears correlated with greater likelihood of referral.

    Parental inattention to education appears correlated with less achievement which appears correlated with less likelihood of referral.

    Although correlation does not imply causation, the article seems to indicate that correlation of SES with student referral to the gifted program implies causation... by not exploring other possible and plausible explanations such as degree of parental involvement or inattention... as well as by using statements such as "gifted programs amplify inequality because they disproportionately recruit children from high-income families".

    Rather than the authors being concerned with "gifted status" (a phrase mentioned in the nber report), possibly a better focus might be on an examination of the content and experience of the particular gifted program, including aptness and "fit" of the curriculum placement, pacing, and instruction in the zone of proximal development, delivered in the company of intellectual peers who exhibit a similar level of readiness and ability.

    #225102 - 11/11/15 09:20 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    blackcat Offline

    Registered: 05/23/13
    Posts: 2154
    Our district only does cognitive screening on students who score above the 90th or 92nd percentile on math/reading achievement tests. So there could be students who have very high cognitive ability, but they score in the 50th percentile for math/reading because they have not been exposed to any advanced material, and are therefore left out of any gifted ed opportunities. Are they capable of handling advanced material? Probably, but not instantaneously. For the gifted program, a lot of material is just skipped over. DD went from 3rd grade math to 7th grade math and ALL the kids in the program made jumps of at least 1-2 years, so someone who scored in the 50th percentile for math would not do well there at all. I guess it depends on the content of the gifted program. Is the material at grade level but simply enriched? Does it move at a faster pace? Does it involve skipping material? A lot of districts are concerned about the low-average achieving kids not doing well in a gifted program (one that focuses heavily on achievement), and I do think it's a valid point depending on the content of the program. So the low SES kids that are low/average achievers are going to be left out.

    #225104 - 11/11/15 09:55 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3638
    The district reported that the children from underidentified populations, who were cognitively qualified, but would not otherwise have met the achievement criteria, as a group made much more rapid gains in achievement than the conventionally-identified students. This suggests that at least a significant fraction of them were able to make up the difference, once they were moved into a better matched cognitive peer group, despite lack of access to quality instruction previously. It may be that this finding would hold better with younger children, when less formal instruction has already passed at the time of identification. Alternatively, it may be that the conventionally-identified students were not receiving sufficiently challenging instruction, even within the GT program.

    #225767 - 12/07/15 06:54 PM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    puffin Offline

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2035
    Here the closest thing is the middle school class which won't exist when my kids get there. Gifted kids (even HG) are often rejected as the class is aimed at all round high achievers. 5 years ahead in maths and reading and on standard writing with an IQ on the 99th %ile = no. IQ around 80%ile and one year ahead in maths, writing and reading =yes. The kid who is 5 years ahead then gets put in a general class that is missing many of the best at maths.

    Edited by puffin (12/07/15 06:58 PM)

    #225775 - 12/08/15 09:11 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    bluemagic Offline

    Registered: 03/29/13
    Posts: 1489
    This information is being used by some districts to get rid of gifted programs. Their logic is since they don't have the budget to test ALL the kids and the testing isn't fair to under-identified populations they will just eliminate gifted programs. It's cheaper in the short run just to cut these services rather than try to find the $$ to test all kids or find better way to identify all kids.

    This is the explanation I was given for why the SF school district planned on making ALL 9th grader take Algebra as a freshman. Even if they had already taken it. After a huge amount of parental protest the school board changed their mind. But my understanding was this inequity was part of what influenced the SF board.

    #225844 - 12/10/15 08:26 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    jack'smom Offline

    Registered: 01/02/10
    Posts: 757
    Our district is gradually getting rid of our excellent gifted program, which effectively runs from 4th-8th grade. It's so sad... My son is taking Algebra I in 7th grade through it and has a 98%. They are trying to eliminate kids from taking that also.

    #226632 - 01/13/16 06:49 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: Bostonian]
    ultramarina Offline

    Registered: 08/24/10
    Posts: 3423
    I'm just now reading this post and am mystified by the quote you chose to pull, Bostonian. What this paper actually shows is good results for something I've long thought should be done: universal screening for giftedness. When the district began screening universally, they found way more traditionally underidientified students, whose performance in school improved. The only downside was cost--but consider the cost of NOT identifying these talented students.

    I live in a district with a similar method of ID to the "old" method described here and as time has gone on, I have come to learn that MANY of the children in my kids' program (which has a hard score cutoff) were retested privately after not quite making the needed score when tested by the district. This comes at quite a cost. Guess who doesn't bother with that? It's a bad system, especially because initial ID can be done by parents...

    #226673 - 01/14/16 05:54 AM Re: Who Gets into Gifted Programs? [Re: ultramarina]
    Bostonian Offline

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2593
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: ultramarina
    I'm just now reading this post and am mystified by the quote you chose to pull, Bostonian.

    I quoted the first three paragraphs and provided a link to the full article.

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