G&T screening question

Posted by: Joe S.

G&T screening question - 07/07/22 01:24 PM

My 8 y/o daughter was recently screened for the G&T program in our district. It is comprised of a two step process. The CogAT is administered district wide and anyone who scores above the 90%-ile is then screened using only the non-verbal portion of the SAGES test. In order to be admitted to the program, one has to score in the 95%-ile or higher on the SAGES only.
My daughter scores on the CogAT were:

Verbal: 96%-ile
Non-verbal: 99%-ile
Verbal+Non-Verbal combo: 99%-ile
Total: 97%-ile

However, she scored in the 90%-ile on the non-verbal portion of the SAGES, so she was not admitted to the program.

It seems to me that whilst screening for G&T programs, you should use all the information available to make the determination. Disregarding the information gleaned from the CogAT can lead to kids who might do extremely well on the CogAT being erroneously excluded. You have two independent measures of non-verbal reasoning (which seems to be the important metric in our district's selection process) but only one is considered.

In my daughter's case, you have two disparate measures of this attribute; non-verbal reasoning measured in the 99%-ile on one test and the 90%-ile on the other. Both of these tests are normed on a heterogenous student population. The non-verbal CogAT has matrix reasoning, figure reasoning, and spatial reasoning type questions where the non-verbal SAGES is mostly Ravens Progressive Matrices type questions. Obviously the CogAT tapped into something that the SAGES did not emphasize as much (or she was having an off day smirk )

I know that there are other districts that have a two step process but in these cases, a combination of the two scores are used in making the determination. This seems like a much more accurate approach.

My question to the community is whether this unitary approach in my school district seems reasonable considering more information is available to make these determinations OR if they should think about considering the results of the CogAT screening as well.

Thanks in advance for any wisdom this forum can provide.
Posted by: indigo

Re: G&T screening question - 07/08/22 05:11 PM

Welcome to the forum, Joe!

What does the school's gifted program consist of? Do you believe your daughter would be a good fit for the particular offerings of this program?

I ask because any program's identification criteria is not necessarily identifying a person as being gifted (or the most highly gifted), but rather attempting to identify the children who may be the best fit for the program's offerings.
Posted by: Joe S.

Re: G&T screening question - 07/12/22 05:09 PM

Thank you indigo. That is a really good question. The program in our district is a pullout program where all the kids in the program are bussed to the same classroom once every 2 weeks or so. I believe the kids engage in hands on activates that emphasize unique and creative problem solving skills and collaboration. I do think this would be right up her alley, although being one of the youngest kids in the school, she can be a bit immature at times.

I guess I am concerned with the logic AND gate nature of the screening process. It seems silly to disregard the results of one aptitude test in lieu of another, especially one that is testing the same area of aptitude. Her verbal and non-verbal aptitudes are quite high and I just worry that she'll start to lose interest in school if not challenged properly.
Posted by: Kai

Re: G&T screening question - 07/17/22 06:19 PM

There is a serious problem with the school's identification procedures. Your daughter scored at the 99th percentile on the nonverbal battery. That should be the end of the story.

That said, it is also odd that the school is giving a second test that essentially does the same thing as the CogAT nonverbal battery. I suspect that they are doing this for political reasons and not because doing so better identifies students for their program.

Here is an interesting article by David Lohman, one of the developers of the CogAT that talks about how the more balanced structure of the CogAT is helpful for gifted identification:

Posted by: Joe S.

Re: G&T screening question - 07/19/22 01:45 PM

Hi Kai. Thanks for the informative paper. This was my concern with the screening process in my district. I reached out to the person who heads the program as well as the assistant superintendent of curriculum in order to voice my concerns. They informed me that the process was changed a few years ago to this two step process, i.e. the wide-net step (CogAT) and admission step (SAGES). I was also told that I live in a high-achieving district and that 99%-ile scores are more common than I think. My response was that even if 99%-ile scores were being achieved at 3-5 times the normed rate (which would belie the statistics of this psychometric instrument) that would match the admission rate to this program precisely.
Posted by: indigo

Re: G&T screening question - 07/20/22 10:56 AM

Great information in the 28-page online document from 2005, linked by Kai.

If you decide to advocate for your child's placement in the gifted program, this roundup of crowd-sourced info, collected on this forum over several years, may be of help as you prepare: http://giftedissues.davidsongifted.org/B...html#Post183916
Posted by: Joe S.

Re: G&T screening question - 07/21/22 11:00 AM

Thank you for link. I am in the process of discussing the issue with the district superintendents. I don't foresee this changing things for my daughter this year but hopefully the district will give serious consideration to my concerns.

I also replied to Kai's previous post however I don't see it posted yet. Hopefully there's just a delay with it going through.