A bill that could have helped close the access gap to gifted education programs stalled out in the Washington state legislature.
The bill would have required universal screening for gifted students and supported professional development to help educators identify and serve them.
Children in poverty and minority groups are 250 percent less likely to be identified for gifted and talented programs than their white, more affluent peers.
But legislation like this faces the challenge of funding that comes with testing all students and requiring professional development to train teachers. And sometimes, advocates say, these bills can take on too much at one time.
“There are multiple steps to creating effective gifted education programs, and I don’t think you need to take all the steps at once,” said Brandon Wright, editorial director at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. For comparison, Wright pointed to Illinois, which passed a universal screening bill for gifted students in 2016.
Unlike Washington’s bill, the Illinois legislation didn’t include any support for teacher professional development. The team behind that bill — Empower Illinois — described its process as “sequencing policy,” meaning that the passage of the 2016 bill mandating equitable screening for all student groups was just the first step.
Read the full article on equitable gifted education by Kate Stringer at The 74
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