Giving Compass' Take:

· According to a new study, creating better citeria when designating students as “gifted” can cut gaps in racial and income representation in advanced programs.

· How can schools revise the way they identify "gifted" students? How will this make advanced programs more equitable? 

· Here's more on this topic and diversity in gifted programs.

Adopting local norms is one relatively easy and cost-effective way to address this inequality, the study finds.

Comparing students across national standards, in which only the top 5 or 15% of test-takers qualify for gifted services, leads to disproportionate representation of Asian American and white students. But researchers found that the more localized gifted education standards were, the more racially representative the programs would be.

The research team looked at third graders’ test scores across ten states over ten years, changing the limit for what constitutes “gifted” and observing how it would change student demographics in gifted programs.

They began by comparing students across their entire ten-state population as if they were using a national standard, in which only the top 5 or 15% of all students qualified for gifted services. Then they stepped the geographic boundaries down to compare students by state, then by school-districts, then by individual schools, where the top 5% or 15% of every school would be eligible for gifted education services.

They found that the smaller the geographic comparison got, the more racially representative the gifted programs would be.

Read the full article about "gifted" criteria by Duke University at Futurity.