Giving Compass' Take:

· Brandon L. Wright and Jonathan Plucker from The Thomas B. Fordham Institute explain that diversifying gifted education programs is the best way to address the “excellence gaps" between students.

· What are some positive changes that can be made to current gifted education programs? How are students chosen for these programs? What are some challenges in achieved equitable gifted education programs? 

· Read about discrimination within gifted education

School districts all across America have long suffered from “excellence gaps” in which advantaged students reach high levels of achievement at significantly greater rates than their less affluent peers. But some school systems are working to combat it.

One such place is Montgomery County, Maryland, a large district in the Washington, D.C., area that’s made strides in diversifying the students served by its gifted education programs. By expanding the number of seats, universally screening every third grader, using more holistic identification criteria, and selecting students based on how they perform compared to kids at their school instead of the entire district (using “local norms”), administrators increased the proportion of black and Hispanic elementary-school participants from 23 percent in 2016 to 31 percent today.

What school leaders, policymakers, educators, and advocates need to recognize, however, is that these very important, short-term changes are only part of the solution. It’s not enough to diversify gifted education offerings. The programs must also continue to challenge all of their students and maximize their potential. They must remain, in other words, excellent.

Read the full article about diversifying education by Brandon L. Wright and Jonathan Plucker at The Thomas B. Fordham Institute.