Equity in Gifted/Talented (G/T) Education

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Inclusive G/T Programs

Creating an Inclusive Gifted/Talented Program

When identifying G/T students from poverty, one of the first obstacles to overcome is the perception of giftedness.

If a school district has a twenty-year history of primarily identifying G/T students from middle and upper middle-class households, school boards and administrators may not understand how someone can be G/T and not score highly on a traditional, standardized test. This requires training and sharing data with school boards and administrators. The information shared and the manner in which it is shared is crucial in making the transition from a more exclusive G/T program to a more inclusive G/T program.

G/T students come from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and socioeconomic backgrounds and might also be twice-exceptional.

The Texas State Plan requires:

“Students are assessed in languages they understand or with nonverbal assessments.”
Section 1.5.2C

To provide equity, schools must replace traditional cutoff scores that reward students from educated, enriched households with a process that examines school performance in the context of the opportunities—or lack there of—that students have in their home environment. Such a process considers not only the environment, but performance patterns over time.

Identification Analysis

Districts can use these questions to evaluate its current G/T identification process. It is especially useful for analyzing compliance with Section 1.6.C regarding socioeconomic representation in G/T programs.

Identification Analysis
1. Is there a written and approved LEA identification procedure?
Yes No
2. Are there multiple measures?
Yes No
3. Are both quantitative and qualitative data used for nomination and selection?
Yes No
4. Are the data aligned with the district definition?
Yes No
5. Are students from all ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic backgrounds nominated for program services?
Yes No
5. Are students from all ethnic, socioeconomic, and geographic/environmental backgrounds selected for program services?
Yes No

The following tools will guide and support district discussion and modifications of current G/T programs:

The Texas Education Agency (TEA) releases Community and Student Engagement ratings for the state’s school districts, charters, and campuses.

Texas Education Code §39.0545 requires a local committee or committees to determine the criteria that the district uses to evaluate and assign performance ratings and to evaluate the district’s compliance with statutory reporting and policy requirements.

Under TEC §39.0545, passed by the 83rd Texas Legislature, all districts and charters are required to evaluate their district’s overall performance, as well as the performance of each campus, in regard to community and student engagement. Districts must assign one of four performance ratings—Exemplary, Recognized, Acceptable, or Unacceptable. In addition to an overall rating, the district and each campus must assign a performance rating for the following categories: fine arts; wellness and physical education; community and parental involvement; 21st Century Workforce Development program; second language acquisition programs; digital learning environment; dropout prevention strategies; and educational programs for gifted and talented students.

Please see the Texas Education Agency’s website or your district website for the latest Community and Student Engagement ratings.