According to the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students (2.25), "The population of the gifted/talented services program is closely reflective of the population of the total district and/or campus." Districts should consider whether it is appropriate to compare district demographic data vs campus data based on district size and integration of culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse (CLED) students.
Equity Allowance Goal
Population representation in a district or school gifted program enrollment should be proportional to district or school enrollment. A discrepancy exists when your representation index (RI) is under the Equity Allowance Goal. This discrepancy indicates an under-representation that is beyond a statistical chance.
The Equity Allowance Goal is the minimum amount any subpopulation should represent in your gifted program. Wright, Ford, and Young (2017) designate a twenty percent (20%) threshold. This means that the representation index (RI) should be at least 80% or 0.8 to be considered equitable. RI is a ratio of the gifted population to the general population.
- An RI of 1.0 indicates perfect representation.
- An RI over 1.0 means the population is well-represented in your program.
- An equitable representation is having an RI of at least 0.8.
The goal is not to focus so much on obtaining perfect representation, rather than on the identification process and possible policy or biases that may lead to certain demographics being well-represented or under-represented in your gifted program.
Calculating the RI
To calculate RI for any given demographic population, take the percentage of students from a demographic population in your gifted program over the percentage of students from the same demographic population on your campus or in your district. For example, if your gifted population of LatinX students is 15.5% and your campus population of LatinX students is 40.8%, then your RI is 15.5/40.8 = 0.38 (15.5 ÷ 40.8 = 0.38).
According to Gifted Education in the United States: Laws, Access, Equity, and Missingness Across the Country by Locale, Title I School Status, and Race by the Gifted Education Research Institute (GERI) at Purdue University, Texas scores well for access to gifted and talented programs; however, representation indices (RI) show underrepresentation in all populations other than white and Asian.
Analyze the data
Any subpopulation containing a RI less than 0.8 or 80% of the actual school population indicates an underrepresentation and an inequity in your gifted identification process.
National Report Cards
Data for the state of Texas is available by scrolling to the bottom of the page. Click on “National Report Cards”, then select “Texas.”