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Gifted Students at Risk

"And so it was that an effort that arose out of concern at the lack of fair racial representation produced a solution that nearly all its architects and proponents, including Strauss, admit is unlikely to deliver many more black and Hispanic students..." Catherine Gewertz, Affirmative Reaction

Also visit: Gender Issues, English Second Language (ESL)

Achievement Trap: How America Is Failing Millions of High-Achieving Students from Lower-Income Families Recommended by Joshua S. Wyner, John M. Bridgeland, John J. DiIulio, Jr., A Report by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation & Civic Enterprises with original research by Westat
There are far fewer lower-income students achieving at the highest levels than there should be, they disproportionately fall out of the high-achieving group during elementary and high school, they rarely rise into  the ranks of high achievers during those periods, and, perhaps most disturbingly, far too few ever graduate from college or go on to graduate school. [It] is not that high-achieving students from lower-income backgrounds are suffering more than other lower-income students, but that their talents are similarly under-nurtured... (requires Adobe Reader)
Bright, Talented, and Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners by Joy Lawson Davis Recommended
What does it really mean to be gifted and African American in the U.S. today? What do parents and teachers of gifted black students need to know to help students explore their potential, thrive in school and life. Easy to read, full of great insight for every reader, regardless of race...
The elephant in the classroom Recommended by Ellis Page and Timothy Keith
Schooling in a homogeneous group of students appears to have a positive effect on high-ability students' achievements, and even stronger effects on the achievements of high-ability minority youth. Grouping does not seem to affect negatively the achievements of low-ability youth. Indeed, ability grouping seems to have no consistent negative effects on any group or any outcome we studied.  We assert that ability grouping may have positive effects on gifted students' learning, the most important educational outcome, and that these effects seem particularly powerful on gifted minority youth...
Gifted Kids at Risk: Who's Listening? Recommended by Pat Schuler, Creative Insights
It is time to say clearly: bright kids are not better, yet they are different; and because they are, they face different issues...
GLBTQ: The Survival Guide for Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Teens Recommended by Kelly Huegel
Gifted kids often feel alone, and gifted GLBTQ kids can feel even more alone.  A contemporary look at society and its growing acceptance of people who are GLBTQ, including updates on efforts to promote equality, including the current status of legislative initiatives concerning safe schools, gay marriage, workplace equality, transgender expression, and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Issues-based information and advice. This frank, sensitive book is written for young people who are questioning their sexual or gender identity, those who are ready to work for GLBTQ rights, and those who may need advice, guidance, or reassurance that they are not alone...
Overlooked Gems: A National Perspective on Low-Income Promising Learners Recommended a monograph co-sponsored by NAGC with the Center for Gifted Education at the College of William and Mary, and funded by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
This monograph provides the field of gifted education with a blueprint for working in schools with children of poverty, for activating community-based opportunities for them, and for forging new partnerships and collaborative with universities and other agencies to deliver relevant services... (requires Adobe Reader)  Also available in print version, High Potential Learners in Low Income Settings

The Silent Epidemic Recommended A report by John M. Bridgeland, John J. DiIulio and Karen Burke Morison of Civic Enterprises (requires Adobe Reader)
Dropouts say their schools expected too little of them by Greg Tuppo, USA Today
Most Dropouts Leave School Due to Boredom, Lack of Encouragement, Report Finds
Commissioned by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the report, The Silent Epidemic: Perspectives of High School Dropouts, found that nearly 50 percent of 470 dropouts surveyed said they left school because their classes were boring and not relevant to their lives or career aspirations...
Special Populations in Gifted Education: Understanding Our Most Able Students From Diverse Backgrounds Recommended by Jaime A. Castellano and Andrea Dawn Frazier (or from Amazon)
Leading experts in the field combine their knowledge of and leadership experience with gifted students from diverse backgrounds to help include historically underrepresented students in gifted education programs that serve our most able students. Raises the awareness level and knowledge base of all educators, particularly teachers of the gifted, with focus on topics such as gifted education in rural environments, highly gifted learners, twice-exceptional children, gifted females, gifted and talented students on the autism spectrum, English language learners, underachievement, and students from culturally or linguistically diverse backgrounds...
An Agenda for the Future: Closing the Achievement Gap for Underrepresented Groups in Gifted and Talented Education Synthesis of the Needs Assessment Conference
Four monographs from this valuable NRC/GT conference, January 20-21, 2005 (requires Adobe Reader)
bulletEvaluation, Placement, and Progression: Three Sites of Concern for Student Achievement
bulletLatino Achievement: Identifying Models That Foster Success Promoting Sustained Growth in the Representation of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans Among Top Students in the United States at All Levels of the Education System
bulletIssues and Practices in the Identification and Education of Gifted Students From Underrepresented Groups
Affirmative Reaction by Catherine Gewertz
After school district lawyers advised district leaders in 1998 against any race- conscious policy, the district dropped race as a factor in its intensely competitive admissions process and dismantled a much-lauded preparation program for disadvantaged students. Since then, district officials have watched Thomas Jefferson population grow less and less representative of the growing racial and ethnic diversity...
American Indian Gifted and Talented Students: Their Problems and Proposed Solutions by Rockey Robbins
The thoughts and feelings of gifted and talented students participating in a summer enrichment program, Explorations In Creativity (EIC). ...describes the struggles of identity, prejudice, and peer pressure that these students experience and must endure because they are Indian and gifted and talented. A list of issues and problems and possible solutions these students saw in American education is included along with three of their personal essays
And Still We Rise: The Trials and Triumphs of Twelve Gifted Inner-city High School Students by Miles Corwin
As LA Times reporter Miles Corwin chronicles in this troubling yet uplifting book, the ills of the inner city have not completely defeated Toni Little's advanced-placement students at Crenshaw High School, with whom Corwin spent the 1996-1997 academic year as a silent observer...
Are 20% of high school drop-outs gifted? by Laura Vanderkam in Gifted Exchange
The topic for today's post: the statistic that 20% of high school dropouts are gifted. This stat gets used in a variety of formats... In other words, what this survey reveals is that students identified as gifted (by a broad definition) and other students drop out at the same rate
Building a Bridge: A Combined Effort Between Gifted and Bilingual Education by Valentina I. Kloosterman
The under representation of linguistically and culturally diverse children in gifted programs is a worldwide problem
A challenge for culturally diverse families of gifted children: forced choices between achievement or affiliation by Donna Ford, in Gifted Child Today ($)
On one hand, if I say, okay, we'll stay in the inner city, then we have the issue off "acting White" when a student (my son/daughter) is a minority and does well academically because of stereotypes about minority students, especially African American students. On the other hand, we have the issue of isolation when a minority student is in a predominantly White gifted program...
The Challenges of Educating the Gifted in Rural Areas by Joan D. Lewis (or from Amazon)
Addresses the challenges and benefits of rural schools, shares how to adapt traditional gifted education programs for rural settings, and identifies and examines the components of a workable, successful collaboration among school administrators, teachers, students, parents, and other supporters from the community...
Challenging Schools' Expectations of Native American Students by James Raborn
The under-representation of Native American students in urban public school programs for the gifted and talented is alarming...
Creating culturally responsive gifted education classrooms understanding "culture" is the first step by Donna Y. Ford and James L. Moore, III, in Gifted Child Today ($)
The implications of increased student diversity (world diversity) are profound, suggesting that teachers must become more familiar with the realities of culture and its impact on teaching and learning...
Critical Issues in the Identification and Nurturance of Promising Students from Low Income Backgrounds by Joyce VanTassel-Baska, NRC/GT Senior Scholars Series
There is little disagreement in the field of gifted education about the need to have a broader diversity of students in programs for the gifted, especially those representative of low socio-economic backgrounds and minority students. However, our track record has been less than sterling... (scroll down)
Dead Students Society by Evan Morgan, published in MacLeans.ca
No wonder our high school students are struggling!
Enhancing Learning Outcomes for Diversely Gifted Adolescents: Education in the Social/Emotional Domain by Dona J. Matthews
An approach to addressing both [young women and students from minority groups, who continue to be underrepresented at the highest career achievement levels, and traditional support systems, like family and community, dissolving and disintegrating] is the implementation of a Human Development course of study, starting early and building systematically over time. In such a course, students could be helped to construct principled understandings of social and emotional functioning, becoming more aware of the benefits of social diversity, and wiser decision-makers. Applications appropriate for working with gifted secondary school students are discussed
Extraordinary Gifts Often Come in Plain Brown Wrappers by Fred A. Bonner, II
Does the academically gifted African-American student experience college in a manner much different from the typical college student?
Fragile Futures: Risk and Vulnerability Among Latino High-Achievers by Patricia Gándara
Focuses on high-achieving Latino students and the language, culture, and immigration-status issues that can greatly affect their motivation and ultimate achievement. The achievement gap is not just a phenomenon that exists at the mid-range of scores; it is a significant feature of achievement at the upper-score ranges as well. These high-achieving Latino students are more likely to come from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Their academic futures can be considered fragile — hanging by a thin thread of hope that nothing will go terribly wrong in their extended families, or in school, that will dash their pursuit of academic success. Interventions must be designed to close the achievement gap attend to the needs of the entire academic spectrum of Latino students... (requires Adobe Reader)
Gifted Dropouts: The Who and the Why by Joseph S. Renzulli and Sunghee Park
According to a 1983 study, up to 18% of all high school drop-outs are gifted and talented.  Gifted dropouts were generally from a lower socio-economic status family and had little or no access to extracurricular activities, hobbies, and computers.  Also read:
bulletGiftedness and High School Dropouts: Personal, Family, and School-related Factors by Joseph S. Renzulli (summary of report)
bulletGiftedness and High School Dropouts: Personal, Family, and School-related Factors by Joseph S. Renzulli (full report)
Gifted Students Who Drop Out: Who and Why: A Meta-Analytical Review of the Literature by Esra Kaskaloglu
An exhaustive search revealed 16 studies, which were coded with 21 independent samples which yielded 1025 isubjects. ...Finally, with respect to the factors affecting underachievement, the study confirmed that many gifted underachievers were suffering from lack of the gifted program or having not enough challenge at school, poor student-teacher and student-peer relationship, bored or disinterested in school... (requires Adobe Reader)
Helping Gifted Children and Their Families Prepare for College: A Handbook Designed to Assist Economically Disadvantaged and First-Generation College Attendees by Avis L. Wright and Paula Olszewski-Kubilius
Comprehensive guide to college and financial aid planning, from knowing yourself to selecting a college, getting information, writing the application, interviewing, being accepted and gaining financial aid...
Identifying and Serving Recent Immigrant Children Who Are Gifted (ERIC digest #E520) by Carole Ruth Harris
The challenge of identifying gifted children and providing them with appropriate educational services is particularly complex when they are recent immigrants to the United States...
Inequity in Equity: How "Equity" Can Lead to Inequity for High-Potential Students by Camilla P. Benbow and Julian C. Stanley
Over the past three decades, the achievement of waves of American students with high intellectual potential has declined as a result of inequity in educational treatment.  This inequity is a result of an extreme form of egalitarianism within American society and schools, which involves the pitting of equity against excellence rather than promoting both equity and excellence, anti-intellectualism, the "dumbing-down" of the curriculum, equating aptitude and achievement testing with elitism, the attraction to fads by schools, and the insistence of schools to teach all students from the same curriculum at the same level.  In this article, we provide recommendations for positive change... (requires Adobe Reader)
In the Eyes of the Beholder: Critical Issues for Diversity in Gifted Education edited by Diane Boothe and Julian C. Stanley (or from Amazon)
How does gifted education serve special populations, including a variety of culturally diverse populations? How does education deal with these children today, and how can we improve their education?  How do gender and/or socio-economic diversity affect gifted education?
Māori Children With Special Abilities (MCWSA) by Cecylia Rymarczyk Hyde
Māori and Pākehā perceptions of giftedness are different. Many teachers, who are powerful role models for all students, have been found to have negative attitudes and low expectations of their Māori students. These factors affect the performance of Māori students in general, and gifted Māori students in particular. One major resolution, which would go a long way to addressing the problems associated with providing for these children, should be to forge a working partnership between the school and the Māori community at large...
Meeting the Needs of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse and Special-Needs Students in Rural Communities: A Report on McREL's Diversity Roundtable IV from McREL
Implementing differentiated instruction.  How can the teacher meet the needs of one or two [GT] learners in the  calssroom? [GT students] do not know how to put themselves in the zone of proximal development.  It is the teacher's job to do that.  One approach is...  (requires Adobe Reader)
Minorities and Mathematics Swarthmore College
Articles and efforts to encourage minorities in mathematics...
Minority gifted kids left behind by Karen Adler, MySA.com
The demographics of any school should be mirrored in the gifted and talented population. In too many cases, they say, teachers and administrators fail to identify poor and minority children as gifted, especially in schools with a wide range of ethnic, racial and income diversity. Educators agree that identifying gifted minority children as young as possible is crucial. By the time they get to fourth grade, they start to be influenced by peer pressure...
Minority Students in Special and Gifted Education Commission on Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (2002)
From the enactment of the 1975 federal law requiring states to provide a free and appropriate education to all students with disabilities, children in some racial/ethnic groups have been identified for services in disproportionately large numbers.  [This report] includes the representation of minority children in gifted and talented programs as well, where racial/ethnic disproportion patterns are, generally speaking, the reverse of those in special education...
Multiple Case Studies of Teachers and Classrooms Successful in Supporting Academic Success of High Potential Low Economic Students of Color by Carol Ann Tomlinson, Holly Gould, Stephen Schroth and Jane Jarvis
In some classrooms, the pattern of underachievement is reversed and the students do succeed.  How?  Teachers and schools do not have to be excellent.  The definition of success established by a school or teacher will shape student opportunity for long-term academic success.  To be more effective in developing the capacity of high potential low economic students of color, schools will have to be more effective in developing the capacity of virtually all students of color.  Educators who are most effective in supporting the academic success of students of color support the students in learning to live comfortably in two worlds... (requires Adobe Reader)
Nurturing Creative / Artistic Giftedness in American Indian Students by Jill LaBatte
Discusses the importance of nurturing creative/artistic giftedness in American Indian students. Although the educational system has ignored the creative/artistic expression as gifted, research findings offer teachers direction in terms of identifying creative/artistic gifted and talented students, provide alternative definitions, and present "wholistic" curriculum strategies based on brain structure. Emphasis rather than neglect of creative/artistic methods of teaching is stressed to enhance the potential of gifted and talented American Indian students
Patterns and Profiles of Promising Learners From Poverty by Joyce VanTassel-Baska
Includes the role of culture in education, curriculum for promising learners, psychosocial stressors that affect these learners, professional development for teachers of low-income students, and state policy implementation to affect these students' educations...
A Personal Perspective on Tribal-Alaska Native Gifted and Talented Education by Rosemary Ackley Christensen
Discusses the term "giftedness," and argues that the existing interpretation applies only to the White world and that it does not agree with Tribal definitions. As a result, gifted and talented children of Indian heritage are not being recognized. A cultural stance is called for in interpreting "giftedness"
Philosophical Perspectives of Gifted and Talented American Indian Education by Stuart A. Tonemah
Standardized tests for gifted and talented students are biased toward the larger American society and that American Indian and Alaska Native students, because of their cultural differences, are overlooked and denied entrance into gifted and talented programs.  The relevancy of a culturally-specific gifted and talented differentiated curriculum for American Indians developed by American Indians is beneficial and necessary...
Promoting Sustained Growth in the Representation of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans Among Top Students in the United States at All Levels of the Education System by L. Scott Miller
Proposes that an entity should be created that would be concerned with developing model preschool and parent education programs that could improve the school readiness of middle and high SES youngsters from underrepresented groups, while another entity should be created that would specialize in evaluating programs and strategies at the higher education level that serve underrepresented minority students... (requires Adobe Reader)
Providing Access for Culturally Diverse Gifted Students: From Deficit to Dynamic Thinking (Theory into Practice) by Donna Ford and Tarek C. Grantham
Why are diverse students underrepresented, and how can we recruit and retain more diverse students in our gifted programs? Factors contributing to the persistent underrepresentation of Black students in gifted education are presented, along with suggestions for changes...
Recognizing Talent: Cross-Case Study of Two High Potential Students With Cerebral Palsy by Colleen Willard-Holt, Pennsylvania State University
Investigates the manners in which gifted children with cerebral palsy and no speech manifested their cognitive abilities, and the ways in which their educational settings facilitated the development of their abilities. A number of indicators of cognitive ability were identified, and facilitative and inhibitive aspects of the educational settings were described...
Resources Run Short For Gifted Students by Del Siegle
Being a gifted young learner should not mean you lose your right to a quality education.  Unfortunately, the current system of accountability in education epitomized by the federal No Child Left Behind Act creates an environment in which the individual right to a quality education has been all but revoked for bright students, particularly those from underserved and disadvantaged backgrounds...
Some of California’s most gifted students are being ignored, advocates say by Carla Rivera, Los Angeles Times
Highly intelligent, talented students need special programs to keep them engaged and challenged. But experts say too often they aren't even identified -- especially in low-income and minority schools -- and they become emotional dropouts...
Talent Loss: Why So Many of the Country's Top-Achieving Low-Income Students Never Go to College Johns Hopkins Headlines@Hopkins
There are also approximately 21,000 high school seniors whose academic achievement places them in the top 20 percent of the nation, but who will not enroll in college after high school because they are from poor families...
A Teacher Like Me: Does Race, Ethnicity, or Gender Matter? by Thomas S. Dee
The results indicate that the racial, ethnic, and gender dynamics between students and teachers have consistently large effects on teacher perceptions of student performance. However, the effects associated with race and ethnicity appear to be concentrated among students of low socioeconomic status and those in the South. Since these teacher perceptions are clearly likely to influence educational opportunities as well as the classroom environment, this evidence implies that these classroom interactions make important contributions to the observed demographic gaps in student achievement...
Thinking and Writing Skills in High Ability, Ethnic Minority, High School Students by Deborah Coates and Mariolga Reyes
Acquiring the skills necessary for academic success is a major academic and social problem facing gifted under represented, ethnic minority, high school students
Through Navajo Eyes: Examining Differences in Giftedness by Elizabeth Ann Hartley
This study compares perceptions of giftedness and talent (G/T) among parents and teachers of Navajo and Anglo children. Ethnographic description elucidated qualitative differences found among the teacher and the parent groups. Level of acculturation was a significant differentiating factor among responses. Two of the recommendations resulting from the study were (1) that teachers be trained in Navajo culture and values before they come to the reservation to teach, and (2) that G/T programs need to use alternative methods to identify G/T Navajo students
Tiny collegiate high school earns big honor by Rita Farlow, St. Petersburg Times
St. Petersburg Collegiate High School received the greatest number of points on the [Florida] school accountability report.  The school enrolls grades 10-12 in a three-year program that allows students to earn a high school diploma and a college associate degree simultaneously.  "It's good to note that early college experiences are an excellent source of college access for minority students. They receive the support for the transition to prepare them for collegiate classes"...
To be young, gifted, African American, and male - case studies by Fred Arthur Bonner, II
Factors observed in two case studies... 1. perceptions of each academically gifted African American male undergraduate at two different universities, concerning his relationship with the institution in the cultivation of his academic giftedness, 2. What identifiable factors influenced the success of the academically gifted African American male collegian?, 3. What were these factors specific to the type of institution attended? ...
Uganda: The Riddle - In Search of Specially Gifted Children by Timothy Kalyegira in The Monitor (Kampala)
[The puzzle] about Africa is "Disorder in her cities yet people seem [to be] intelligent!"  Children from well-to-do families who attended the best schools in East and Central Africa or fine schools abroad, but the mediocrity is still unmistakably there.  If caring and disciplined parenting were all it took to become a genius, many of us would be in that Hall of Fame today...
Underachievement Among Gifted Minority Students: Problems and Promises (ERIC digest #E544) by Donna Y. Ford and Antoinette Thomas
Some minority groups of gifted learners, particularly Black, Hispanic American, and Native American, have been underrepresented in gifted programs...
Underachievement among gifted students of color: implications for educators by James L. Moore, III, Donna Y. Ford and H. Richard Milner
Social and psychological barriers commonly impede the academic performance of gifted students of color. Efforts to reverse underachievement among students of color have failed because these students have been misguided. Until the needs and issues surrounding cultural diversity are addressed, gifted students of color will continue to underachieve academically...
Underrepresentation of minority students in gifted and talented education by Lidia T Anguiano
What is gifted and talented education, and why have minorities been consistently under-represented in such programs? Recommendations offered to promote a high-quality education for all students regardless of their identification, placement, or ethnicity...
Underrepresented Minority Achievement and Course Taking by Richard Tapia and Cynthia Lanius
Even at the bachelor's level, from 1975 to 1995, science and engineering degrees earned by underrepresented minorities rose from 6 to only 8 percent of all such degrees earned (NSB, 1998). Given the huge growth in minority population, especially Hispanic, during this same time period, we actually may have declined proportionally rather than increased...
Undiscovered Edisons: Fostering the Talents of Vocational-Technical Students by Lori A. Taylor, Jefferson County Public Schools
To reach and nurture a broader spectrum of gifted and talented students, changes must be made in some of the practices currently being used. New approaches are needed for providing conceptual frameworks, identification processes, and implementation strategies for gifted and talented programs. Broadened screening practices should be utilized which look for this potential creative productivity in a range of fields. Finally, creative productive behavior should be nurtured through activities which may influence a lifelong process of career development...
An Untold Story of Resistance: African-American Educators and IQ Testing in the 1920,s and '30's by Alan Stoskopf
Research and experience demonstrate that this version of "education reform" will negatively impact all students, especially students of color from lower income backgrounds. We also know that the best assessments originate in the classroom and are an ongoing part of a student's reflection of her or his progress. Few people realize that current critiques of testing and the calls for more authentic forms of assessment have been built in part upon the pioneering work of African-American intellectuals in the 1920s and 1930s...
Valuing, Identifying, Cultivating, and Rewarding Talents of Students From Special Populations by David St. Jean
Focuses on the reasons for the under representation of students from special populations in gifted and talented programs and the proposals to deal with improving this problem

Last updated December 01, 2020


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