Our Latest Research Finding...
Identification systems typically involve conjunctive ("And"), disjunctive ("Or"), and compensatory ("Mean") rules for combining multiple measures. As correlations among assessments decrease, conjunctive and compensatory systems identify fewer students (unless the cut-off for the mean score is adjusted for shrinkage), while disjunctive rules identify more students for programming. However, both researchers and practitioners in gifted education often assume that correlations among multiple identification measures are the same for students from different backgrounds. We addressed this issue recently in an AERA paper presentation titled "Could 'Or' Give Us More? The Equity Implications of Combination Rules When Correlations Vary Across Groups." If correlations among measures are lower for one group than another, the group with lower correlations would be disadvantaged by conjunctive (AND) and compensatory (MEAN) rules (unless the compensatory rule computes shrinkage factors separately for each subgroup). Conversely, they would be advantaged by disjunctive (OR) rules. We demonstrated how correlations among identification assessments vary across demographic subgroups and how this influences the representation of those groups under the AND, MEAN, and OR rules. The key takeaways from this paper presentation were:
- Different combination rules can be implemented to identify similar overall percentages of students.
- Correlations among identification measures do appear to vary somewhat across demographic groups, and this has implications for how combination rules can be expected to perform.
- No combination rule can create parity when mean score differences across subgroups are substantial.
Two Current Research Opportunities
--> 1) Study of Subject Acceleration Practices – Seeking Interview Participants
The National Center for Research on Gifted Education is conducting a study to document and disseminate information on how school districts implement subject acceleration (i.e., advancing students in one or more subject areas without whole-grade accelerating the student; may exist in combination with whole-grade acceleration procedures). We are seeking responses from school districts who have systematic procedures in place for subject acceleration. Our study goal is to describe common procedures in place in districts across the country as guidance for districts considering how to approach this practice.
Participation in the study will involve an online interview of a knowledgeable member of the district staff (e.g., gifted program coordinator, director of advanced academics) with the study team. We expect the interview to last approximately 1 hour. Participants will receive questions in advance and will also have the option of submitting responses in writing.
To learn more about the study or to indicate interest in participation, please review the consent form here: https://uconn.co1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_dczM9ULuiQUD6ke or reach out to Catherine Little at email@example.com or 860-486-2754.
UConn IRB Protocol X23-0389 Approved July 13, 2023
--> 2) Study to Expand Single-Subject and Whole Grade Acceleration for Grade 2 and 3 Students
The National Center for Research on Gifted Education is seeking elementary schools (at least grades 2-5) interested in expanding their use of subject-specific and whole-grade acceleration as a way to meet the needs of advanced learners. We are seeking participants for research that can begin in academic year 2023-24. Academic acceleration is the intervention for advanced learners that has shown the greatest effect on learning and achievement. As part of this research project, your school will receive a) professional learning around what acceleration actually is and how it can be used, b) a universal screening process to determine which students should be considered for acceleration, and c) resources and professional learning to help you implement subject-specific and whole-grade acceleration decisions for qualifying students. For more information click here.