How Do Combination Rules Affect Proportional Identification of Students for Gifted Programs?

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. 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. The key takeaways from this work are:

  • 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.

D. Betsy McCoach

NCRGE researcher, D. Betsy McCoach is the recipient of the highest honor a researcher of gifted education can receive: the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children. The NAGC recently announced McCoach’s accomplishment, placing her among some of the most renowned researchers in the field. “This is a huge honor,” says McCoach, who is a professor in the Department of Educational Psychology’s Research Methods, Measurement, and Evaluation program, as well as the University’s new multidisciplinary master’s in data science program….read more

NCRGE Research Named GCQ Paper of the Year

A paper based on our analysis of state district plans, “Identifying and Serving Gifted and Talented Students: Are Identification and Services Connected?” ( has been named NAGC Gifted Child Quarterly Paper of the Year. Jean Gubbins, Del Siegle, Karen Ottone-Cross, D. Betsy McCoach, Susan Dulong Langley, Carolyn M. Callahan, Annalissa V. Brodersen, and Melanie Caughey authored the paper. This is the second NCRGE research publication that has receive paper of the year distinction.

Dr. E. Jean Gubbins Named 2021 NAGC Distinguished Scholar

Dr. E. Jean Gubbins will receive the 2021 NAGC Distinguished Scholar Award at NAGC’s November conference in Denver, Colorado. In addition to serving as associate director of the NCRGE and former NRC/GT, she has implemented research studies focusing on curricular strategies and practices in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) high schools, reading and mathematics education in elementary schools, professional development, and gifted education pedagogy for all students. She is the Principal Investigator of Thinking Like Mathematicians: Challenging All Grade 3 Students and co-Principal Investigator of Project BUMP UP: Building Up Mathematics Proficiency Utilizing Push-in.

NCRGE Director, Del Siegle, Recognized with NAGC Ann F. Isaacs Founder’s Memorial Award

Dr. Del Siegle will receive the 2021 NAGC Ann F. Isaacs Founder’s Memorial Award at NAGC’s November conference in Denver, Colorado for his distinguished service to NAGC and gifted education.  Dr. Siegle serves as the director for the National Center for Research on Gifted Education. He is the Lynn and Ray Neag Endowed Chair for Talent Development in the Neag School of Education at the University of Connecticut and also director of the Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Talent Development.

NCRGE Results, Reflections, and Recommendations March Conference

The National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCRGE) will hold a free virtual conference on Friday, March 26, 2021 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT. The conference (NCRGE’s First Five Years: Results, Reflections, and Recommendations) will include three short presentations by NCRGE researchers followed by reflections and recommendation for practice and future research from panelists. Click here to register.

Interactive App Available to Plot Student Growth

NCRGE is excited to share an interactive tool that allows users to interactively plot lines that predict reading or math achievement for three US states the NCRGE studied. The lines are generated from a linear growth curve model that includes student, school, and district-level variables. With this tool, users can compare up to five predicted lines in a single plot. This allows comparisons of reading and math achievement growth from third to fifth grade for identified gifted students achievement with their non-identified peers for different school populations (e.g., EL status, free or reduced lunch status, ethnicity).

National Research Center Awarded

The Institute of Education Sciences awarded the next five-year National Center for Research on Gifted Education (NCRGE) to our collaborative team of researchers from the University of Connecticut, University of Iowa, University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, University of California – Berkeley, University of California – Santa Cruz, and Michigan State University. The team includes research methodologists, economists, and gifted education research leaders.

Dr. Del Siegle of the University of Connecticut, who directed the previous NCRGE (2014-2020), will direct the new NCRGE. Other members of the research team include Dr. E. Jean Gubbins, Dr. D. Betsy Mccoach, Dr. Catherine Little, and Dr. Christopher Rhoads at UConn, Dr. Susan Assouline at the University of Iowa, Dr. Scott Peters at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Dr. David Card at the University of California – Berkeley, Dr. Laura Giuliano at the University of California – Santa Cruz, and Dr. Scott Imberman and Dr. Katharine Strunk at Michigan State University.

The new Center will begin work on September 1, 2020, with a focus on the following questions:

  • How can we simplify identification systems while expanding participation opportunities for underserved students?
  • What impact do teachers have on gifted students’ academic success?
  • What are the benefits of gifted programs? How do they extend beyond academic achievement?
  • Can universal screening be effectively implemented for acceleration?

NCRGE is part of the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program, which funds evidence-based research, demonstration projects, and innovative strategies to enhance the ability of elementary schools and secondary schools nationwide to identify gifted and talented students and meet their special educational needs. The major emphasis of the program is on serving students traditionally underrepresented in gifted and talented programs