Key Findings

    • Gifted services are not equally distributed across schools within districts. The variance between schools in a district is greater than the variance across districts in a state.
    • Underserved populations are not being identified at the same rates as non-underserved students even after controlling for student achievement. EL, free or reduced lunch, and Latinx and Black students are less likely to be identified as gifted even if they have the same reading and mathematics achievement as students not from these groups.
    • Very few districts reassess students once they have been identified.
    • Very few districts offer programs to identify and recruit potentially gifted students.
    • There is an extensive use of cognitive tests to identify gifted students.
    • Most districts identify gifted students in 3rd grade.
    • Third grade achievement is directly related to identification gaps in identification of gifted students.
    • Practices such as universal screening and nonverbal tests do not appear to be panaceas for removing the identification gap.
    • Universal screening with modification shows promise at reducing under-identification of underserved populations.
    • The majority of schools use pull-out classes for gifted instruction.
    • Gifted programs seldom focus on core curriculum such as math and reading. Gifted programs have a greater focus on critical thinking and creative thinking than reading/language arts and mathematics.
    • Gifted students start ahead in reading and mathematics achievement at 3rd grade but don’t grow any faster than other groups by 5th grade. In some cases, gifted students show slower growth during this period than non-identified gifted students.
    • Teacher autonomy positively influences academic achievement of gifted students.
    • EL reclassification is linked to gifted identification. Each year a student has EL services, he or she is 30% less likely to be identified as gifted. EL students exit EL programs faster in schools with greater percentages of gifted students.
    •  When school personnel serve as talent scouts and interact with each other they are more effective in identifying gifted English learners.
    • There is a high level of agreement between district and teacher reports of practice and curriculum for gifted students.