Why Do We Keep Doing the Same Things That Are Already Known Not to Work in Education?
One good example is gifted education. It is widely known that enrollment in gifted, talented or advanced academic programs has gross underrepresentation of the poor and certain minority children. This underrepresentation, of course, mirrors the well known academic achievement gap associated with poverty and race. This is only expected since there is really no other way but to look at achievement when screening for gifted students. What will be surprising is if these two do not correlate as there is really no known way of measuring a child's potential if we are not seeing its manifestation in current performance. When Erwin and Worrell examined assessment practices and underrepresentation of minority students in gifted programs, they concluded:
"First, the achievement gap continues to play an important role in whether students qualify for GATE (Gifted And Talented Education) programs, whether one looks at standardized achievement test scores, GPAs, or variables related to socioeconomic status such as parental education and income levels. Despite making concerted efforts to recruit students from underrepresented populations, the data show that they continue to be underrepresented and that on average, their achievement is lower across multiple indicators."