"Gifted Programs Provide Little to No Academic Boost"

Five years ago, research has shown us convincingly that Black and Hispanic children are underrepresented in advanced academic programs. It has been long argued that schools need to respond to the needs of gifted children. Unfortunately, for such programs to succeed, it is required that students be properly identified. This area has always been challenging. Studies have pointed out time and again that selections have been disproportionate on the basis of race, ethnicity and family income. 

Above copied from
Grissom, Jason A., and Christopher Redding. 2016. “Discretion and Disproportionality: Explaining the Underrepresentation of High-Achieving Students of Color in Gifted Programs.” AERA Open 2(1): 1-25


Now, research has something else to say:

Above copied from the Hechinger Report

This new study is scheduled to be published in May 2021 in the journal of Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, but authors of the study have provided us with a preview. The following summarizes the findings of the study, as tweeted by one of the authors:


This study looks at a cohort of 18,170 students who began kindergarten in the 2010–2011 school year through their elementary years. Jill Barshay at Hechinger Report summarizes the findings in one sentence:

But based on the measures we have now and the current state of affairs of these programs, it appears that gifted education isn’t much of a gift to students.

Perhaps, we do not really know what "gifted" means. Perhaps, we have always incorrectly equating giftedness with academic achievement. And that is why we are totally confused and misguided when we sort young children into these programs.  

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