It’s time to stop putting kids in separate gifted education program

by Allison Roda, Research fellow, Institute on E ducation Law and Policy at Rutgers University and Halley Potter Fellow, The Century Foundation

High-Quality Curriculum Benefits All Children

New York Times op-ed. An overwhelming body of research shows that tracking students by ability is self-fulfilling, and the earlier tracking starts, the greater the inequity. “There is nothing magical or inherently good or bad about exposing black children to white children. What is critical is exposing every child to a high quality curriculum.”

 

Slate: Who Should Be in the Gifted Program?

Research shoes that black students are much less likely to be recommended for gifted programs, even when their test scores and grades are identical to those of white children admitted.  Standardized tests are not a solution: In NYC, they have only made the racial divide worse, as white parents pay thousands to have their children prepped for tests that others can't afford. Washington DC may have a solution: In D.C. gifted programs are open to any student who wants to enroll.

"The Search for Intelligent Life in Kindergarten" from Nurture Shock: New Thinking About Children by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman (Hachette, 2009)

The research is clear: There is no such thing as a reliable IQ test for 4 year-olds.  Even the social scientists behind the tests that the DOE uses say they have no value for children below 7 years; with 4-year-olds, they are wrong at predicting "giftedness" 73% of the time.

New York Magazine: The Junior Meritocracy: Why kindergarten-admission tests are worthless, at best

Similar to the above. Only about 25% of 4-year-olds who score 130 or above on an intelligence test would do so again as 17-year-olds.  Only 45 % of the kids who scored 130 or above on the Stanford-Binet would do so on another, similar IQ test at the same point in time.

Segregation in NYC District Elementary Schools and What We Can Do About It:  Addressing Internal Segregation and Harnessing the Educational Benefits of Diversity

This report from New York Appleseed focuses on in-school elementary-level segregation in "Gifted" and Dual Language programs.

Renzulli’s Schoolwide Enrichment

For information on this alternative to the DOE's current gifted program, see this Powerpoint presentation from local Renzulli consultant Barry Oreck.