Blog Archives

Closing the Excellence Gap

Talent on the Sidelines

As Global #gtchat celebrated its 2nd year of support from the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented, we welcomed a formidable panel of guests to discuss “Closing the Excellence Gap”. For over a decade, U.S. education policy-makers have sought to close the achievement gap; virtually ignoring its brightest students believing they would make it on their own. Worse yet, low-income and minority students who should have been receiving support were not even invited into the room.

Let’s meet our guests for this chat! Dr. Joy Davis is Associate Professor at Virginia Union University,  author of Bright, Talented & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners and a return guest to #gtchat. Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman is co-founder of The Creativity Post, Blogger at Scientific American and author of Ungifted. Rebecca McMillan is Senior Editor of The Creativity Post  and founder of The Brain Café on Facebook. Rebecca is also an online instructor for Gifted Homeschoolers Forum. Dr. Jonathan Plucker is Professor at the University of Connecticut and Lead Author on “Talent on the Sidelines: Excellence Gaps and America’s Persistent Talent Underclass.” Dr. Donna Y. Ford was unable to be with us due to travel delays, but has agreed to be our guest for another chat in the near future. We look forward to chatting with her.

Joy-davis                                                                  Dr. Joy Lawson Davis

Scott Barry KaufmanDr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Rebecca McMillanRebecca McMillan

Jonathan PluckerDr. Jonathan Plucker

Our first question delved into the difference between the Achievement Gap and the Excellence Gap.

Dr. Davis: “It’s [EG] a gap that prevents equitable access to advanced education programs; creating a schism between haves and have-nots. The have-nots are as capable, but lack access and opportunities; thus achievement cannot be fairly measured.”

Dr. Kaufman: “The ‘excellence gap’ represents the growing gap between high performing disadvantaged youth and more affluent peers.”

Rebecca McMillan: “Whereas the achievement gap focuses on the percentage of culturally diverse and disadvantaged students that reach proficiency, the excellence gap focuses on the percentage of culturally diverse & low-income students who reach higher levels of achievement as measured by participation in GT programs, AP & Honors classes, and advanced scores on state and national assessments.”

Dr. Plucker: “Excellence Gaps are achievement gaps at the high end of the achievement range. Excellence Gaps are big & persistent. The term represents intersection between equity & excellence. The U.S. is one of the few countries that treat equity & excellence as mutually exclusive.”

What groups comprise ‘America’s Persistent Talent Underclass’?

Dr. Davis: “[Groups include] students of color, particularly African American & Latino students & the poor, those from single parent headed households.”

Dr. Kaufman: “Any student who is systematically blocked from resources that would allow him or her to flourish is vulnerable. The culture of the school can also have a tremendous impact on vulnerability to excellence gaps.

Rebecca McMillan: “I would include homeless, abused, and neglected students. Students with unstable or difficult home environments.”

Dr. Plucker: “Underprivileged minority students and poor students, primarily. Some evidence that racial Excellence Gaps are closing at VERY slow rates; but poverty Excellence Gaps appear to be growing”

How can inequities specifically related to racial differences in gifted & advanced learner programs be addressed?

Dr. Davis: “By recognizing the very real discriminatory factors that prevent equitable experiences in schools. Ensuring that teachers are trained and sensitive to the needs of diverse students and how culture and race impacts learning. [While] doing PD in Title I school, teacher said to me: ‘aint’ no gifted kids in this school!

Dr. Kaufman: “I advocate a holistic evaluation of possibility for all students that assesses ability, engagement, and personal goals.We must take all dreams seriously, no matter how big or small, and help students get there step by step.”

Rebecca McMillan: “Identification issues are paramount. We need multiple, wide-gauge methods. Creativity must be considered. In my view, what drives both the excellence and achievement gaps is an engagement gap.”

Dr. Plucker: “Use local norms. Inexcusable to have no services in majority minority or high poverty schs. Local norms help change perceptions.I still hear racist comments in schools, for ex., “We can’t let too many of ‘those kids’ into the program.” Need to confront! [This] goes for poor kids, too: We don’t talk nearly enough about anti-poor bias in U.S.”

A complete transcript of this chat may be found here.

Links:

Talent on the Sidelines: The Widening Gap in Excellence” at the Creativity Post by Scott Barry Kaufman 

Talent on the Sidelines: Excellence Gaps & America’s Persistent Talent Underclass” by Dr. JonathanPlucker (pdf)

Excellence Gap 2012 (website)

Dr. Jonathan Plucker Bio @UCONN

Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman Bio

The Brain Cafe on Facebook

Dr. Joy Lawson Davis’ Blog WeAreGifted2

Interview with Dr. JonathanPlucker on Talent on the Sidelines (podcast)

Improve Education While Increasing Child Poverty – An Impossible NC Strategy

Hispanics Struggle to Graduate: An Issue of School Choice?

Report: ‘Excellence Gap’ Growing Among American Students

Excellence Gap Among American Students

Long Read: Narrowing the Excellence Gap

Report Cites Growing ‘Excellence Gap’

Report: Race, Wealth Remain Factors in State Achievement Gap

Race Equity & Excellence in Education Network  

White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics (website)

Dr. Donna Ford Bio

“Excellence Gap” from GiftedPhoenix

Scientific American Blog Beautiful Minds by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Scott Barry Kaufman’s Website

“Academic Survivability in High-Potential, Middle School Students” GCQ 1996 Plucker/McIntire

5 Questions for Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman about ‘The Creativity Post’ by Dr. JonathanLWai

Ungifted: Intelligence Redefined (book – Amazon) by @sbkaufman Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

The Complexity of Greatness: Beyond Talent or Practice (book – Amazon) by Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman 

Few Black & Latino Students Were Admitted to NYC’s Specialized Schools This Year

Integrating Multicultural and Gifted Education: A Curricular Framework” (pdf) from Dr. Donna Y. Ford et al

Bright, Talented, & Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners (Amazon – book) by Dr. Joy Lawson Davis

Welcome Dr. Donna Y. Ford to SENG’s Professional Advisory Committee

I, Too, Am Harvard

Cybraryman’s Culture Page

Cybraryman’s You Matter Page

From Evaluation to Inspiration: Scott Barry Kaufman at TEDx Manhattan Beach (video)

From Evaluation to Inspiration” at Scientific American Beautiful Minds Blog from Dr. Scott Barry Kaufman

Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education Program

Measuring Child Poverty: New League Tables of Child Poverty in the World’s Rich Countries from Unicef

Map the Meal Gap, Food Insecurity in Your County (U.S.)

The Need for Belonging in Math and Science” by Scott Barry Kaufman

Letter Grades Deserve an ‘F’” from Jessica Lahey

De Bono’s 6 Action Shoes: One Size Shoe Cover System” from Jo Freitag

The Future Project

Revealing New Truths About Our Nation’s Schools” (pdf) from the Office for Civil Rights

Status Quo at Elite New York Schools: Few Blacks and Hispanics

Con Cariño: Teacher Caring, Math Self-Efficacy, and Math Achievement Among Hispanic English Learners

Learning to Attend to Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Learners Through Teacher Inquiry in Teacher Education

Chapel Hill – Carrboro City Schools Blue Ribbon Mentor-Advocate 2013 – 2014 Program

Intensive Small-Group Tutoring and Counseling Helps Struggling Students

Rebecca McMillan Gifted Homeschoolers Forum Online Spring 2014 Instructor

Rebecca McMillan Sui Generis at The Creativity Post

Rebecca McMillan Senior Editor at The Creativity Post

Ode to Positive Constructive Daydreaming” by Rebecca McMillan et al

Advertisements

Can Equity Be Achieved in Gifted Education?

Global #gtchat was excited to host not one, but two surprised guest experts at this chat! Dr. Joy L. Davis, educational consultant, scholar and author at Creating Positive Futures; and Dr. Donna Y. Ford, Professor of Education and Human Development at Vanderbilt University. A full transcript can be found here.

Joy-Lawson-Davis1Dr. Joy Lawson Davis

donna ford

Dr. Donna Y. Ford

During this chat we discussed barriers which exist to participation  in gifted programs for high-ability, low-income students; which groups of children are most widely excluded from gifted programs; and who is most poised to make a difference – parents, educators, policy makers.  Finally, best practices in achieving equity in gifted education and practical steps that could be taken by local educators to make a difference were proposed.

In 2012, the NAGC released “Unlocking Emergent Talent: Supporting High Achievement of Low-Income, High-Ability Students” which “challenges the nation to move beyond its near-singular focus of achieving minimum performance for all students, to identifying and developing the talent of all students who are capable of high achievement, including our promising low-income and culturally and linguistically diverse students who too often literally languish in our schools.” Information from this report was used in the research for this chat.

Links:

Title I + Gifted Education=Partnership for Equity from @davis_joy

Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged

Poverty’s Multiple Dimensions

Overlooked Gems A National Perspective on Low-Income Promising Learners (pdf)

#IAGC Diverse Populations: The Prism of Giftedness

In the News: U-46 Found to Discriminate in Gifted Program

New & Important Books to Help with Eradicating Inequities in Education” from @davis_joy

Donna Y Ford, PhD’ (website)

Bright, Talented & Black (Amazon) from @davis_joy

Multicultural Gifted Education” from @donnayford

Bright, Talented & Black (website)

We Are Gifted 2 (Dr. Joy’s Blog)

Mirror Books: Power of Positive Images (Dr. Joy’s Facebook Page)

Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Students in Gifted Education: Recruitment Issues (pdf) by Dr. Ford

Renowned Educators Share Strategies to Support At-Risk-Youth

From the Texas Education Agency: What is Equity in G/T Education?

Civil Rights Date Collection (U.S. government)

Critique of ‘Unlocking Emerging Talent’ from @GiftedPhoenix

Cybraryman’s Culture Page

CultureGrams  

Dr. Joy Lawson Davis and “Diversity in Gifted Education”

joylawsondavis

Global #gtchat welcomed Dr. Joy Lawson Davis as we discussed “Diversity in Gifted Education”. Dr. Davis is the  author of Bright, Talented and Black: A Guide for Families of African American Gifted Learners; the Director of the Center for Gifted Education at the University of Louisiana, Lafayette; and Chair of the National Association of Gifted Children’s Diversity & Equity Committee. The complete transcript of this chat can be found here.

The opening question was, “What would you like us to know about the lack of diversity in U.S. gifted education programs?” Her reply, “Inequity affects certain groups more than others: Black, Hispanic, Native American, in particular. Gifted classrooms in some areas are the most segregated in America! The huge challenge before us ALL is to ensure that Gifted Education & Equity co-exist peacefully. Radical changes in attitudes about racially diverse students and those who come from low SES (socio-economic status) backgrounds can make a difference. Performance-based assessments, use of ‘talent spotting’, and universal screening are just a few of strategies.”

Next, we asked Dr. Joy ~ “What modifications should be made to assessments/identification process to be more culturally sensitive?” She replied ~ “Using culturally unbiased testing; some verbal tests that were not normed on a diverse population will not give the best results. Assessing students in their native language, training more diverse personnel in gifted education can help. If teachers are culturally insensitive; then they will overlook, misdiagnose, and simply ignore giftedness in diverse children.”

In closing, Dr. Davis reminded us that “We can do this!! Working together we can ERADICATE under-representation of culturally diverse students in gifted education worldwide!” We at #gtchat believe this is a timely and important topic that must be kept on the front burner! Special thanks to Dr. Davis for joining us!

Links:

Dr. Joy Lawson Davis website 

Bright, Talented and Black (Amazon) 

Senginar w/ Dr. Joy Davis ‘Addressing Unique Challenges of Culturally Diverse Gifted Learners’ Feb 12th

An Introduction to the Topic of Cultural Diversity and Giftedness 

We Are Gifted2 (Dr. Joy’s Blog)

Identifying and Nurturing the Gifted Poor 

Identifying and Serving Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Gifted Students

Eradicating Under-achievement and Under-representation of Diverse Learners ~ one Community at a Time

Excellence versus Equity: Political Forces in the Education of Gifted Students (Duke TIP) 

Interview of Dr. Davis on Ingeniosus

SENG Conference to Highlight Diversity in Gifted Education

Education of Special Populations of Gifted Students (.pdf  355 pgs)

Diverse Gifted Populations Committee (IAGC) 

Fostering Diversity in Gifted Education 

Understanding Culture 

Joy Lawson Davis @ Great Potential Press 

Joy Lawson Davis Bio on Amazon

Cybraryman’s Multicultural Celebration Page

Cybraryman’s Culture Page 

NZ: Gifted and Talented Online ~ For Parents and Whānau

%d bloggers like this: