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Finding a Good Fit: Evaluating Gifted Programs

gtchat 12042015 TAGT 2015

This week marked our 4th Live chat from the Annual Conference of the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented. As with many live chats, most of our regular participants were not available at the time of the chat. However, we were thrilled to have many new faces at the chat and we hope that the first timers will be back in future weeks.

First, we considered some attributes that define high quality gifted programming. They should include differentiated instruction delivered at an appropriate depth and  breadth; curriculum that involves abstract, complex, higher levels of thinking; and programs that identify twice-exceptional, culturally different, and underachieving gifted students.

What steps should be taken by school personnel when evaluating & implementing a gifted program? School personnel need to prepare for evaluation, design data collection and analysis, conduct evaluation, and follow-up. Steps should be taken to involve all stakeholders: students, parents, educators, admins, school boards, and community. Evaluations should identify outcomes, create a written plan and establish a timeline.

It’s important to match student strengths with appropriate gifted programming. Student’s abilities must be assessed including present levels of performance. Effective identification procedures will ensure a student is challenged but not overwhelmed. Also, a gifted student’s progress needs to be assessed appropriately. Out-of-level testing is essential; grade level achievement tests are inappropriate. Identification should be continuous beginning in kindergarten. Classroom teachers should assess transference of skills and knowledge from gifted programs to regular classroom.

What questions should parents ask when considering a gifted program for their child? Initially, they need to ask if the school has a systematic procedure for gifted identification in place. Also, does the gifted program offer a continuum of educational services based on assessed abilities. Ideally, they could ask if counseling related to giftedness is provided for students and parents. A transcript of the chat can be found at Storify.

During the conference, we also announced our intention to change the time slot for #gtchat. Although there will never be a perfect time for everyone, Friday night is a difficult time for a multitude of reasons. Look for a link to a poll from @gtchatmod on Twitter in the near future.


Global #gtchat Powered by the Texas Association for the Gifted and Talented  is a weekly chat on Twitter. Join us Fridays at 7E/6C/5M/4P in the U.S., Midnight in the UK and Saturdays 13.00 NZDT/11.00 AEDT to discuss current topics in the gifted community and meet experts in the field. Transcripts of our weekly chats can be found at Storify. Our Facebook Page provides information on the chat and news & information regarding the gifted community. Also, checkout our Pinterest Page and Playlist on YouTube.

Head Shot 2014-07-14  About the author: Lisa Conrad is the Moderator of Global #gtchat Powered        by TAGT and Social Media Manager of the Global #gtchat Community. She is a longtime  advocate for gifted children and also blogs at  Gifted Parenting Support. Lisa can be contacted at:


Designing Services and Programs for High-Ability Learners (pdf)

Designing and Utilizing Evaluation for Gifted Program Improvement (Amazon)

Gifted Education Program Standards: Planning/Implementing High-Quality Services (pdf)

Aiming for Excellence: Gifted Program Standards Tiers of Competency (pdf)

Institute on Gifted Program Evaluation Evaluating Effectiveness & Services for Gifted Children (pdf)

NAGC: National Standards in Gifted and Talented Education

Gifted and Talented Program Evaluation Template for Large Districts (pdf)

What to Look for in a Good Gifted Program

Advanced Academics and Gifted and Talented Program Evaluation (pdf)

TAGT: Program Evaluation

Gifted Education Practices

The Best Practices Manual for Gifted and Talented Programs in Idaho (pdf)

Graphic courtesy of Lisa Conrad.

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