English learners and students with disabilities under-identified as gifted
English learners and students with disabilities are under-identified as gifted and talented, but states that have specific policies requiring schools to offer services enroll these students at much higher rates.
That’s according to a new study conducted by NWEA, a research and educational services organization, using data from the 2017-18 Civil Rights Data Collection and the Stanford Education Data Archive.
Researchers found that English learners and students with disabilities are identified as gifted and talented at rates equal to one-eighth to one-sixth of their representation in the overall student population.
However, they also found that in states where schools were required to have formal plans for gifted services, they were 10 percentage points more likely to offer services to English learners and students with disabilities. When states conducted audits to make sure schools were offering services, schools were 23 percentage points more likely to offer gifted services to these students.
“One of the clearest takeaways from examining these data is the correlation between state policies and the more-equitable identification of gifted and talented students,” said Scott Peters, senior research scientist at NWEA, in a news release.
The researchers also found that the top 5% of schools with the highest equity of enrollment of English learners and students with disabilities identified as gifted were smaller, had more students from low-income families and had lower overall test scores.