Gifted and talented education programs provide children who have been identified as having high ability in some intellectual or creative characteristic with a supplemental curriculum to their traditional coursework. Despite the popularity of these programs, the literature lacks a comprehensive review of gifted education in the United States. This policy brief aims to fill this void by providing national and state-level statistics on participation rates, funding appropriations, and policies on gifted education.
Since many of the operational details of these programs are determined by local education agencies, data on a nationally representative sample of schools are then used to provide information on gifted curricula, instructor training and experience, and the selection process for admission. Finally, a review of the research on gifted education is provided. This research highlights that gifted programs vary widely and that further research on this topic can provide valuable information to policy makers and educators.