Saturday, February 27, 2016
Universal screening increases identification of historically underrepresented minorities in gifted and talented programs
A research paper by Card and Giuliano took advantage of a natural experiment in a large school district to explore the impact that universal screening policies had on the identification of historically underrepresented minorities in gifted and talented programs.
The authors concluded that the universal screening system was more effective than the previous teacher and parent referral system in addressing the underidentification of African American, Hispanic, female, low socioeconomic status, and English learner students. However, the present article identified gaps in the system that allowed new inequities to emerge.
This review of their study concludes that districts must be advocates for gifted and talented students who come from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Implementing universal screening procedures can be an important tool in ensuring fair access to gifted and talented services, but districts must manage the increased resource demands of such programs.
This commentary provides a brief summary and critique of the article, proposes an explanation of the results in light of the author’s research on the role of nominations or screening tests in the gifted identification process, and discusses the methodological implications of this work for the field.