A Comparison of Criteria used in Gifted Identification in the Commonwealth of Virginia
Palmer, Karen Smith
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In the Commonwealth of Virginia, gifted education plans are submitted to the state every five years for state approval. The plans must indicate the use of a minimum of four criteria out of the eight criteria provided by the Commonwealth in the identification process. The concept of using multiple criteria stems from research. Research has shown that the criteria used in the identification of gifted students affect the number of identified students as well as the proportions of the underrepresented (Donovan & Cross, 2002). Research has also shown that the use of multiple criteria leads to a higher proportion of underrepresented students identified (Callahan, Hunsaker, Adams, Moore, and Bland, 1995). The purpose of this study was to compare the gifted identification criteria used within the Commonwealth of Virginiaâ s public school divisions and analyze the effects of the criteria on the percentages of underrepresented gifted within the divisions. In this study, the researcher analyzed the numbers of each minority in the total populations against the total gifted minority populations to identify those divisions that were proportional for traditionally underrepresented minorities. All aspects of the gifted identification process for each division were then analyzed. The aspects were then used to compare the proportional divisions to the non-proportional divisions for commonalities in the identification process. Findings revealed that there were no divisions with reported minorities that were proportional in all traditionally underrepresented ethnicities. In addition, no one specific standardized measure was successfully used in identifying non-traditionally gifted minorities in all ethnic groups. The implication that can be drawn from this research is that despite all attempts to put research into practice by using multiple criteria in the identification of the gifted, there is no one criterion that ensures the proportional identification of underrepresented minorities.
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