The Perceptions of Directors of Gifted Education Regarding Division Factors that Contribute to Proportionate or Nearly Proportionate African American Representation in Gifted Education

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Virginia Tech

This study examined school divisions in the Commonwealth whose percentage African American students in gifted education were proportionate or nearly proportionate to their representation in the general student body in order to determine if there were any commonalities in their selection criteria. The conceptual framework suggests the type of assessments, professional development, multiple criteria, and students' self-perceptions are significant factors that determine the proportionality of African American students in gifted education programs within the Commonwealth. The reader has been provided with information on the historical perspective of disproportionate representation African Americans traditionally endured in gifted education. Data collected from interviews of directors of gifted education in school divisions that reported proportional representation of African American students in the area of General Intellectual Aptitude in gifted education. An analysis of the data revealed participating school divisions provided professional development on identifying underrepresented populations, used at least six multiple criteria options, selected both achievement and aptitude assessments during the screening process, and provided support for students' self-perceptions with a variety of programs which resulted in a proportional or near proportional African American representation in their gifted programs.

underrepresentation, populations, minority