Child, Family, and School Factors Associated with Gifted Educational Placement and Services for Low-Income, Ethnically Diverse Children in Miami: Which Students are Breaking the Barriers?



Haag, Allison R

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It is important to identify gifted students early to provide them with the appropriate instruction they need to succeed, and yet access to gifted education programs is unequal. Under-representation of students of color in gifted programs is well known, however, most of the research has focused on Black students, with less attention paid to Latino/a gifted identification. Little is known about the low-income, ethnically diverse children who do actually break the barriers and receive gifted educational services. This project used data from the large-scale (n = 39,213) Miami School Readiness Project to assess a variety of child, family, and school factors (i.e., gender, ethnicity, school readiness, skipping a grade or being retained, early achievement, test scores, ELL status, poverty, and immigration status, type of preschool program attended) associated with receiving gifted educational services in elementary school. Overall, 14.2% of students were identified as gifted at some point during elementary school, with most (67%) identified by second grade. About 30% of students identified as gifted did not appear to take any self-contained gifted courses. T-Test, Chi-Square, and multivariate logistic regression analyses revealed that White/Other and Hispanic/Latino students were significantly more likely to get identified as gifted than Black students, even controlling for poverty status, and child academic performance. Other variables uniquely associated with increased likelihood of gifted placement included attendance at a public school pre-K program, child school readiness at age 4, and early academic performance in school. Quality early childhood education programs and enhanced school readiness help young children in poverty get identified for gifted programs, yet access is still unequal across ethnic groups.



Gifted, Placement, Miami