A Valid Objection: Exploring an Underrepresentation Index to …

Wallace Research Symposium on Talent Development

Poster Presentations

Poster Presentation 4 — A Valid Objection: Exploring an Underrepresentation Index to Improve Public Policy and Gifted and Talented Identification RatesHernán Castillo-Hermosilla & Nielsen Pereira

Monday, May 20, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Student Union Ballroom, Rooms 330/331

This study evaluates the practicality of an Underrepresentation Index (UI) for public schools to address inequities in gifted and talented (GT) identification processes. We aim to analyze how effective the use of traditional identification methods (i.e., achievement scores, GPA) is in comparison with other methods strongly supported by evidence (however infrequently used in public education). We use data collected from 1,437 students from four public institutions in the United States. Using two nonperformance-based methods, we define alternative pathways for identification by creating cutoff scores from the average scores obtained by the subgroup of students identified as GT by their schools. Subsequently, we apply them to the other group of students and identify these students as “probably GT but underserved” — those who reached or exceeded either of those cutoff scores. Results indicate that 247 students (compounded by 53 originally identified for GT services and 194 new students) are identified including these criteria and a UI=0.7854 suggests that at least 78.54% of the gifted students that should participate in a gifted program were not receiving services in their schools. The UI’s impact on GT services offers a more effective and equitable approach to improving identification rates.