Gifted, Talented and Seperated

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Gifted, Talented and Separated

Introduction to Special Education
EEX2000

Gifted, Talented and Separated
“The most recent federal definition of gifted and talented, enacted in 1993, identifies gifted and talented students as those who exhibit the capacity for intellectual, creative, or artistic high performance and show unusual leadership ability or excel in an academic field. This current definition uses the term “outstanding talent,” rather than “gifts and talents,” and emphasizes that they can occur across all cultural and socioeconomic groups.” (McGraw-Hill Higher Education, 2009, p.544) On the Upper West Side of New York City lies P.S. 163 and its 652 students for the 2012-2013 school year. While P.S. 163 offers a great gifted and talented program many believe that it may be “. . a flawed system that reinforces racial separation in the city’s schools and contributes to disparities in achievement.” (Al Baker, 2013, p. 2) There are 205 children enrolled in the nine gifted classes, 47 percent of which are white; 15 percent which are Asian; and a combined 32 percent which are black and Hispanic. “The disparities are most apparent in the lower grades.” (Al baker, 2013, p. 2) It is safe to say that the gifted admissions standards lean towards the wealthier areas many of which have white or Asian children, rather than the black and Hispanic children who might be just as gifted and talented.

In the past, admissions were based on how the school district saw fit; educators often relied on previous reviews of students from their past teachers and classroom observations. That recently changed in 2008 when the Bloomberg administration made admission based on two tests that were given in one sitting. Although the intended purpose of these exams was to even out admissions it actually decreased the diversity that they wanted to achieve. It is said the, “Multiple procedures should be used to identify students who are gifted and talented as no...
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