December 1, 2012
Cultural Diversity in the Classroom
Issues in Multicultural Education
Multicultural Education has come a long way but still there is work to be done to ensure an equal and quality education for all students. Schools are doing everything they can to make sure all students feel welcomed and accepted. Even so, some gifted education programs have been criticized for underrepresenting minority students who are culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD). (Ford, 2008). Changes will need to be made to these programs to include minority students who meet the criteria for gifted education. We need to ensure that minorities are not being overlooked when tests for enrollment in these programs are being given.
The Office of Civil Rights, (OCR), is a law enforcement agency that enforces the Federal civil rights laws regarding the discrimination of any person based on race, color, disability, age, origin, or sex. Any program or activity that receives federal funds must abide by these laws. This includes gifted student programs in schools that receive federal financial assistance. The OCR plays a large role in assisting school districts to be accountable for non-discrimination, although few administrators and teachers understand the goals and objectives of the OCR in the context of gifted education. (Ford, 2000). Students with special gifts and talents come from all different cultural backgrounds. Because most tests for identifying gifted students have been developed for use with middle class students whose native language is English, it leads to minority speaking children to be underrepresented in these programs. This in turn prevents our schools from properly developing the strengths and abilities of these students. (NAGC, 2008). Students are chosen to test for the gifted program from IQ scores, teacher referrals, grades, as well as other factors. In an article by Ford he states that poor IQ test performance...