School Programs for Gifted Children

The No Child Left Behind legislation mandates that all children receive adequate education, to include the gifted (Gallagher 2004). Any school district that receives Federal funding must ensure that programs are nondiscriminatory. This has resulted in problems with inequities in the identification and serving of gifted students. Despite positive goals of this act, it has resulted in consequences such as the gap between majority/minority and low/high income students' school achievement. Race has been an issue that has shaped the education of gifted students. Schools in 50 states were graded in a paper sponsored by the Pew Charitable Trust and Education Week (covers elementary and secondary education) on factors such as programs for gifted students and equality, and only five states earned a grade of A or A-: Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, and West Virginia. Alaska, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Texas were rated with a grade of D and all others received either a B or C grade. The racial makeup of students in gifted education programs showed that in many states there were a small percentage of blacks in these programs while there were a large percentage of blacks in special education programs ("News" 1997).

This influence has been strong enough to result in the assembly of a National Academy of Science panel designed to investigate the reason why there are so few minority student sin gifted programs (Gallagher 2004). Findings



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