Evidence points: How do you find a talented child?


In an elementary school in rural Appalachian, most children are white and poor; Eligible for 90 percent free or low-cost lunches. Guess how many of the 800 students are talented? Answer: Three. At the very least, it is the determination of a widely used national intelligence test, on which a small number of students living in poverty score high.

School administrators wanted to increase the number of talented students and invited a team of researchers to come up with another way to find them. The researchers asked 16 teachers to rate their students, which could be much higher than their classroom average, if not race, and benefit from improved instruction.

In this 2021 test, when the research team raised the teacher ratings for 282 students, they were shocked. The different methods of creaming from the top 10 percent make students from completely different groups who will be identified as talented without almost any overlap. Each class gave a group of top 10 percent talented students. The school-wide top 10 percent gave another result. There were only six children in both groups.

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