New Report Makes Clear the Need for Universal Screening of Gifted Children
January 31, 2018

The National Association for Gifted Children, whose mission is to enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children, applaud a newly released report, Is There a Gifted Gap? by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute that calls greater attention to the Excellence Gap and urges use of more equitable identification processes.

Following a review of federal education data, the report found that while high-poverty schools and those with higher proportions of minority students are as likely to have gifted education program as their more affluent and less-diverse counterparts, participation of students from these subgroups in gifted education lags.

The report also found that access to gifted education in high-need schools varies significantly by state. For example, 17 states offer gifted education programs in 80 percent or more of their high-poverty schools while 15 states fall under the 50 percent threshold.

To reverse these trends, the authors call for universal screening and other solutions to make for a more equitable identification, such as using local norms and multiple criteria, to identify talent. The study also notes the importance of a diverse teaching corps to support these efforts.

NAGC Executive Director M. René Islas offered the following comments on the study and its policy recommendations:

“NAGC applauds the Fordham Institute for another high-impact and timely study that sheds further light on the many challenges gifted students from underserved populations face in being identified and served.

“We strongly support the recommendations put forward by Fordham which echo NAGC’s model legislation advanced in our Giftedness Knows No Boundaries (GKNB) campaign. The GKNB advocacy tools are being used across the nation to improve policies at the state and local levels with leaders in Connecticut, Washington, and Illinois successfully securing changes to monitoring, acceleration, and funding policies.

“We urge policymakers, particularly at the state level, to enact changes to laws and regulations to ensure districts are implementing such policies to reverse the neglect of gifted and high-potential students and look forward to working with our state affiliates to advance such policies.”

For more information and access to model legislation on equitable identification, professional development, acceleration, and monitoring progress, visit


The National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) is a membership organization whose mission is to support those who enhance the growth and development of gifted and talented children through education, advocacy, community building, and research. 

CONTACT:  Cathleen Healy,

Follow NAGC on Twitter and Facebook.