There are not inherent differences between different races that produce intellectual differences. There should be an equal distribution between ethnicities of gifted and talented students. Currently racial and ethnic minorities are grossly underrepresented in gifted and talented classes (4). This inequality in representation has been caused by discriminatory and unfair practices involving gifted and talented programs.

One factor that has contributed to these inequalities in representation is culturally inappropriate assessment instruments and testing procedures. The tests used for assessment may have been normed on a population different from the population being tested (4). If the assessment methods are biased or favor a specific group, it then directly discriminates against another. In general minority students are the group that is at a disadvantage when testing and assessment is culturally biased.

IQ tests are often used for assessment for giftedness. IQ test scores represent the development of intellectual ability for a student, but do not accommodate for the impact of societal factors on individuals (4). This also contributes to the lack of minority students in gifted and talented programs.

Language is also a factor aiding the lack of minority students in gifted and talented programs. If the language of the assessment is English and the students are not native English speakers the students are at a huge disadvantage. Language also prevents the parents of these students from finding out about gifted and talented programs, and so these parents will not try to involve their children in these programs (4).

The factors mentioned above are creating inequalities in the number of students from different ethnicities in gifted and talented programs.

 

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