Institutional Racism? Gifted Programs Propagates Class And Racial Inequalities


A study by the Think Progress initiative has revealed the rot in school’s gifted programs. Which increases racial and socioeconomic disparities at the grassroot level.

The study indicates the odds of a student of color getting into a gifted program is 66 percent lower compared to that of a white kid. While low-income students, black and Latino students, and English language learners have a few barriers that make it harder for them to get into gifted classes. For example, the IQ tests required to gain entry focus a lot on vocabulary, which is harder for students whose families haven’t fully learned English, aren’t using complex sentences, or use a different vernacular. Thus for black or Latino student, racial bias may prevent teachers from noticing their intelligence so they stand little chance of being recommending you for testing.

Furthermore, affluent families have the resources to give their kids an extra edge. They can better prepare their children for IQ tests by paying for practice tests and sending them to private psychologists, who may identify more gifted students. David Card, who headed this research says earlier research he conducted in 2014 found a huge spike in IQ scores at 130 points for non-disadvantaged students that would suggest influence from private psychologists.

This system has now been entrenched in the educational system and according a professor of economics at the University of Carlifornia, David Card, the private investigators are indeed influencing the system greatly. He said;

“If you look at the scores of kids who are tested by private psychologists, you see a huge number of kids who just barely pass [to get into the programs]. So it looks like the private psychologists are basically gaming the system, and I think almost everybody knows that that’s true,” said David Card, a professor of economics at the University of California, Berkeley and a co-author of a new study examining how gifted classes can benefit non-gifted students.

His assertion is backed up by a study published earlier this year in AERA Open, a peer-reviewed publication of the American Educational Research Association. Which shows that Latino students’ odds are 47 percent lower compared to white students. For Asian students, however, the odds of assignment into a gifted and talented program are 44 percent higher than for white students.

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