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Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

Your superintendent, Dr. Purple Gold, is being questioned by parents and the local PAGE group about your countys local AIG plan and its
alignment to current research. He asks you to design a subpage for the district website that includes information about 3 specific components
addressed in the local plan: identification, placement, and services. First, he requests that you write research-based paragraphs introducing each
component below and justify the importance of the component with peer-reviewed literature (sections titled Research Based Information on ).
These paragraphs will build background knowledge for the gifted advocates and stakeholders in your county. Second, he wants you to assess
what is currently included in your local AIG plan in regards to identification, placement, and services. Third, he asks that you offer the county a
rating and recommendation(s) for each of the three components in the local AIG plan.

CONTENT LOCAL PLAN APPLICATION

Component Items specific to the local plan Assessing the county

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

Highlight one

Strong Evidence of proper


Highlight all of the following indicators that are evident in the local plan: identification
The identification process is clear and comprehensive. Some Evidence of proper
Identification process is defensible as evidenced by most current research identification
and recommendations in the field of gifted education. Limited/No Evidence of proper
Assessments in the area of intellectual and academic fields, K-12, use a identification
minimum of three (3) appropriate criteria that include both qualitative and
quantitative measures with adequate reliability and validity.
Based on your content knowledge
Assessment instruments for identification reflect sensitivity to economic and current research, write your
conditions, gender, developmental differences, learning difference and recommendations to the
diversity of students so that equal opportunity for consideration is provided to superintendent:
all students.
Identification When appropriate, professional personnel administer individualized
assessments in the language in which the student is most fluent. 1. Studies
show that relying on
1
When appropriate individual assessments are designated to assess recommendation/referral/
strength-based areas of gifted students and are administered by professional nominations first results in missing
personnel.
the identification of gifted
An inter-rater reliability process is clearly articulated that ensures a child in
School A identified as gifted using a minimum of three (3) appropriate criteria students. (McBee,, Miller, &
that include both qualitative and quantitative measures with adequate Peters, 2016). With this
reliability and validity would also be identified as gifted using the same knowledge, my first
criteria in School B.
recommendation would be to add
The identification process is designed to organize multiple kinds of data free
of weighing and cut-off scores. more opportunities for student
identification than simply relying
Additional Notes:
on nominations. A good way of
doing this is implementing the
Nagliergi Non-Verbal Ability Test
(NNAT) throughout student
careers. At this point in time, the
only grade that receives some form

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

The identification stage exists as a means of entry to accept students into the gifted program. There are several
ways in which programs can identify students. Identification also varies depending on the grade level a student
might be in. A commonly used form of identification is an assessment that addresses intelligence levels. An
example of such test is the Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test (NNAT) which is a nonverbal test intended to assess
cognitive ability independent of linguistic and cultural background. Providing an opportunity for students to test in
a nonverbal assessment increases the likelihood that students from minority backgrounds and English as a Second
Language (ESL/ELL/FRL) students be considered for identification (Card & Giuliano, 2016). This means that
identification has a higher chance of being inclusive and accurate through the NNAT testing versus other cognitive
ability tests.
Another common route for identification is the referral approach. There are several terms that apply to the same
process. Some terms that are frequently used are referral, recommendation, or nomination. (Geiser, Grigorenko,
Research Mandelman, & Tan, 2015; McBee, Miller, & Peters, 2016; Card & Giuliano, 2016). While many programs open the
Based referral process to anyone involved in a students life that is aware of their gifted abilities, a recent study proved
Information on
IDENTIFICATIO that teacher identification ratings were highest and converged with objective assessments, parent ratings were
N second, self ratings were the lowest reliabilities and showed insufficient validity. (Geis,er Grigorenko, Mandelman,
& Tan, 2015). This nomination practice, however, is debated for its accuracy. A recent study shows that students are
more likely to be missed if the gifted program relies on nominations first (McBee, Miller, & Peters, 2016).
The best practices for identification uses a variety of tools. Recommendations include the avoidance of using
one single policy or practice such as an IQ test. While many agree that the NNAT or other nonverbal tests are the
best option for assessments, there is also emphasis on providing domain specific testing (Lohman & Gambrell,
2012). Additionally, best practices encourages the use of teacher scales. Teacher scales are presented in a variety of
form such as: Gifted Rating Scales (Pfeiffer & Jarosewich, 2003), the HOPE Scale (Peters & Gentry, 2010), the
Scales for Rating the Behavioral Characteristics of Superior Students (Renzulli & Smith, 2010), and the Gifted and
Talented Evaluation Scales (GATES; Gilliam, Carpenter, & Christensen, 1996). All of these scales are completed
by the students classroom teacher and provide insight into students behaviors that can be identified as gifted.
Lastly, the use of Talent Search with domain specific and above-grade level testing bridges the gap between within
and outside-of school learning which supports gifted identification measures. (Olszewski-Kubilius & Steenbergen-
Hu, 2016).

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

Highlight one
Strong Evidence
of proper placement decisions

Some Evidence
Highlight all of the following indicators that are evident in the local plan: of proper placement decisions
Assessment instruments selected are deemed to be of equal importance in
making placement decisions.
Limited/No Evidence
Understandable procedures for developing Differentiated Education Plan of proper placement decisions
(DEP) and Individual Differentiated Education Plans (IDEP) are articulated
and in place for all K-12 identified gifted students.
Processes are articulated and in place to assure that K-12 DEPs and IDEPs
are accessible to students, parents, administrators, classroom teachers and Based on your content knowledge
teachers of gifted students. and current research, write your
recommendations to the
Clearly articulated procedures exist in the plan for instructional placement of
Placement superintendent
identified gifted students who may need changes in their K-12 DEPs or
2
IDEPs to address possible furloughs, transfers (inside or outside school
district) or other possible instructional changes in gifted services.
1. Enrichment scheduling and
Procedures are clearly communicated for annual and midterm reviews of
K-12 DEPs and/or IDEPs that reflect data-driven decisions specific to the courses are being well used
unique needs of gifted students. at the elementary level;
however, the middle grades
Additional Notes: Placement is not clearly define in plan. This term can be somewhat level is inadequate by
confusing and overlaps with both identification and services. With that said, there placing all high achieving
was no mention of direct plans for differentiation other than a mention that it will be
provided by the teacher in whole and mixed ability classroom settings. students in 40 minutes of
French twice a week.
Curriculum needs to be
developed with subject
connections based off of
student skills from domain-
specific testing. As outlined
by the National Association

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

At this point in gifted education, placement is somewhat of an umbrella term which can apply both to
identification and services. For the purpose of this paper, we will outline placement in terms of student
grouping, acceleration, and social emotional needs of gifted learners.
For decades now, there have been arguments over the best approach to addressing the needs of gifted
learners. Recently, a study has produced an answer to this question. Saiying Steenbergen-Hu, Matthew C.
Makel, and Paula Olszewski-Kubilius have found that ability grouping and acceleration benefit gifted
students the most (2016). Ability grouping applies to both schoolwide and classroom based grouping of
students based off of their ability. Sometimes this refers to high, medium, and low classes while other times
this means small groups of ability within one larger mixed group of ability students. Either way, the ability
grouping where students work with peers of similar intelligence on a subject matter was beneficial to gifted
students. In addition to ability grouping, acceleration of students supported gifted learners in positive ways.
Acceleration, too, has several meanings. This can mean grade levels such as kindergarten, first grade, middle
school, and high school. This can also mean acceleration while students stay within the same grade but
Research Based experience self-paced instruction, subject-specific acceleration, curriculum compacting, dual enrollment,
Information on
PLACEMENT credit by examination, and early graduation. (Makel, Olszewski-Kubilius, & Steenbergen-Hu, 2016).
In addition to content and grade level, placement must also address the social and emotional needs of
gifted students. Emily Bacal (2015) conducted research to investigate the impact of various placements and
groupings. She focused on three grouping and placement scenarios: cluster, self-contained, and content
replacement. The results concluded that there were no overall differences between the placement types;
gifted students showed overall social emotional competencies above the norm; and cluster settings showed
higher self-awareness within gifted students. Lastly, the research found, the trend of the data seems to
indicate that teachers rated the students in the cluster placement as having higher overall social-emotional
scores on all scales than they did for the students in the self-contained setting, and both the cluster and self-
contained settings yielded higher overall scores than for children in the content replacement setting. (Bacal,
2015, p. 46).
Lastly, research has been completed that specifically focuses on rural areas. In these areas, cluster
grouping is recommended to have the most advantageous effects on gifted learners. Cluster grouping is a
different term used to refer to ability grouping. Best practices in rural areas are as follows in fostering gifted
students: supportive learning environment, selecting and adapting curriculum, common curricular and

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

Highlight one
Strong Evidence
of gifted services

Some Evidence
of gifted services

Limited/No Evidence
of gifted services
Highlight all of the following indicators that are evident in the local plan:
The plan offers a range of Program Service Options to address the unique
needs of identified gifted students.
Based on your content knowledge
Program Service Options exist for K-5 identified gifted students. and current research, write your
Program Service Options exist for 6-8 identified gifted students. recommendations to the
superintendent
3 Services Program Service Options exist for 9-12 identified gifted students.
Program Service Options are described K-5 (primary/elementary).
Program Service Options are described for 6-8 (middle school). 1. My first recommendation for
Program Service Options descriptions are described for 9-12 (high school). services is to develop Enrichment
Clusters (SEM) for equal access
for all students to develop their
Additional Notes: Program Service Options only exist for K-2; 3-5 are not mentioned.
strengths and talents. The
incorporation of this program
allows student choice and interest
development. It also aligns with
the NAGC standards (2010) for
gifted education through the use of
domain-specific curriculum. SEM
addresses culturally and
linguistically diverse students
while also supporting the needs of

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

Services applies to what students are receiving once they become a part of the gifted program. Current research
(Callahan, Moon, & Oh, 2017) shows that many gifted program models are based off of the same practices used 20
years or more ago with a one-size-fits all delivery of the program model. Best practices means avoiding the
following: wide and high range of students recommended for the AP track at the high school level; lack of high-
quality curriculum, instruction, and professional development training for teachers, as well as specifications of
curricular materials at the elementary and middle school levels; no mission element to answer the two questions: (a)
Can the district/school provide data on which students have mastered particular learning outcomes and provide
evidence (e.g., assessed student work) for that determination? and (b) Can students, parents, and administrators
articulate the desired outcomes of the gifted program?; identified learning outcomes and routine cycles for program
Research
Based evaluations are needed (Callahan, Moon, & Oh, 2017).
Information Programs such as virtual classrooms and blended learning have been proven to be effective for students of all
on ages. Virtual programs are commonly thought of as resources for high school students, but it has been proven that
SERVICES
virtual learning labs (VLL) benefit middle school students as well. In addition, these programs are cost-effective,
report parent and student satisfaction, allow for individualized work pace in talent areas, and are a means of
acceleration. (Becker et. al, 2015). Virtual classrooms can be used as an option for another piece that contributes to
best practices which is an independent study. In a recent qualitative study of Taiwanese High School students, the
students identified the independent study piece of their gifted program as the most valuable to their experience
because it allowed students to explore and develop individual talents which, in turn, influenced their choice of
college majors and positively impacted their overall studies. (Jen & Moon, 2015).

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

Reference

Allen, J. K., Brown, K. B., Payne Y. D., & Robbins, M. A. (2016). Using enrichment

clusters to address the needs of culturally and linguistically diverse learners. Gifted Child Today. 39(2).
84-97. DOI: 10.1177/1076217516628568

Bacal, E. (2015). The relationship between placement and social skills in gifted students

(Order No. 3701621). Available from ProQuest Central; ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.
(1680779188). Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com.jproxy.lib.ecu.edu/docview/1680779188?
accountid=10639

Becker, D., Coulombe-Quach, X-L., Godek, J., Huang, A., Swan, B., & Zhou, Y. (2015).
Reference Meeting the needs of gifted and talented students. Journal of Advanced Academics. 26(4). 294-319. DOI:
List
10.1177/1932202X15603366

Buena Vista City Public Schools. (2017). Local plan for the education of the gifted. Retrieved

from https://drive.google.com/file/d/
0B5QbWHgrVvmdRURHc01FNzVSZVU3VFNraWZGV2hXYzEyM2RB/view

Card, D & Giuliano, L. (2016). Proceedings of the Nationals Academy of Sciences of the Unites

States of America. 113(48). 13678-13683. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1605043113

Callahan, C. M., Moon, T. R., & Oh, S. (2017). Describing the status of programs for the gifted.

Journal for the Education of the Gifted. 40(1). 20-49. DOI: 10.1177/0162353216686215

Carroll, J.B. (1993). Human Cognitive Abilities: A Survey of Factor-Analytic

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017


Road to Gifted Stop #4 ECU AIG Licensure Program

*This assignment meets standard 3b.1--Teachers know the content appropriate to their teaching specialty. This assignment is just one example of
how the teachers in our AIG program at ECU have a rich and in-depth understanding of the content in gifted education. Specifically, this
assignment focuses on the content of identification, placement, and services with application to a local plan of their choice. Writing
recommendations to the superintendent requires knowledge of content and synthesis of research and local practices.

Sarah Parker July 28, 2017