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Volume 18, Issue 2


gifted education, gifted identification, minority high achievers, policy research, Arkansas


How might we improve gifted and talented (G/T) identification by learning about the process in Arkansas (AR)? In this study, we examined the accuracy of the gifted identification process in AR by comparing the degree to which students who were academically talented in the top 5% on the 3 rd grade state assessment in reading and mathematics in AR were identified for G/T. Across five years of independent cohorts, we replicate the finding that roughly 30% of the students in the top 5% in both reading and mathematics on the 3 rd grade state assessment are not identified as G/T. Multivariate models indicate that high achieving students participating in the Federal Free/Reduced Lunch program were 11 percentage points less likely to be identified as G/T. Our study has policy implications for AR’s G/T screening strategies, and more broadly for G/T identification of low-income and historically marginalized groups. Using student achievement on the 3rd grade state assessment in reading and mathematics as a ‘universal screening’ tool could help these students receive the academic services they need to develop their talent to the fullest.