According to the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students, equity in G/T education exists when "the population of the total district is reflected in the population of the gifted/talented services program or has been for two (2) of the past three (3) years" (State Plan, 1.6E).
As the state grows and the population changes, educators need to continually evaluate how best to serve all learners, including those who need G/T services. Ensuring equitable access to G/T services is a critical charge for Texas educators. G/T students come from a variety of cultural, linguistic, and socio-economic backgrounds and might also be twice-exceptional, both G/T and learning disabled. These factors need to be considered in assessing if G/T identification processes include or exclude nontraditional students.
Many nontraditional G/T students can be overlooked when traditional assessments provide the sole basis for placement in G/T programs. Despite adoption of the State Plan in 1996, Texas school districts have made little progress in achieving the goal of section 1.6E. Discrepancies still exist between the percentage of underrepresented populations in the total student population versus the percentage of underrepresented populations identified for G/T services.
The goal of the Equity in Gifted/Talented Education project is to encourage equitable representation of student populations in G/T programs throughout the state. This site provides tools and resources for districts that can be used to inform local policies and assess and modify current services to meet community needs. Texas school districts can provide learning opportunities that build bright futures for all students through assuring access to G/T assessment, identification, and services for students from diverse populations.
Outstanding talents are present in children and youth from all cultural groups, across all economic strata, and in all areas of human endeavor.
—National Excellence: A Case for Developing America's Talent
U.S. Department of Education (1993)