ERIC Number: ED485166
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2004-Aug
Promoting Sustained Growth in the Representation of African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans among Top Students in the United States at All Levels of the Education System
Miller, L. Scott
National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented NRCGT
Compared to Whites and Asian Americans, African Americans, Latinos, and Native Americans are severely under represented among top students in the United States at all levels of the educational system. This longstanding pattern is documented by virtually every traditional measure of academic achievement, including GPA, class rank, and standardized test scores. Moreover, all social class segments of these groups are underrepresented among the nation's top students. For example, this is the case for students from these groups who have parents who have not completed high school and for students with parents who have graduate and professional degrees. Over the years, relatively little attention has been given to increasing the number of top Black, Hispanic, and Native American students, which helps explain why there are very few strategies at any level of the educational system with strong empirical evidence that they can increase the number of high achieving students from these groups on a widespread basis. If there is to be sustained progress in this area, it probably will be necessary to give considerable priority over the next 10-20 years (and beyond) to the design, testing, and rigorous evaluation of strategies that are explicitly concerned with increasing the number of top students from these groups. To pursue this agenda effectively, it is recommended that several new entities be created that would each specialize in one or two important aspects of the high achievement challenge. For example, an entity should be created that would be concerned with developing model preschool and parent education programs that could improve the school readiness of middle and high SES youngsters from underrepresented groups, while another entity should be created that would specialize in evaluating programs and strategies at the higher education level that serve underrepresented minority students to determine if they help increase the number of top students from these groups in higher education. It also is recommended that these entities be mainly new nonprofit organizations or university-based centers, in order to ensure that they have the freedom and independence to maintain their specialized agendas over time.
Descriptors: High Achievement, Higher Education, Elementary Secondary Education, Asian American Students, Hispanic American Students, American Indians, Black Students, Disproportionate Representation, Social Bias, Academically Gifted
NRC/GT, University of Connecticut, 2131 Hillside Road Unit 3007, Storrs, CT 06269-3007. Web site: http://www.gifted.uconn.edu.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Adult Education; Early Childhood Education; Elementary Education; Elementary Secondary Education; Higher Education
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, Storrs, CT.