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ERIC Number: ED569953
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 88
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities: A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students
Plucker, Jonathan; Giancola, Jennifer; Healey, Grace; Arndt, Daniel; Wang, Chen
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Year after year, in every state and community in our nation, students from low-income families are less likely than other students to reach advanced levels of academic performance, even when demonstrating the potential to do so. These income-based "excellence gaps" appear in elementary school and continue through high school. It is a story of demography predetermining destiny, with bright low-income students becoming what one research team referred to as a "persistent talent underclass." Through educating the nation's youth, our schools cultivate our next generation's talent, and students who do well in school are more likely to become productive contributors to society. By setting state-wide policies encouraging excellence, states can encourage all schools to provide advanced learning opportunities for high-ability students. This report examines the performance of America's high-ability students, with an emphasis on those who come from low-income backgrounds. The report examines a range of state-level interventions that are intended to foster academic talent, with the goal of identifying the policies currently in use that should be implemented more widely. Working with an expert advisory panel, the project team identified a range of indicators related to state-level policy inputs and student outcomes. Ultimately, 18 indicators were included in the analyses, representing nine distinct state-level policies and nine specific student outcomes. All data were collected at the state level, as changes to state-level policies are believed to be the most likely to improve the country's education of high-ability students, especially students from low-income families. States were then graded on both their policy interventions and their student outcomes. To help states build on this groundwork, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation plans to conduct this survey periodically, with an increasingly broadened set of indicators and data sources, to inform the national dialogue about how best to educate our most advanced students, especially those from low-income families. As a starting point, recommendations to states include the following: (1) Make high-performing students highly visible; (2) Remove barriers that prevent high-ability students from moving through coursework at a pace that matches their achievement level; (3) Ensure that all high-ability students have access to advanced educational services; and (4) Hold local education agencies (LEAs) accountable for the performance of high-ability students from all economic backgrounds. The following are appended: (1) Indicator Descriptions and Data Sources; (2) State Data Tables; and (3) State Report Cards.
Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. 44325 Woodridge Parkway, Landsdowne, VA 20176. Tel: 703-723-8000; Fax: 703-723-8030; Web site:
Publication Type: Numerical/Quantitative Data; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation
Identifiers - Location: United States