Hey Wait a Minute...Why Isn’t My Daughter in Gifted and Talented Classes?
Growing up we used to play kickball in the middle of the street. Like any game there were rules. Certain mailboxes were either a base or a line to indicate where ‘out; would be. Anyone cousin or friend who came to visit knew that although they may have played kickball where they lived, if you played on our street, our rules applied. Or forget about playing with us. When I am parenting into unknown territory of schooling I feel like I am playing kickball in a neighborhood whose rules are unfamiliar. I figured I knew how to play the rules of school. Homework done and checked every night, all school supplies accounted for and a book read at bedtime. What else did I need to do? After all I was playing by the rules that got me through school. But, like life, the rules have changed and I am not currently in a position to change them. School is not my ‘neighborhood.’ I finally figured this out when my oldest got A’s and B’s on her report cards but wasn’t invited to join the gifted and talented classes. Little did I know that it was unlikely that she would be, as a Black child is only half as likely as a White child to be placed in a gifted and talented class. Black, Beautiful and Brilliant Females, a recent compilation of research about Black females in gifted and talented classes, revealed alarming truths from the 2009 Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC). The report highlighted:
- First, that 8.1% of girls participated in gifted education, compared to 7.4% of boys.
- Second, that approximately 5.2% of Black girls were identified as gifted and talented, compared to 35% of White girls.
- Third, over 100,000 Black females were not identified as gifted.
- Test scores
- Teacher recommendations
- To prepare our children to do well on standardized tests, not just their report card.
- Be vocal when we know they have the test scores but have not received a recommendation.