Screening for the Identification of Gifted Students

Report
1
SCREENING FOR THE
IDENTIFICATION OF
GIFTED STUDENTS: REQUIREMENTS,
CONSIDERATIONS AND TOOLS
Timothy J. Runge, Ph.D., NCSP
Assistant Professor
Director, IUP Center for Gifted Education
2
When to Screen
PA Definition of Giftedness
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Pennsylvania regulations state that a child is mentally gifted if the child:
1.
Has an IQ of 130 or higher (and other commensurate skills
commensurate)
OR
2.
Has an IQ below 130 when multiple criteria strongly indicate gifted
ability.
So what are these MULTIPLE CRITERIA? :
(PDE, Chapter 16; Santoro, 2011)
Multiple Criteria
4

Pennsylvania’s multiple criteria include the following:





The student is a year or more above grade achievement level for the
normal age group in one or more academic subjects as measured by
nationally-normed and validated achievement tests able to accurately
reflect gifted performance.
The student has an observed or measured rate of acquisition/retention of
new academic content or skills that reflect gifted ability
The student has demonstrated achievement, performance or expertise in
one or more academic areas as evidenced by excellence of products,
portfolio or research, as well as criterion-referenced team judgment.
The student has demonstrated early and measured use of high level
thinking skills, academic creativity, leadership skills, intense academic
interest areas, communication skills, foreign language aptitude or
technology expertise.
There are not intervening factors such as English as a second language,
disabilities, gender or race bias, or socio/cultural deprivation masking
gifted abilities.
(PDE, Chapter 16; Santoro, 2011)
Remember Two-Pronged Eligibility
5

To be declared eligible for gifted education
services:
 Child
 IQ
must be IDENTIFIED as mentally gifted
of 130 or multiple criteria
AND
 Child
must NEED gifted support services
At What Age Can Eligibility Testing Be
Requested?
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


Early elementary school – Preschool/Kindergarten
Whenever the child is suspected of being gifted by
a teacher or parent
As with special education, request must be informed
and in writing
Time of Year
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

(§16.21(a)) Each school district is required to develop and
implement a system to locate and identify all students within the
district who are thought to be gifted and in need of specially
designed instruction.
(§16.22(b)) Referral for gifted multidisciplinary evaluation shall be
made when the student is suspected by teachers or parents of being
gifted and not receiving an appropriate education under Chapter 4
(relating to academic standards and assessment) and one or more
of the following apply:
1)
2)
3)
A request for evaluation has been made by the student’s parents
under subsection (c).
The student is thought to be gifted because the school district’s
screening of the student indicates high potential consistent with the
definition of mentally gifted or a performance level which exceeds
that of other students in the regular classroom.
A hearing officer or judicial decision orders a gifted multidisciplinary
evaluation.
Referral Sources
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

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
Teachers
Parents
Peers
Self




IQ tests
Achievement tests
Creativity tests
Product and performance
assessments
Identification Procedures
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



Districts should have an evaluation request form readily
available (must be provided within 10 days of an oral request)
Evaluation must be completed within 60 calendar days
after written parent consent received (summer doesn’t count)
“Deficits in memory or processing speed cannot be the
sole basis for determining that a student is ineligible for
gifted education services.”
“…a person who has an IQ of 130 or higher or when
multiple criteria as set forth in this chapter and in
Department Guidelines indicate gifted ability.”
But Before We Conduct an Eligibility
Evaluation…..
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
Remember, §16.21(a) requires LEAs to establish a
method by which to screen and identify students for
gifted education

So, what screening options are available?

Before we look at screening options….
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Psychometric Considerations for
Screening and Diagnostic Measures
Reliability
12


Accuracy or consistency of a test, rating scale,
inventory, or other selection procedure
4 kinds:
 Internal
 Test-retest
 Alternate
forms
 Inter-rater

If test reliability is low, then test results and decisions
based on test results will not be valid
Validity
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


Degree to which an inventory or test actually
measures what it is supposed to measure
Using several identification criteria will help
compensate for a rating scale measure or test which
has borderline validity
Always consider both reliability and validity of a
procedure or test
Huge Caveat
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

Don’t assume a screener (or a diagnostic tool) is
RELIABLE or VALID
Critically evaluate the technical manual
 Theoretical
framework for development
 Representativeness in standardization sample?
 Ceiling / Floor effects?
 (Screeners) False positives / False negatives
 (Diagnostic tools) Diagnostic sensitivity?
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Screening Approaches
Screening Approaches
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1.
Traditional
2.
Renzulli Talent Pool Strategy
Traditional Screening Measures
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
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Top 3-5% of students are selected as gifted
Committee reviews data from many sources (e.g.,
ability and achievement scores, nominations) for
candidates
Use of point systems and cutoffs – Example matrix
(next slide)
Identification process ends at beginning of school
year
Example – Screening Matrix
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Screening Approaches
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1.
Traditional
2.
Renzulli Talent Pool Strategy
Renzulli's Talent Pool Strategy
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


Most popular programming model
Liberal approach
15-20% of school population is identified as being
gifted according to ability, achievement, or rating
or nomination information
 In
professional communities with a large number of
high-ability students, Talent Pool may consist 25% of
school population or even 100%
 Intent is to be inclusive
Renzulli's Talent Pool Strategy
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
5 Main identification related attractions:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
Students identified by multiple criteria – test and nontest
More students have access to opportunities, resources,
and encouragement
Teachers are continuously identifying students for
independent projects, not just at the beginning of the
school year.
Reduced charges of elitism
Problem of deciding who should be admitted and
who should not be is eliminated. When in doubt,
admit the student into the gifted program.
Renzulli’s Strategy
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Step 1
Test Score Nominations
Step 2
Teacher Nominations
Step 3
Alternate Pathways
Step 4
Special Nominations (Safety Valve #1)
Step 5
Action Information Nominations (Safety Valve #2)
Renzulli's Talent Pool 5 Step
Identification Plan
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
Step 1 – Test Score Nominations
 Selected
through standardized IQ tests and/or
achievement tests
 Students who score above the 92nd percentile are
automatically admitted
 Will select about 50% via this Step

Step 2 – Teacher Nominations
 Teachers
nominate other students who display
characteristics of high motivation, high creativity,
unusual interests or talents, or special areas of potential
or superior performance.
Renzulli's Talent Pool 5 Step
Identification Plan (continued)
25

Step 3 – Alternate Pathways
 For
those students not nominated in Steps 1 or 2…
 Includes: self-nominations, parent nominations, peer
nominations, creativity test results, product evaluations,
etc.
 Admission decided by screening committee which
interviews the students, teachers, and parents as well as
previous school records
 Students can be admitted for a trial bases
Renzulli's Talent Pool 5 Step
Identification Plan (continued)
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
Step 4 – Special Nominations (safety valve #1)
 List
of students nominated circulates to all teachers
 Allows previous-year teachers to nominate students who
are not on the list
 Allows resource teachers to make recommendations

Step 5 – Action Information Nominations (safety
valve #2)
 Students
can pursue a topic, idea, or area of study
which they are extremely interested in or excited about
 May be used to nominate non-Talent Pool students for
projects
 Nominations reviewed by screening committee
Advantages of Renzulli's Talent Pool
Approach
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
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More students have opportunity to participate
Identification flexible and multidimensional
Identification is year around
Motivated students self-select
Reduced charges of elitism
Need for hard-and-fast decisions eliminated
Altered identification criteria can not eliminate a
student from being considered gifted
No need for IQ or multiple criteria
Gifted Identification in PA
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

Gifted education is regulated by Chapter 16 of the
PA Code, not federal regulation
Chapter 16 requires:
 Full
assessment of those suspected of being gifted
which includes a school psychologist
 Time limits from date of permission to date of
assessment & date of writing of GIEP (Gifted Individual
Education Plan)
So, what does a teacher look for? Some characteristics
of students likely to be found eligible in PA:
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Quality of work (not amount of work)
Enthusiasm for learning (maybe just some things)
Intensity of special interest
Reasoning ability
Sensitivity to current events & moral/social issues
Signs of leadership ability (even if not
appropriately applied)
Some Characteristics of Giftedness
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Sense of humor
Wide interests
Ability to interact with adults
Attraction to older children
Better attention to intellectually challenging rather
than rote activity
Strength in verbal or written expression
Knows or can do what has not been taught (technique
or approach may be uncommon)
Uneven development
Students may not be excluded because of:
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
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Grades (although they may be considered)
Failure to perform
Disciplinary issues
Presence of a disability
Scores on a screening instrument
Reminder about GIEP services
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
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GIEP carries force of requirement
Includes PLEP (present levels of educational
performance)
GIEP is NOT limited to any one educational location
such as a resource room
GIEP must be individualized for child & can not be a
generic program
Acceleration must be one of the options considered
by the district
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Appropriate Diagnostic Measures
Areas of Individual Assessment
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Intellectual
 Academic
 Personal Characteristics
 Parent/Teacher Impressions
 Degree of Need

Initial assessment must include:
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


Individual test of intellectual ability
Assessment of academic achievement
Multiple sources of information
Does not have to include:
 Artistic or music ability
 “Multiple intelligences” approach
Intellectual Ability

Wechsler Scales (WISC-IV; WAIS-IV)

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See Technical Report #4 on use of GAI over FSIQ
See Technical Report #7 on extended norms
Stanford-Binet Scales (SB 5)
Woodcock-Johnson Cognitive (WJ-III: Cog)
Ravens Progressive Matrices
Comprehensive Test of Non-Verbal Intelligence
(CTONI-2)
Naglieri Nonverabl Abilities Test (NNAT)
LATER
Bilingual Verbal Abilities Test (BVAT)
36
Academic Achievement
Woodcock-Johnson Achievement (WJ-III:
Ach)
 Wechsler Individual Achievement Test
(WIAT – III)
 Curriculum Based Measures

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The Role of IQ
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
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
Very relevant to eligibility in PA
Tells how different a child is from others
Can point to general strengths
Can be part of the decision to accelerate or enrich
Does not provide PLEP
Does not relate directly to curriculum
A Standard Score of 131 or higher on the WoodcockJohnson III Test of Cognitive Abilities is equivalent to a
Percentile Rank Range of 98 to 99.9
Role of Standardized Achievement Tests
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
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Relevant to eligibility in PA
Compare children to national sample
Results fairly easily understood and applied
Include only a few items at each academic level
(small sample of student behavior)
May have little relation to your school’s curriculum
Curriculum-Based Achievement Measures
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
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Provide more items at any one level
Relate to your school’s curriculum
Are PLEP
Are easily translated into next steps in a GIEP
Basic Rules of Assessment
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At least annually
Specific enough to inform decision making
Valid/reliable
Curriculum based
In keeping with legal requirements
Understood by all parties
Results available to those who need them
Less Traditional Assessment Tools
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Scales for Identifying Gifted Students (SIGS)
Gifted Evaluation Scale
Gifted Rating Scale
IOWA Acceleration Scales – 2
SAGES 2: K-3 & 4-8
TOMAGS
Scales for Identifying Gifted Students
(SIGS)
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
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Ages: 5-18
Raters: School rating scale form and home rating
scale form
Length: 7 scales; 12 items per scale
Domains assessed: general intellectual ability,
language arts, mathematics, science, social studies,
creativity, and leadership
Product information link:
http://www.prufrock.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=1
70
Gifted Evaluation Scale
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




Ages: 5-18
Raters: anyone familiar with the student (e.g. classroom
teacher, clinical personnel, other school personnel)
Length: 48 items; 20 minutes
Domains assessed: intellectual, creativity, specific
academic aptitude, leadership ability, performing and
visual arts
Product information link: http://www.hawthorneed.com/images/gifted/samples/swf_files/h04150sb.p
df
Gifted Rating Scale
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

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Ages: 4:0- 6:11 & 6:0-13:11
Raters: teachers
Length: 5-10 minutes

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Domains assessed


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GRS-P: 60 items
GRS-S: 72 items
GRS-P: intellectual, academic readiness, motivation, creativity
and artistic talent
GRS-S: intellectual, academic, motivation, creativity, leadership
and artistic talent
Product information link:
http://www.pearsonassessments.com/HAIWEB/Cultures/enus/Productdetail.htm?Pid=015-8130-502&Mode=summary
IOWA Acceleration Scales – 2
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

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Grades: K-8
Raters: Child study team consisting of child’s parents,
teachers, counselor or school psychologist, an
administrator, and a gifted teacher or coordinator
Length: 1.5 - 2 hours
Domains assessed: assesses whether a child should be
accelerated
Product information link:
http://www.giftedbooks.com/productdetails.asp?id=92
SAGES 2: K-3 & 4-8
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

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Ages: 7-12
Length: 30-45 minutes
Domains assessed: aptitude and achievement in
mathematics, science, language arts, social studies,
and non-verbal reasoning
Product information link:
http://www.prufrock.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=1
28
TOMAGS
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Grades: K-6
Length:30-60 minutes
Domains assessed: mathematical reasoning and
mathematical problem solving
Product information link:
http://www.prufrock.com/productdetails.cfm?PC=8
4
Recent Developments – Eligibility
Matrices
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
To objectively assess IQ and multiple criteria, LEAs
are increasingly developing eligibility matrices
Example Eligibility Matrix
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Multicultural Issues
Diverse Students
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



Identification of gifted students further complicated by
language and cultural differences
“The LEP [Limited English Proficient] student population
is increasing at a faster rate than the general student
population.” (Rhodes, Ochoa, & Ortiz, 2005)
According to 2010 Census data, the population of
minorities in the United States is continuing to increase.
Need to reexamine procedures for identification
(Santoro, 2011)
53
Underrepresentation of Minority
Students in Gifted Education

Research on underrepresentation began with
Jenkins’ 1936 study



Found that African American students were not being
identified as gifted although they had earned high
cognitive test scores.
Literature continues to reflect growing concern
about underrepresentation
Ford and Grantham (2003) argued that the
negative and stereotypical views held by
educators about culturally diverse students
contribute to their continued underrepresentation
in gifted education programs.
(Santoro, 2011)
Underrepresentation in Gifted
Education
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

The goal is not to identify a certain quota of minority
students or find the right test that will give you the score
that is needed, but to identify gifted students who are
underrepresented (Gresham, 2002).
Problems with identification process
Reliance on test scores for placement
 Traditional intelligence tests appear more effective in
assessment and identification of white students but less
effective with culturally and linguistically diverse students
(Ford & Grantham, 2003).
 Students from diverse backgrounds may have experiences
that lead to different processing abilities in testing situations
(Baldwin, 2005).

(Santoro, 2011)
Underrepresentation in Gifted
Education – School Psychologists
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 SP’s
need to be aware of the fact that students’
experiences can play a role in performance on
assessments
 Need to use valid and reliable tools that
measure intended constructs with consistency
 Need to select instruments with solid evidence
base
 Need to select culturally appropriate instruments
that have performance tasks relevant to real
world problems and allow students to
demonstrate ability
(Santoro, 2011)
Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT)
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

Intelligence test
Used to identify gifted students from diverse
backgrounds who may be underachieving due to a
language, cultural, or economic disadvantage.
NNAT Example
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(Davis et al., 2011)
Research Supporting NNAT
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
Naglieri and Ford (2003)


Results indicated that white and minority children perform
similarly on this nonverbal assessment, and it provides
empirical evidence that the NNAT could be useful as a
component in the evaluation procedure to identify diverse
students as gifted
Naglieri, Booth, and Winsler (2004)

Results indicate that assessment of bilingual students using a
nonverbal measure, specifically the NNAT, is useful as an
alternative to traditional tests of cognitive ability with
verbal content
(Santoro, 2011)
Inconclusive Support for NNAT
59

Naglieri and Ronning (2000)
Findings indicate that differences in performance between
white and minority groups on the NNAT was lower than
expected.
 Results suggest that the NNAT can be used to fairly assess
both white students and students from diverse cultures.


Lewis, DeCamp-Fritson, Ramage, McFarland, and
Archwamety (2007)

Findings demonstrate that the Raven’s identified more
culturally diverse students with the potential to succeed in
gifted education programs than the NNAT
(Santoro, 2011)
Criticism of NNAT
60

Lohman (2005)

“The belief that one can measure reasoning ability in a way that
eliminates the effects of culture is a recurring fallacy in
measurement.”

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Part of problem-solving is rooted in culture



Assessments not “culture free” or “culture fair”
Students may recognize shapes and understand size relationships, but labeling and
discussing these concepts varies across cultures.
Suggests that students who rely on nonverbal strategies to answer
these types of items on nonverbal assessments do not succeed on
more difficult items because they are not able to label objects or
verbally reason when problem solving.
Lohman claims that nonverbal reasoning tests should not be the
principal measures used in the identification of students for gifted
programs.
(Santoro, 2011)
More inconclusive results…
61

Lohman, Korb, and Lakin (2008)
 Results
indicate that, due to errors in norming, the
Raven’s and the NNAT both overestimate the number of
high-scoring students and none of the nonverbal
assessments proved to be a good indicator of
achievement
(Santoro, 2011)
Bilingual Verbal Abilities Test (BVAT)
 WJ
III COG & ACH: Picture Vocab; Oral Vocab; Verbal
Analogies
 In English then gain scores in native language
 No
research, to date, on utility of BVAT for diverse
populations
63
GMDT Role in Gifted Student
Identification Process
Gifted Multidisciplinary Team Members
64


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


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Student’s parents
Certified school psychologist
Persons familiar with the student’s educational
experience and performance
One or more of the student’s current teachers
Persons trained in the appropriate evaluation
techniques
(When possible) persons familiar with the student’s
cultural background
A single member of the GMDT may meet two or more
of the qualifications
Role of GMDT
65

Conducts gifted multidisciplinary evaluation


Must complete evaluation within 60 calendar days after
parental permission is received. (Time period in-between the
end of the spring school term and the next fall term is not
counted).
Prepares a Gifted Written Report (GWR) which
includes:
information and findings from the evaluation or reevaluation
concerning the student’s educational needs and strengths
 recommendations


Determines eligibility
Thank You!
Timothy J. Runge, Ph.D., NCSP
[email protected]
http://www.iup.edu/rural

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