Do gifted and talented students benefit from special programs?

A new study looks at whether attending a special program for gifted and talented students boosts achievement. The finding: high-achieving middle school students who enrolled in the program (in one large urban district) showed no significant improvement in test scores in reading or math, despite being surrounded by higher-achieving peers, taking more advanced courses, and having more effective teachers.

The study, “Poor Results for High Achievers: New evidence on the impact of gifted and talented programs,” by Sa Bui, Scott Imberman, and Steven Craig of the Department of Economics at the University of Houston, will appear in the Winter 2012 issue of Education Next, and is now available online.

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