The Changing Face of Giftedness Alternative Methods for Identifying Gifted English Learners California Department of Education Accountability Leadership Institute for English Learner, Immigrant and Migrant Students December 7, 2009
Presentation Goals • Provide participants with a framework for the identification of underrepresented populations in gifted education by • Building inter-program relationships • Using traditional and non-traditional approaches
About Santa Ana Unified School District • Seventh largest school district in the State; ranks as the number 1 port of entry for English language learners new to the U.S. statewide by Educational Testing Service. • Approximately 60% EL (mostly Spanish, Vietnamese and Khmer) • 54,378 K-12 students at 54 school sites • Approximately 80% on Free or Reduced Lunch Source: Santa Ana Unified School District, Dept. of Research and Evaluation
SAUSD Race/EthnicComposition Source: SAUSD Dept. of Research and Evaluation
GATE Program Participants # of Boys = 2,312 # of Girls = 2,284 # of Students in SAUSD = 54,378 GATE students make up 8.5% of the Total # of students in SAUSD. Source: SAUSD Dept. of Research and Evaluation
Ethnic Breakdown of Identified GATE Students Source: SAUSD Dept. of Research and Evaluation
What we have to share… • Partnership between GATE and English Learner Services Departments • Redefining appropriate GATE identification criteria in order to provide equal access to the GATE program in alignment with the GATE State Standards • Use of traditional and non-traditional methods to identify gifted students in under-represented populations by creating a student “portfolio”
NCLB 2002 Definition of Giftedness “Gifted learners are students, children, or youth who give evidence of high achievement capability in areas such as intellectual, creative, artistic, or leadership capacity or in specific academic fields, and who need services and activities not ordinarily provided by the school in order to fully develop those capabilities.” Source: National Assoc. for Gifted Children
National GATE Standards Two Important Guiding Principles of Student Identification: • Instruments used for student assessment to determine eligibility for gifted ed services must measure diverse abilities, talents, strengths and needs in order to provide students an opportunity to demonstrate any strengths • All student identification procedures and instruments must be based on current theory and research.
CA GATE Recommended Standards Standard 2: Identification • The district’s identification procedures are equitable, comprehensive, and ongoing. They reflect the district’s definition of giftedness and its relationship to current State criteria.
All children are eligible for the nomination process regardless of socioeconomic, linguistic or cultural background and/or disabilities • District establishes and implements both traditional and non-traditional instruments and procedures in searching for gifted students • District actively searches for referrals among underrepresented populations
Research Clearly Says… • We have not developed strong identification systems that are flexible and dynamic enough to ensure the use of nontraditional measures routinely in the service of improving our "hit" rate for identifying these [underrepresented] students… Decision-making is still done with an eye to expediency rather than reflection on the merits of individual children, with an eye to finding "well-rounded" students rather than those with "peaks." “Critical Issues in the Identification and Nurturance of Promising Students from Low Income Backgrounds” Joyce VanTassel-BaskaThe College of William & MaryWilliamsburg, VA Source: www.gifted.uconn.edu
Into Something has triggered a closer look at your district’s GATE population Through You are fact-finding and making some decisions about changes to your criteria It’s A Journey Beyond • You continue to collaborate and evaluate using data to modify/ refine on a regular basis Years 1-2 Years 2-3 Years 4+
The Journey Begins.. Prior to 1999 • Stanford Binet IQ Test • K-12 by referral only • Individual testing administered by psychologist 1999 - 2002 • Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test (NNAT) • Mass-test at 2nd Grade; Grades 3-11 by referral • Administered by site GATE coordinator Since 2002 • Dialogue with EL Services • Include looking at alternative test scores (e.g. CELDT, Aprenda, Benchmarks, Reading Assessments) • Include a Parent Inventory
To Ensure Equal Access... • language free • culturally fair The NNAT (and since then NNAT2) was chosen because it is a fair evaluation of students’ nonverbal reasoning and general problem solving ability while remaining:
Sample Naglieri Questions… Source: www.mypsychologist.com
Traditional Standardized (CST) test scores Report card grades SAUSD Proficiencies Teacher recommendation Benchmark tests Other Criteria Changes to Ensure Equal Access Include... Non-Traditional • Rapid acquisition of English • Rapid growth as seen in standardized test scores within a two-year period of time from first to second test administration (e.g. from Below Basic to Advanced) • Parent Survey of Student Abilities
Places to Look for EL Gifted Potential • Multiple Measures (using data derived from the following sources) • CST’s (using data to find EL students who score at mid-proficient or above, or show large growth in two years) • CELDT scores (using data to find those EL students who made a jump of two proficiency levels or more) • District Writing Proficiencies scores (using data to find EL students who demonstrate a rapid growth/improvement ) • Primary Language test scores such as Aprenda (using data to assess student’s academic ability in primary language) • Benchmark Test scores (using data to find those EL students who are showing rapid acquisition of content knowledge) • Teacher Observation Matrix – • Providing teachers with a easy check list to assist in identifying students with GATE potential
Academic Inhibitors: Teacher delays identification of the student as a gifted learner until the child can speak fluent English. Educators perceive limited English ability as synonymous with limited academic abilities. Academic Facilitators: Gifted student becomes excited and curious about the topic of the lesson. Teachers recognize emerging bilingual ability and/or rapid acquisition of English as a potential indicator of giftedness. How does being an English learner affect being recognized as a gifted learner?
ELD Proficiency Levels • Beginning • Early Intermediate • Intermediate • Early Advanced • Advanced
Early Advanced and Advanced Shared characteristics: • Comprehend concrete and abstract topics • Recognize language subtleties • Produce, initiate, and sustain extended interactions to specific purposes and audiences • Participate fully both in academic and non-academic settings requiring English
Early Intermediate Teacher would: • Use music, chants, poems, fables, fairy tales, etc. to model sounds, rhythm, and patterns of language to promote oral language production • Use questioning techniques that prompt longer oral responses • Have students re-tell stories
Purposes of CELDT • To identify pupils who are English Language Learners • To determine the students’ proficiency levels • To assess the progress in acquiring the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing in English • To assist in reclassification
GATE characteristics shown by the elementary pupil in the classroom: • Questioning beyond the level of classmates. Probes general statements. Asks how and why questions. Why can’t humans be born with the ability to use camouflage for protection. • Persistent or tenacious in responding to challenging tasks. Works beyond allotted class time to find an answer. Works on challenging tasks during time scheduled for other classroom activities. When the class was working on cause and effect senteces, he created his own sentences and asked for additional time to write more sentences. • Acknowledged to be a person who knows more. Sought by classmates for help. Always knows the right answers to teacher questions. On our museum field trip, he was one of the few students who could correctly answer the docent’s questions. • CREATIVE: Invents and originates; gives clever and witty responses; is flexible in ideas and actions; has unconventional ideas or opinions or solutions to problems; is resourceful; builds on and extends classroom activities; has a divergent way of doing things. When students were asked how they could come up with 90 cents, all of them said to use 90 pennies or 9 dimes. He also said he could use 3 quarters, 1 dime and 1 nickel. • CRITICAL THINKER: Is logical and analytical; is usually insightful; reasons out complicated things; uses common sense; evaluates situations; expresses criticism; is skeptical; relates life experiences to classroom lessons. Students shows use of logic in his thinking and test-taking, but has a hard time verbally engaging in discussion. OPTIONAL STATEMENT: Test scores and grades may not reflect this student's potential because (comment on cultural, linguistic, environmental, economic, motivational, medical, or other factors): Student demonstrates rapid growth in everyday use of written and oral English and is very creative in non-verbal tasks.
Enrollment by Ethnicity 1999-2000 2009-2010 Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research and Evaluation
SAUSD Migrant Education and GATE 2008-2009 Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research and Evaluation
SAUSD English Learners and GATE 2008-2009 Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research and Evaluation
SAUSD English Learners* and GATE 2008-2009 Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research and Evaluation
And Our Journey Continues… We continue to look at… • Data • Other non-traditional indicators such as a Parent Inventory which allows us to know what characteristics parents might observe at home (where they are expressive in their primary language) • Inter-program collaboration • Staff development that focuses on appropriately differentiated instructional pedagogy for gifted EL students • What the research says
Final Thoughts… “It is often said that youth are the most important natural resource of a nation. Gifted programs can help youth of all cultures and languages to become productive citizens and critical thinkers, ensuring that the future of the country is in good hands.” Jaime Castellanos “Identifying and Assessing Gifted Bilingual Hispanic Students”, 1988 Source: www.gt-CyberSouce.org
Contact Us • Santa Ana Unified School District: 714-558-5501 • Nuria Solis, Director, EL Services • Kathy Apps, GATE Coordinator, 6-12