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/Ethnic
Composition
2009-2010
100%
94.8%
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
2.2%
1.8%
0.6%
0.4%
Asian
White
African
American
Other
0%
Hispanic
Source: SAUSD
Dept. of Research and Evaluation
GATE Program Participants
4,596 GATE Students Identified as of 12/04/09
Elementary
28%
High School
39%
# of Boys = 2,312
# of Girls = 2,284
1
# of Students in SAUSD = 54,3782
3
GATE students make up 8.5% of the
Total # of students in SAUSD.
Source: SAUSD
Dept. of Research and Evaluation
Intermediate
33%
Ethnic Breakdown of
Identified GATE Students
2009-2010
Asian
8.5%
African American
0.8% Other
White
0.9%
3.9%
Hispanic
Asian
White
African
American
Other
Hispanic
85.9%
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 underrepresented 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… Decisionmaking 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-Baska
The College of William & Mary
Williamsburg, VA
Source: www.gifted.uconn.edu
It’s A Journey

Into
Something has
triggered a
closer look at
your district’s
GATE
population
Years 1-2
Through
Beyond
 You are fact You continue to
finding and
collaborate and
making some
evaluate using
decisions
data to modify/
about changes refine on a
to your criteria
regular basis
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...
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:
•language free
•culturally fair
Sample Naglieri Questions…
Source: www.mypsychologist.com
Other Criteria Changes to Ensure
Equal Access Include...
Traditional
Non-Traditional
 Standardized (CST) test  Rapid acquisition of English
scores
 Rapid growth as seen in
 Report card grades
standardized test scores
within a two-year period of
 SAUSD Proficiencies
time from first to second
 Teacher
test administration (e.g.
recommendation
from Below Basic to
 Benchmark tests
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
How does being an English learner affect
being recognized as a gifted learner?
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.
Who Are the Gifted ELs in My Classroom?
Gifted Behavior
CURIOUS: inquisitive; hyper-alert; doesn’t seem to miss a
thing going on; many questions about the how and why of
things; pursues interest in depth
LEARNS QUICKLY: rapidly masters facts and rote skills;
minimal instruction on routine tasks; recalls and applies info
with ease
PERSISTENT: sustained goal-directed behavior; long
attention span; self-motivated; often completely absorbed in
tasks; able to ignore distractions
VERBALLY FLUENT: outstanding vocabulary; expresses
opinions freely; shows humor; asks probing questions in L1.
RESPONSIBLE: independent worker; sought by others for
ideas, decisions, and directions; organizes tasks; often
serves as the leader
CREATIVE: original and inventive; gives clear and witty
responses; flexible in ideas and actions; unconventional
ideas; opinions and solutions to problems
CRITICAL THINKING: logical and analytical; unusually
insightful; reasons out complicated things; evaluates
situations; expresses criticism; is skeptical
GENERALIZES: sees relationships/connections; integrates
areas of knowledge; makes valid assumptions about
people, events and things
RESOURCEFUL: results-oriented; extremely productive;
knack for using limited resources; prolific and creative; a
thorough researcher
Student
Student
Student
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 nonacademic 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
Looking at an Example of CELDT Growth
Over Time
Grade
06-07
Proficiency Level
Overall Test
07-08
Proficiency Level
Overall Test
08-09
Proficiency Level
Overall Test
2010
5
2
3
3
181735
2010
5
2
3
3
190742
2010
5
2
4
5
181999
2010
5
2
2
4
326045
2010
5
1
2
190640
2010
5
3
3
5
184231
2010
5
3
3
3
180599
2010
5
2
3
5
181269
2010
5
2
2
2
181821
2010
5
3
3
3
190878
2010
5
3
3
5
190896
2010
5
3
3
4
191022
2010
5
2
4
4
191066
2010
5
1
4
5
302606
2010
5
3
2
3
190916
2010
5
4
3
5
191116
2010
5
3
2
3
194671
2010
5
4
3
4
191064
2010
5
3
4
4
194526
2010
5
3
3
3
193758
2010
5
3
3
4
191219
2010
5
1
2
3
Student ID
Academic
Year
184963
GATE characteristics shown by the elementary pupil in the classroom:
 Questioning beyond the level of classmates. Probes general statements. Asks how and why questions.
Behavior is shown (mark one): Frequently Sometimes Never
Provide a description of behavior you have observed:
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.
Behavior is shown (mark one): Frequently Sometimes Never
Provide a description of behavior you have observed:
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.
Behavior is shown (mark one): Frequently Sometimes Never
Provide a description of behavior you have observed:
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.

Behavior is shown (mark one): Frequently Sometimes Never
Provide a description of behavior you have observed:
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.
Behavior is shown (mark one): Frequently Sometimes Never
Provide a description of behavior you have observed:
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.
SAUSD Gifted and Talented Education
Parents’ Characteristics Inventory: Grades 3-5
Date of Birth:
Student’s Name:
Grade:
School:
Your child has been referred for Gifted and Talented Education consideration. We value parent feedback during the process of identification for the GATE
program. Please take a few moments to read through the following statements and appropriately check the characteristics you have observed in your child. If
you have additional comments, you may write them at the bottom of this form or on an attached piece of paper. Please note that in the identification and
selection process, this inventory is only one of several items considered by the Placement Committee. Completing this form does not indicate automatic GATE
program identification.
All the
Time
1.
Solves problems in many different ways.
2.
Displays a clever sense of humor (intellectually playful).
3.
Often foresees a variety of possible outcomes in a situation.
4.
Displays leadership qualities.
5.
Is very observant and notices details others miss.
6.
Becomes extremely interested in a topic.
7.
Sees relationships between different ideas and objects.
8.
Learns very quickly.
9.
Has a large vocabulary.
Often
Occasionally
Seldom or
never
10. Displays originality.
11. Is very curious about many things.
Is sensitive to problems, is ready to question or change situations, sees
12.
inconsistencies, suggests improvements.
13. Is aesthetically responsive to beauty in arts and nature.
Is sensitive to others, easily understands how others feel or think,
14.
easily hurt by others’ negative actions.
Is self-critical, at times mistrusts own ability, hard on self in self15.
evaluation.
Additional Comments:
My daughter is often the child who tells other kids how to play a game. However, she gets impatient when they
don’t understand quickly. She is always concerned with fairness. I often see her become very critical of
herself and her schoolwork, especially when it comes to drawing a picture or completing a project. When she is
interested in a subject she becomes very engrossed in it. She really likes horses and wants to know about every
type of horse there is. My daughter makes me laugh because she has a sense of humor that seems like an
adult.
Parent/Guardian Signature:
Relationship:
Date:
Please return this inventory in a sealed envelope back to the GATE site coordinator OR by mail, directly to the SAUSD GATE
Department, within ONE WEEK of receiving this form.
SAUSD 2007
Source: Spring Branch ISD: www.springbranchisd.com
Enrollment by Ethnicity
100%
91.5%
80%
71.9%
1999-2000
60%
SAUSD
GATE
40%
20%
13.4%
12.2%
1.0% 1.6%
3.8%
3.0%
0.8% 0.9%
0%
Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research and Evaluation
Asian
100%
Hispanic
African American
White
Other
94.8%
85.9%
2009-2010
80%
60%
SAUSD
GATE
40%
20%
8.5%
2.2%
0.6% 0.8%
1.8%
3.9%
0.4%0.9%
0%
Asian
Hispanic
African American
White
Other
SAUSD Migrant Education and GATE
Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research
and Evaluation
2008-2009
10%
8%
6%
4%
2%
SAUSD
GATE
1.5%
2%
0%
Migrant Education
SAUSD English Learners and GATE
Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research
and Evaluation
2008-2009
60%
58.3%
50%
40%
SAUSD
GATE
30%
20%
10%
6.1%
0%
English Learners
SAUSD English Learners* and GATE
Source: SAUSD, Dept. of Research
and Evaluation
2008-2009
90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
82.3%
64.1%
SAUSD
GATE
English Learners (*including R-FEP)
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
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The Changing Face of Giftedness