The resources and information on this page underscore the need for policy and advocacy to
support equal access to advanced programming nationally and in Illinois.
A Call for Equal Access to Advanced and Gifted Programming Services in Illinois Schools:
Gifted children are found in every socio-economic strata and racial group. However, the delivery of services in Illinois is not equitable in Illinois. The following realities in Illinois perpetuate these inequities:
The Excellence Gap refers to disparities in performance at advanced levels between groups based on socio-economic status and race. lllinois currently has among the largest academic excellence gaps in the country.
Pursuant to the Illinois Report Card Act, as of 2020, the State Board must include demographic information concerning gifted education and advanced academic programs on the school report card.
Resources and Events:
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The following studies reveal that Illinois lags behind the national averages when it comes to opportunity and excellence gaps in gifted programming:
Thomas B. Fordham Institute Study (2018): This Fordham Institute study by Christopher Yaluma and Adam Tyner concluded that gifted programs are just as likely to appear in high-poverty schools as in low-poverty schools 68.3% of elementary/middle schools report having gifted programs). However, students in high poverty schools are significantly less likely to participate in gifted programming. In addition, Black and Hispanic students participate in these gifted programs at a much lower rate than their Asian and White counterparts.
Illinois does not compare well with the national average, as only 32.8% of high poverty schools in Illinois offer gifted programming.
The Jack Cooke Kent report by Dr. Jonathan Plucker, Dr. Jennifer Glynn, Grace Healey, and Dr. Amanda Dettmer, includes data from each of the fifty states about gifted education policies. The report reveals that large excellence gaps at high levels of performance exists in nearly all of the states. "A-F" state rankings are assigned according to state policy "inputs" such as requiring services for identified advanced learners, acceleration and early entrance policies, concurrent and dual enrollment, accountability models including growth measures for high ability children, and gifted coursework required in teacher and administrator training. Output rankings related to student achievement are also assigned.
The study assigned Illinois a C ranking based upon the inputs and outputs considered.