The Opportunity Gap: Rural Gifted Students Left Behind

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Teresa J. Smeeks (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
Web Site:
Barbara Howard

Abstract: This study looks at the opportunity gap in identification, opportunities, financial resources, and learning outcomes due to the contexts of urban versus rural districts. Results revealed significant differences in the percent of students identified, opportunities available in the district, financial resources, and learning outcomes for gifted students among urban and rural school districts. Urban school districts have distinct advantages with more students identified compared to their ADM, more opportunities and financial resources for gifted students, and more students in the AIG subgroup scoring level 5’s on the North Carolina EOG and EOC tests than rural districts. The study found significant correlations between opportunities and learning outcomes; financial resources and percent of students identified; financial resources and opportunities; and financial resources and learning outcomes. The higher percentage of opportunities available or the greater the financial resources the more level 5’s scored by the AIG subgroup. The more financial resources the more opportunities and percent of students identified. There are implications of inequities in identification and opportunities. The use of local norms or elimination of test-based identification and a move to MTSS for identification is proposed. To equalize opportunities without more funding, authentic differentiation, acceleration, and individualized learning through MTSS is suggested.

Additional Information

Smeeks, T. (2020). The Opportunity Gap: Rural Gifted Students Left Behind. Unpublished Doctoral Dissertation. Appalachian State University, Boone, NC.
Language: English
Date: 2020
Education, Educational Leadership, Gifted Education, Rural, Opportunity Gap

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