Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Carlos Contreras

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Mary Christopher

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Sonerka Mouton



The underrepresentation of African American and Hispanic students in gifted and talented (GT) education has persisted for decades, prompting a need for deeper investigation into the policies and procedures governing GT identification. The aim of this research was to investigate whether variations in practices for GT identification and the definition of giftedness, contribute to this underrepresentation. This qualitative case study used predetermined criteria outlined in the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted and Talented Students to examine the contents of each district’s GT identification plan available in electronic or downloadable form using document analysis. I also used archived data from the Office of Civil Rights Data Collection to compile data to compare overall and GT enrollment percentages for each of the 20 districts. In addition to the document analysis of the district GT plans, I curated a questionnaire to delve deeper into the practices of districts with proportional representation using the OCR data, but of the five districts identified with proportional representation of African American or Hispanic students, none of the districts responded. The findings revealed that while there were no significant disparities in screening processes or the IQ and aptitude testing instruments used across districts with proportional versus disproportional representation of racial/ethnic groups, disparities were evident in the information available to parents about GT education. This suggests that communication practices may play a pivotal role in influencing the representation of certain student groups in GT programs. Interestingly, the study did not uncover substantial differences in district definitions of giftedness compared to the state's definition, indicating that discrepancies in how districts define giftedness may not significantly contribute to the underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities. This study underscores the importance of equitable communication practices and transparency in the GT identification process, as well as the need for further research to explore other potential contributors to the underrepresentation of African American and Hispanic students in GT programs. By identifying areas where disparities exist in information accessibility, policymakers and educators can develop targeted interventions to promote inclusivity and equity in GT education.

Keywords: disproportional, gifted and talented education, underrepresentation

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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