A Study of Gifted and Talented Program Evaluation Practices in Selected Texas School Districts



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Texas Tech University


The purpose of this study was to identify current gifted and talented program evaluation practices in selected Texas school districts. Additionally, the study sought to compare these practices with those recommended in the literature and TEA guidelines. The areas examined in this study included informal and formal assessment of student and teacher identification practices, the grouping component of program organization, the curriculum, the extent of staff" development, the extent of parental and community involvement, and the evaluation procedures. Other program assessment practices examined included use of evaluation committees, use of data collection measures, reporting procedures for evaluation findings, and use of program evaluation models. The population surveyed included gifted and talented program directors from 122 school districts. Usable responses were received from 76 (62 percent) of the respondents. The responses were tabulated and presented in the form of frequency counts and percentages.

Based on the findings, the following conclusions were drawn by the researcher as they related to current gifted and talented program evaluation practices. First, there appeared to be a variety of assessment taking place in a majority of the gifted and talented programs that participated in the study, but it was difficult to determine the overall usefulness of these evaluation practices. Although consistency among school districts evaluation practices does not necessarily need to exist, there was an apparent lack of continuity concerning specific evaluation practices, frequency of assessment, program components examined, types of documentation measures used, and reporting of the findings. The lack of continuity raised questions concerning the comprehensive nature of these evaluations and their practical applications for serious program improvement. Secondly, although there was an available body of literature concerning the evaluation of gifted and talented programs, which included specific evaluation models, there was little evidence from this study to suggest that program directors actually relied on this literature in developing their local evaluation practices.