U.S. Department of Education Awards $3.9 Million to Partnerships to Support Underrepresented Students in Gifted and Talented Programs

Archived Information

U.S. Department of Education Awards $3.9 Million to Partnerships to Support Underrepresented Students in Gifted and Talented Programs

September 24, 2014

The U.S. Department of Education has awarded $3.9 million to partnerships of postsecondary institutions and school districts that focus on increasing the number of minority and other underrepresented students in gifted and talented programs.

Under the Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education grant program, grantees carry out demonstration projects, innovative strategies and scientifically-based research to enhance the services provided to gifted and talented K-12 students nationwide. The new grants will allow these partnerships to take models that have proven effective on a small scale and expand the programs to multiple schools or districts. The awards are targeted at programs aimed at enrolling students that are economically disadvantaged, limited in English language skills or have disabilities.

“Our data show a huge opportunity gap in access to gifted and talented programs for underrepresented groups, particularly for minorities and students with disabilities. These programs identify those underserved children and gives them the support they need to be successful,” U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said. “This grant program will help these schools replicate success and challenge the opportunity gap for students who far too often are not given a fair shot at success in college, careers and life.”

The most recent data from the Department’s Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) show that wide opportunity gaps persists for many students who are qualified but underrepresented in high-quality programs offering challenging academic content. For example, just 26 percent of the students enrolled in gifted and talent programs are Latino and black, when those groups make up 40 percent of the population in schools that offer such programs. What’s more, only 1 percent of students with disabilities are participating in gifted and talented programs, while 7 percent of students without disabilities participate.

Grantees hope to turn those numbers around through a number of strategies. For example, Project SPARK at the University of Connecticut will expand its Young Scholars Model, which is designed to increase participation of underrepresented groups in gifted and talented programs, to support their achievement in core subjects and to promote their readiness for participation in advanced coursework. And at the University of Southern California, Project CHANGE hopes to extend the reliability of efforts to identify prospective gifted and talented students in preschool through the second grade.

The Javits Gifted and Talented Program is authorized under Title VI, Part D, Subpart 6 of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended (ESEA).

Below is a list of the 10 new grant awards. For more information on the program, visit here.

FY 2014 Jacob K. Javits Grantees

University of Connecticut $500,000
University of Hawaii $472,304
University of Arkansasat Little Rock $420,007
George Mason University (VA) $471,481
Purdue University (IN) $494,508
University of St. Thomas (MN) $304,364
College of Charleston (SC) $471,740
Univ. of Southern California $328,743
Duke University (NC) $267,440
Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia $232,504