Michael S. Matthews

Dr. Michael S. MatthewsTitle

Structuring Assessment to Support Equity in Gifted Identification Practice

September 29, 2021 (Wednesday), 11:30 a.m.-1:00 p.m. CDT


Under-representation of specific student groups among students identified as gifted and talented has been evident for over 50 years, but it over the past five to ten years there has been dramatic growth in the literature addressing this topic. Most recently, beginning in summer 2020, equity moved to center stage as the primary consideration for many organizations. In this presentation I address how assessment choices and practices can support equity, diversity, and inclusion in gifted identification. Because identification serves a gatekeeping role and precedes other salient concerns such as program delivery models and student retention, focusing on how this step can become more effective is key to addressing under-representation in gifted programming in the K-12 setting.


Michael S. Matthews, PhD, is professor and graduate program director at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He is coeditor of Gifted Child Quarterly and an active member of the SIG—Research on Giftedness, Creativity, and Talent of the American Educational Research Association.

Dr. Matthews has served on the boards of several local, state, and national organizations in gifted education. His research addresses equity in assessment and identification of gifted children; education policy; motivation and underachievement; and parenting, including homeschooling, of gifted learners. His scholarship also focuses on gifted and academically advanced learners who are English learners. He is author or editor of six books, approximately 50 peer-reviewed journal articles, and numerous book chapters. His work has been recognized with the AERA’s Michael Pyryt Collaboration Award, the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from the North Carolina Association for the Gifted & Talented, and Best Scholarly Book from the Texas Association for the Gifted & Talented.

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  1. Demonstrate knowledge of the rationale for gifted identification, the role of assessment in matching identification with services, and the varied ways that identification practice has been approached to support equity (e.g., multiple pathways).

  2. Identify the effects of AND vs. OR combination rules on the homogeneity of the students identified and describe how measurement error affects error rates for these rules.

  3. Explain how to apply building-level local norms to support equity in gifted education placement.