The Impacts of Gifted and Talented Education
36 Pages Posted: 27 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 2009
This paper estimates the impact of gifted and talented program participation on academic achievement and peer composition for a sample of 8th grade students. Gifted education provides children that have been identied as having high ability in some intellectual respect with a supplemental curriculum to their traditional school course work. Participation in gifted programs is not random, so OLS estimates are biased by the presence of unobserved heterogeneity which is correlated with participation status as well as outcomes. To obtain causal estimates, I use an instrumental variables approach where the instrument is a self-constructed measure of how well each child fulfills the criteria his/her school uses to admit students into the gifted program, relative to the child's peers. The IV estimates indicate that, in the short run, participation is associated with a signifcant increase in math standardized test score performance. In the long run, participation is found to increase the probability a child takes Advanced Placement classes. There is no evidence that participation infuences the composition of a child's peer group.
Keywords: ability grouping, gifted and talented education, program evaluation
JEL Classification: I21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation