Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Achievement

53 Pages Posted: 31 May 2011

See all articles by Sa Bui

Sa Bui

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Steven G. Craig

University of Houston - Department of Economics

Scott A. Imberman

Michigan State University; Michigan State University - College of Education

Date Written: May 2011

Abstract

In this paper we determine how the receipt of gifted and talented (GT) services affects student outcomes. We identify the causal relationship by exploiting a discontinuity in eligibility requirements and find that for students on the margin there is no discernable impact on achievement even though peers improve substantially. We then use randomized lotteries to examine the impact of attending a GT magnet program relative to GT programs in other schools and find that, despite being exposed to higher quality teachers and peers that are one standard deviation higher achieving, only science achievement improves. We argue that these results are consistent with an invidious comparison model of peer effects offsetting other benefits. Evidence of large reductions in course grades and rank relative to peers in both regression discontinuity and lottery models are consistent with this explanation.

Suggested Citation

Bui, Sa and Craig, Steven G. and Imberman, Scott Andrew, Is Gifted Education a Bright Idea? Assessing the Impact of Gifted and Talented Programs on Achievement (May 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w17089. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1854191

Sa Bui (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Steven G. Craig

University of Houston - Department of Economics ( email )

McElhinney Building
Room 202-A
Houston, TX 77204-5882
United States
713-743-3812 (Phone)
713-743-3798 (Fax)

Scott Andrew Imberman

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Michigan State University - College of Education ( email )

East Lansing, MI
United States

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