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  • Writer's pictureJoanne Jacobs

How Miami diversifies gifted classes

Gifted classes in Miami schools include a mix of low-income and minority students, reports Claudia Rowe for the Seattle Times. That’s because the district uses a different standard for identifying disadvantaged children as “gifted.”

In Miami, middle-class and affluent kids need IQ scores of at least 130, while low-income children or those whose first language is not English can get in with scores 13 points lower — provided they rate highly in measures of creativity and academic achievement.

“Research shows that a child’s IQ is not static and can stretch with exposure to books, museums and complex material,” writes Rowe. “Or, conversely, shrink under stress, frequent moves and other realities common for low-income families.”

Miami spends more on psychologists to identify more gifted students, then spends an extra $1,850 per gifted pupil to provide enriched learning opportunities.

The policy has boosted the number of Latino gifted students, but hasn’t increased the black percentage since 2003.

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