High-achieving black students are far less likely to be referred for gifted programs unless they have a black teacher.
Aanalyzed teacher referrals for gifted programs based on more than 14,000 students in a large federal longitudinal study. For students with identical high scores on standardized mathematics and reading tests, white, Hispanic, and Asian students were all statistically just as likely to be referred for gifted programs, at about 6 percent. Black students, by contrast, were 50 percent less likely to be referred, at 2.8 percent.
There was one exception: High-achieving black students taught by a black teacher were three times more likely to be referred for gifted programs than those taught by a teacher of another race.
A version of this article appeared in the January 27, 2016 edition of Education Week as Achievement Gap