A Critical Call to Action: Supporting Equity, Diversity, and Access for Gifted Students

Society continues to become more diverse. For that reason, it is critical that we find and develop the gifts and talents of all children and youth in our nation. Equity, diversity, access, and excellence are essential to high-level academic achievement. Diversity has been a topic of discussion in America for decades. Embedded in discussions of equity, diversity, access, and excellence are race, culture, class, ethnicity, income, gender, sexual orientation, linguistic differences, and learning differences. All of these can be represented within students with multiple exceptionalities as well.

Our Mission Statement speaks directly to this: The Association for the Gifted (TAG), a division of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), embraces and supports the needs of students with gifts and talents, focusing on multi-exceptional and other diverse learners, through advocacy, professional learning, and resources.

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CEC-TAG values working collaboratively and respectfully to advocate for quality education and service for all children with gifts and talents, especially those with multiple exceptionalities (2e) and from other diverse populations. Given TAG’s emphasis on equity, diversity, and access, this document is a call to action for all stakeholders, as there is shared responsibility for providing schools where all students thrive, including gifted and talented students from racially, culturally, ethnically, and linguistically different (RCELD) populations who are too often underrepresented. Action, in order to achieve diversity, equity, and access, is required in six areas:

This resource presents key data points, recommendations, resources to learn more, and research references in each of the six action areas. Developing the strengths of all gifted and talented and high ability learners requires purposeful actions by all stakeholders to ensure a bright future for our nation and our world.

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Please note, researchers often use the terms “Hispanic” and “Latinx” interchangeably. For consistency, the term “Latinx” is used more frequently in this resource. In addition, the authors believe the phrase “racially, culturally, ethnically, and linguistically different” (RCELD) student is the most inclusive of the populations most often underrepresented in gifted and talented services and advanced courses. Finally, the authors have chosen the phrase “students with multiple exceptionalities” to be the most inclusive term of students most often referred to as twice-exceptional (2e).

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