The Department of Public Instruction will work with three urban school districts to increase the number of underrepresented students in gifted and talented education programs, through the new “Expanding Excellence” program.
The funding comes from a three-year, $1.1 million Jacob K. Javits Gifted and Talented Students Education grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Wisconsin is one of 10 states to receive the funding.
Expanding Excellence will target services to high ability and high potential students from low-income families or who are learning English in primary grades in the Kenosha Unified, Racine Unified, and Milwaukee Public school districts.
The proportion of economically disadvantaged students scoring “advanced” on state mathematics assessments was 12 percentage points lower than their non-economically disadvantaged peers in 2013-14. Similar “excellence gaps” exist for almost every grade level and subject and for English language learners.
“Children and youth who have gifts and talents in the academic, artistic, leadership and other realms come from all segments of our society,” noted State Superintendent Tony Evers.
“This grant will help us to better identify and develop high ability and high potential students in participating schools in our work on Agenda 2017: to promote excellence for all and prepare all students to graduate college and career ready.”