Authored by Paula Olszewski-Kubilius and Jane Clarenbach
Citation: Olszewski-Kubilius, P. & Clarenbach, J. (2014). Closing the opportunity gap: Program factors contributing to academic success in culturally different youth. Gifted Child Today, 37 (2), 103-110.
There has been a cry of alarm about the need for a new generation of thinkers, innovators, linguists, and creative problem solvers to meet the demands of the 21st century global economy and our national security needs. Thus far, the response to the clarion call has been underwhelming. The nation has not yet committed itself to changing K-12 education in a way that would put more students—from every population and sector of society—on the path to high levels of talent. Research has already provided some important data and successful programs and services are available to replicate. In 2012, the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) convened a summit of scholars, practitioners, and policy experts to share information about school-based and supplemental programs that are achieving academic success with these learners. Experts identified numerous factors considered central to their program's success as well as the barriers, primarily in schools, to student achievement. Based on the summit presentations and discussion, the authors suggest six broad areas that were common threads across the programs, and across research, that can be a roadmap for others seeking to increase the numbers of low-income and racially, ethnically, and linguistically different students who are identified as gifted and achieve at high levels.