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The United States educational system has faced several challenges and reforms regarding assessment and identification in the past fifty years which continue to change as the nation develops new goals and needs (Giuliani & Pierangelo 2012). In recent years, schools have included a large population of immigrant students from families with native languages other than English (Carter 2005). The need for educating students in English as a second language has led to new policies and programs developed specifically for ELL or English Language Learners (Elizalde-Utnick 2008). Another current topic of educational policy concerns the emphasis on assessment and high-stakes testing. In 2004, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, IDEA, provided legal rights and expectations for special education students which includes students with learning disabilities; however, English Language Learners are not covered under IDEA unless they are identified with a learning disability. IDEA also does not cover the rights of students who qualify for gifted and talented programs, even though students who qualify for these programs require a form of specialized education. Due to these recent educational initiatives, this research study will focus on how the assessment of English Language Learners impacts their identification and placement in gifted and talented programs. This is a current topic to research because most studies have focused on the overrepresentation of English Language Learners as learning disabled or the misidentification of students of color in learning disabled programs. However, some case studies and other forms of research have considered the underrepresentation of ELL in gifted and talented programs and whether or not students learning English as a second language can be successful in gifted and talented programs.

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Stephen Richards

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Teacher Education


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