New York City, Georgia Reduce Importance of IQ Scores in Gifted Programs

K-12 Testing

New York City schools Chancellor Rudy Crew has proposed using a range of criteria for admission into gifted and talented (G&T) programs. Currently many of the city's 32 school districts rely entirely or heavily on IQ test scores. Some already use a range of measures, including such things as teacher observations, scores on norm-referenced achievement tests, or other measures of a variety of talents.


Crew argued that many gifted minority and immigrant children are excluded from the programs because of the IQ tests. He explained, I m not sure that IQ tells you anything about whether or not a person necessarily is gifted. Some districts have also charged parents a fee for IQ testing, adding to the hurdles faced by low-income families.


The city will make other assessments available to the districts, which have the power to set their own educational policies. Parents whose children have benefitted from test use have protested modifications in G&T admissions policies in the past, blocking some previous efforts at change.


The state of Georgia has also addressed the use of IQ tests to define giftedness. Rather than just IQ scores, students must excel on three of four criteria that include school achievement, creativity, and motivation. Fulton County, which adopted the change a year ago, reports increased racial diversity in its gifted classes.