While I appreciate the fact that there are researchers out there looking into the efficacy of gifted programs, this article strikes me as missing the point. Should improvement on standardized tests be the goal of gifted programs? How well controlled was this study? What are the variables? What demographics are they looking at when they point to the dropout rate? In essence, I’m not convinced based on this single assessment of test scores and dropout rates.
Moreover, the author points out that “Canada is not the American South West”. I would take this even further. The fact that the demographics, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational programs and other factors are completely different in Canada — and even between each province — means that this study has little relevance, and one would be hard pressed to generalize.
Which goes to show that when it comes to studies that can potentially sway funding decisions for special needs programs, research design is key, and one surface study does not a conclusion make. I would hope that this is kept in mind at the policy level.