Nina Simone didn’t sing these lyrics, but today to be young, gifted and black means being cheated out of the “gifted” track, according to an essay at National Public Radio.
The essay, “To Be Young, Gifted And Black it helps to have a black teacher,” looks at a recent study on the low numbers of students of color in gifted programs. The study notes that the students are “high-achieving,” yet under-represented.
A new, national study finds that black students are about half as likely as white students to be put on a “gifted” track — even when they have comparable test scores. Previous surveys have found a similar gap, but the researchers here — Jason Grissom and Christopher Redding at Vanderbilt University — looked only at students attending schools with gifted programs. So the disparity can’t be accounted for by, say, the fact that black students are more likely to attend under-resourced schools.
Only one factor erased this disparity between students: the race of their teachers.
Some reactions in comments section of the NPR Ed article, ask if the writer is calling for a return to segregation. Nope. In case it wasn’t clear, it’s a call to usher more teachers into the education field who are able to relate to black students.