Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) has been utilizing their Javits grant awarded in August of 2022 by the U.S. Department of Education to expand GATE identification and programming. Like all school districts in Michigan, DPSCD has been harmed by the absence of state mandates and funding for gifted education. The lack of attention and support for gifted education is a problem in many areas across the country and likely prevents a considerable number of students from reaching their potential and innovating solutions needed for societal advancement.
A dearth of understanding of what it means to be gifted and an assumption that gifted students will be okay without gifted services are among the reasons for the inadequate attention given to this particular group of learners (Moon, 2009). Many educators believe gifted students are not in need of specialized programming and services (Gubbins et al., 2021). This belief has harmed advanced learners as they may fail to reach their full potential without course offerings that match their abilities.
In light of these barriers, it is exciting to build a research-based, equity driven identification plan for DPSCD that will serve more gifted students in the district. As part of the grant, the district will host a Summer Institute (SI) in June that will train district teachers and ancillary staff to best educate their gifted learners. Experts like Donna Ford, Megan Foley-Nicpon, Jaime Castellano, and Joy Lawson Davis will present at the SI. This investment of time and expertise will build increased capacity benefitting not only the gifted and talented students in Detroit, but ultimately all students.
As DPSCD’s tagline says, “Students rise. We all rise.” It is indeed an exciting time to see the tide rise in DPSCD as they lead the state in the equitable identification and education of gifted and talented students.