What does it mean to be a gifted student? How should one be served?

Because federal and state law recognize gifted learners but don’t provide guidance on these questions, the answer to these questions depend on who and where you are, said Nancy Hertzog, a University of Washington professor who’s been in the gifted education field for decades and serves on Seattle Public Schools’ task force on the topic.

School districts around the country have struggled with these questions for as long as they’ve had gifted programs, as Education Lab recently reported. Prompted by stubborn racial segregation in these programs, which have a long history of gate-keeping through intelligence tests and other referral methods, Seattle and other districts in Washington state such as Highline, Northshore and Federal Way are trying to reframe their answers and change their practices. The same debate is playing out in other districts across the country.

As we continue to explore this topic, we want to hear from you and we want your perspective and questions to improve our coverage: What are the hoops students must jump through to be admitted to gifted programs in your school district? What does gifted learning look like in your school’s classrooms? What stories do you have of racial segregation in these programs?

Tell us in the form below. Or if you have something else to say, or want to submit anonymous feedback, feel free to contact me on the encrypted messaging app Signal (206-485-4589).