Research & Evaluation


An Historical Test Score Trend May Be Reversing That Could Negatively Impact Already Underrepresented Gifted Kids

Friday, November 10
9:15 AM - 10:15 AM
Location: Exhibit Hall Roundtable 6

The policies and practices used to identify who is gifted can impact groups of gifted kids differently. A currently unexplainable historical test score trend known as the Flynn Effect—a constant rise in scores over decades—has boosted the number of gifted identified. However, it may now be reversing. This reversal will reduce the number of gifted identified, and will have a larger impact on identifying gifted students already underrepresented. We review the evidence that brings us to this unique time in the history of educational policy, and suggest how this issue can be addressed to better serve gifted students.

Jonathan Wai

Case Western Reserve University and Geisinger Health

Jonathan Wai is a researcher at Case Western Reserve University and Geisinger Health. He studies how individual and contextual factors collectively impact the development of achievement and expertise across a variety of domains. He’s used historical, longitudinal, and experimental approaches to examine the multiple factors that contribute and take away from human capital development and how that’s connected to policies and conversations on enhancing creativity and innovation. His academic work has appeared in Journal of Educational Psychology, Current Directions in Psychological Science, Policy Insights From The Behavioral And Brain Sciences, Intelligence, Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, Journal of Advanced Academics, Gifted Child Quarterly, High Ability Studies, and Frontiers in Psychology: Developmental. He serves on the editorial boards of Intelligence and Journal of Expertise.


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Tomoe Kanaya

Claremont McKenna College

Dr. Kanaya is a developmental psychologist whose research interest lies in the intersection of child development and public policy, with a primary focus on educational policy and special populations. She received her Ph.D. in developmental psychology from Cornell University and is currently an Associate Professor of Psychology at Claremont McKenna College.


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Frank C. Worrell

Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley

Frank C. Worrell is a Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where he serves as Faculty Director of the Academic Talent Development Program, the California College Preparatory Academy, and the School Psychology program. His areas of expertise include academic talent development, at-risk youth, sociocultural factors related to educational and psychological functioning, scale development, teacher effectiveness, and the translation of research findings into school-based practice. Dr. Worrell is a past Editor of Review of Educational Research. He is a Fellow in five divisions of the American Psychological Association (APA), a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science, and an elected member in the Society for the Study of School Psychology. In 2013, he received the Distinguished Scholar Award from the National Association for Gifted Children and in 2015, the Distinguished Contributions to Research Award from Division 45 of APA, the Society for the Psychological Study of Culture, Ethnicity, and Race.


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An Historical Test Score Trend May Be Reversing That Could Negatively Impact Already Underrepresented Gifted Kids

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