Ignorance or Indifference? Seeking Excellence and Equity for Under-Represented Students of Color in Gifted Education

Brian L Wright, Ph.D., Donna Y. Ford, Ph.D., Jemimah L. Young, Ph.D.


Lack of access to gifted education is prevalent, yet preventable for Black and Hispanic students. Years of data from the Office for Civil Rights and national reports reveal that deficit thinking, prejudice, and discrimination must be at work, thus compromising the educational experiences of gifted students of color. In this article, the authors share data on under-representation in the U.S., along with contributing factors and recommendations. They rail against both ignorance and indifference explanations, calling instead for accountability and deliberate efforts to desegregate gifted education with both excellence and equity as the driving force. We define equity as being fair, responsive, and impartial, especially for those who have the fewest resources and least advocacy, and who have experienced structural inequality due to historical exclusion.  We hope readers will learn from the U.S. context and use that which is relevant for their nation’s context.


Gifted Education; Under-Representation; Students Of Color; Black Students; Hispanic/Latino Students; Equity

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ISSN: 2325-663X