This information was produced by the staff of the Belin-Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (B-BC) at the University of Iowa ( The resources and information listed here are for informational purposes; there is no direct or implied endorsement by the B-BC. Services provided by the B-BC include programs for academically talented K-12 and college students, professional development for teachers, the Assessment and Counseling Clinic, the Acceleration Institute (, and graduate programs and research in gifted education.

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Annotated Bibliography

Articles are listed in descending order by year (most recent first), and then by first author's last name.

Diverse Populations

Luckey Goudelock, J., & Grantham, T. (2023). Applying Frasier Four A's to promote upstander teachers for academic acceleration of gifted Black students. Gifted Child Today, 46(4), 250–265.

Acceleration is an effective approach for many high ability students, and it can be especially beneficial for Black students. Upstander teachers are those who recognize educational crises and the problem of overlooked and underdeveloped gifts and talents of Black students in regular and gifted education programs. They proactively identify Black students’ intellectual and academic strengths and plan not only enrichment services, but accelerated pathways for Black students to be appropriately challenged. Too many Black students with gifts and talents succumb to boredom, underachievement, and atrophy when bystander teachers have low academic expectations of them and fail to recommend them for academically rigorous advanced and accelerated learning experiences. The purpose of this article is to present acceleration as a means of creating equitable opportunities in gifted education for gifted Black students using Frasier’s Four A’s framework: attitude, access, assessment, and accommodation. Specifically, the following questions are addressed: What are upstander attitudes toward acceleration and related policies? How can upstander teachers know if a Black student is a good candidate for acceleration and increase their access to acceleration? How can upstander teachers provide equitable assessments of Black students for acceleration? What can upstander teachers do to support acceleration programming that accommodates the needs of gifted Black students? Six tables provide an overview of acceleration types, a guide to promote equitable acceleration, and considerations for accelerating gifted Black students.

Elias, A. (2018). A Comparative Study of Economically Disadvantaged and English Language Learner Graduates Completing Advanced/Dual Credit Courses in Early College High Schools and Traditional High Schools in South Texas (Publication No. 10931322). [Doctoral Dissertation, Texas A&M University-Kingsville] ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global.

This quantitative study examined factors that determined if economically disadvantaged and English language learner students graduating from traditional or early college high school were college and career ready. Effective data was collected from campuses in the Region One educational service center in South Texas. The study was guided by the comparison of traditional high schools to early college high schools (ECHSs) designated by the Texas Educational Agency (TEA) to be early colleges. Furthered study was focused on the deficiency of economically disadvantaged and English language learner students completing the Texas Success Initiative (TSI) exam, which signified whether students were college ready and prepared to take college courses. Two sub-population groups were compared on advanced/dual credit courses, and college and career readiness as measured by the Texas Academic Performance Reports (TAPRs) released data by the Texas Educational Agency (TEA) for the 2016 and 2017 school years. Studied demographics included Hispanic, economically disadvantaged and English language learner subpopulation groups that were also considered at-risk. These student populations also met the criteria of being underserved and underrepresented in high schools. The design taken for this quantitative study was a non-experimental research approach which was applied based on an ex- post facto design. Statistical data displayed the differences among traditional high school students and early college high school (ECHS) students, and economically disadvantaged and English language learner students who were college ready graduates by their senior year of taking advanced/dual credit college courses. School years 2016 and 2017 statistical data validates that few students from traditional high schools were graduating college and career ready and with advanced/dual credit courses. In comparison, early college high school students were graduating college and career ready and with advanced/dual credit courses. Larger statistical values in data in an early college high school determined that the underserved subpopulations such as economically disadvantaged students and English language learner students were better supported, advised and guided on their post-secondary studies, than in a traditional high school. Modeled by the early college high school which was created on a system that nurtures, supports and guides students so that they would not fail in their post-secondary experience. The early college high schools’ initiative has formed a bridge between high schools and institutions of higher education which has helped the underserved and underrepresented student population to have college going opportunities. Because many students have succeeded due to the early college high school initiative. An opportunity for further research studies is to track data of how many early college high school students actually complete a post-secondary degree such as a bachelor degree or a graduate degree.

Owens, C. M., Ford, D. Y., Lisbon, A. J., & Owens, M. T. (2016). Shifting Paradigms to Better Serve Twice-Exceptional African-American Learners. Behavioral Disorders, 41(4), 196-208.  

Existing research on students with twice-exceptional abilities concentrates on strategies to improve the educational experiences of individuals who demonstrate the comorbid presence of a talent for high academic achievement (often considered a strength) and a disability (often considered a weakness). However, this body of work typically excludes the sociocultural context in which these abilities manifest and how the current deficit perspective of ability infringes upon an appropriate education for African-American students with twice-exceptional abilities. Using Hill Collins' (2008) "Interlocking Systems of Oppression" as a framework, we expound on the discourse about twice-exceptional abilities specific to African-American students with a focus on African-American males. We present a case study about the impact deficit perspectives have on identifying and supporting twice-exceptional abilities in African-American students. Recommendations are made to improve the conditions in which twice-exceptional abilities among African-Americans are identified and supported in schools.  

Horn, C. V. (2015). Young Scholars: A Talent Development Model for Finding and Nurturing Potential in Underserved Populations. Gifted Child Today, 38(1), 19-31. doi:10.1177/1076217514556532  

The Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) Young Scholars model offers new language and ideas for thinking about giftedness that embrace expanded beliefs about the nature of intelligence and highlight the importance of nurturing intelligent behavior in children from diverse cultural, ethnic, and linguistic backgrounds as early as possible. These expanded beliefs move beyond an exclusionary vocabulary that is based on a child's proficiency in skills that are taught in school or a single score on a standard ability test and instead focus on a child's ability to think, reason, and problem-solve through evidence and assessments that cross cultural, ethnic, and linguistic boundaries. The Young Scholars model is embedded in a continuum of gifted services offered to a broad range of learners, and it has the capacity to be an important vehicle for change. Young Scholars are students who historically have been underrepresented in gifted programs. This includes students from poverty, students whose primary language is not English, and twice exceptional learners. Staff at Young Scholars schools work together to find and nurture gifted potential as early as kindergarten to ensure that no student is overlooked. The model has two goals: (a) to identify students who may not be considered for gifted programs using traditional methods of identification, and who, without that opportunity, are less likely to pursue advanced levels of learning on their own; and (b) to nurture gifted potential at an early age so that Young Scholars will be prepared to engage in challenging subject matter and rigorous courses in elementary school, middle school, high school, and beyond.  

Hertberg-Davis, H., Williams, B., & Callahan, C. M. (2010). Pathways to success for African American students in Advanced Placement courses. In N. Colangelo, S. Assouline, D. Lohman, & M. A. Marron (Eds.), Proceedings of the 2008 Wallace Symposium poster session on academic acceleration. Iowa City, IA: The University of Iowa.

The full proceedings are available here.

Lee, S. Y., Olszewski-Kubilius, P., Peternel, G. (2010). The efficacy of academic acceleration for gifted minority students. Gifted Child Quarterly, 54(3), 189-208.

This study supported the use of acceleration for gifted minority students in math. The gifted minority students in this study viewed taking accelerated math courses as exciting and beneficial for preparation for high school and college and particularly liked the challenges they encountered while taking advanced classes. They enjoyed working ahead and having a "leg up" in school, and were infused with a special feeling of being gifted and talented in taking accelerated math. Ethnicity was not a major factor for teachers' support for acceleration. The teachers believed that acceleration provides necessary challenges for students, makes them committed to schoolwork, and enhances their academic achievement. No negative peer pressure resulting from academic acceleration was found, though the teachers were more certain than the students about the existence of negative peer culture for gifted minority students.

Vantassel-Baska, J., Feng, A. X., Swanson, J. D., Quek, C., & Chandler, K. (2009). Academic and Affective Profiles of Low-Income, Minority, and Twice-Exceptional Gifted Learners: The Role of Gifted Program Membership in Enhancing Self. Journal of Advanced Academics, 20(4), 702-739. doi:10.1177/1932202x0902000406  

This study examined the academic and affective profiles of gifted students who were classified under five prototypes, including low-income White students, low-income African American students, low-income other minority students, high nonverbal and low verbal students, and twice-exceptional students. A total of 37 vignettes were developed and analyzed based on interviews with selected students, their teachers, and parents. Within and cross-prototype themes were derived. The results suggested a long-term gifted program impact on special needs students identified through both traditional and alternative assessment. Both cognitive and affective impacts were found, suggesting the power of gifted program membership on enhancing self-confidence and building higher level skills of communication and thinking. (Contains 4 tables.)  

Baldus, C., Assouline, S., Croft, L., & Colangelo, N. (2009). The Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy: Creating access to excellence for gifted and talented rural students. In L. Shavinina (Ed.), International Handbook on Giftedness (pp. 1225-1234). Amsterdam: Springer Science and Business Media.

This chapter highlights the success of the Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) and related programs. The program itself aims to increase access to AP courses and exams, and does so by providing online AP courses and in-school support for high school students, preparing rural junior high/middle school students for AP coursework through the Iowa Excellence Program, and aiding teachers in encouraging and preparing students to seek out and succeed in highly challenging coursework, such as AP.

Wyner, J. S., Bridgeland, J. M., & Diiulio, J. J., Jr. (2007). Achievement trap: How America is failing millions of high-achieving students from lower-income families. Lansdowne, VA: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.

Today in America, there are millions of students who are overcoming challenging socioeconomic circumstances to excel academically. Sadly, these students lose more educational ground and excel less frequently than their higherincome peers. Instead of being recognized for their excellence and encouraged to strengthen their achievement, high-achieving lower-income students enter the "achievement trap" - educators, policymakers, and the public assume they can fend for themselves when the facts show otherwise.

The full report can be found here.

Lerner, J. B., & Brand, B. (2006). The college ladder: Linking secondary and postsecondary education for success for all students. Washington, D.C.: American Youth Policy Forum.

The purpose of this report was to identify, summarize, and analyze schools, programs, and policies linking secondary and postsecondary education to earning college credit. These programs are called Secondary-Post Secondary Learning Options (SPLOs). This report focused on SPLOs targeted to first-generation students, low-income students, low-performing students, students with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities. The research questions for this report are:

  1. 1. Is there evidence that these different models of SPLOs are effective at increasing academic performance, closing the achievement gap, and increasing entry to and retention in postsecondary education, particularly for first-generation or low-income students, students of color, and students with disabilities?
  2. 2. Do financing mechanisms support equity and access by all students? Is there evidence that these programs are cost effective?
  3. 3. Are college courses for high school students as rigorous and at the same level as regular college courses?
  4. 4. What evidence exists to demonstrate that these programs meet their goals of serving a specific target population or solving a specific problem?
  5. 5. Who should pay for high school students to take these courses and what are some of the financing structures? Should federal student aid dollars be used to support high school students?
  6. 6. On what outcomes should these programs be measured: high school graduation, grades, attainment of college credit, entry to postsecondary education, and/or completion of degree?
A variety of programs were reviewed to address the research questions, including dual enrollment, tech prep, middle/early college high schools, programs serving disadvantaged youth, and college access programs. Overall longitudinal data were not available to thoroughly answer the research questions. However, one noteworthy finding was that students participating in SPLOs earned higher standardized test scores than their counterparts. In addition, the rate at which students enrolled in college was higher after participating in an SPLO program.

Treviño, A., & Mayes, C. (2006). Creating a bridge from high school to college for Hispanic students. Multicultural Education, 14(2), 74-77.

Early College High Schools (ECHS) are defined as "small schools where students can earn both a high school diploma and two years of college credit toward a bachelor's degree" (Early Colleges, 2005). ECHSs are designed as places of learning to help young people progress toward the education and experience they need to succeed in life and in family-supporting careers. The Utah County Academy of Sciences (UCAS) is innovative in its approach in assisting Hispanic students. As Hispanic students enter an Early College High Schools (ECHS) program such as the Utah County Academy of Sciences (UCAS), it is clear that no single theory of academic achievement entirely explains why some students succeed in school and others fail, nor can just one type of program answer everyone's needs. As Hispanic students enter an ECHS program such as UCAS, it is clear that it is vital to understand school achievement as a combination of personal, cultural, familial, interactive, political, and societal issues, and this means understanding the socio political context in which education takes place. UCAS represents just one kind of attempt in a specific setting to begin to respond to the multifaceted needs of students of color. The purpose of presenting an overview of this experimental program in this article is to provide an example that will aid other educators and policymakers as they conceptualize and implement their own unique approaches to the challenge and promise of multicultural education.

Benally, S. (2004). Serving American Indian students: Participation in accelerated learning opportunities. Boulder, CO: Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education.

Benally conducted a qualitative research study focusing on American Indian and Alaska Native participation in Advanced Placement courses. The study included 15 schools in the western part of the United States. School districts were selected based on their proximity to American Indian Reservations. Data for the study was collected through interviews with students, teachers, and other school personnel. Interview questions concentrated on access to AP programs, participation by American Indian students in such programs, and issues and challenges that keep students from enrolling in AP programs.The findings of the study were consistent with other studies of this nature. In particular, high schools serving large populations of American Indian students either do not offer or have a very limited offering of AP classes available to students. When the programs are offered, a very small number of American Indian students participate. Additionally, the following challenges for attracting American Indian students to AP programs are outlined:

  • Parental Involvement,
  • College Orientation,
  • Availability and Quality of Gifted Programs,
  • Early Opportunities,
  • Cultural Sustainability,
  • Community-Based Problems,
  • Interrelated Issues (such as student achievement and wellness issues),
  • Teacher Preparation,
  • School Accountability, and
  • Negative Stereotyping.
The article includes policy recommendations for school leaders to address the these challenges.

Matthews, P. H., and Matthews, M. S. (2004). Heritage language instruction and giftedness in language minority students: Pathways toward success. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education, 15, 50-55.  

Heritage language instruction and giftedness in language minority students: Pathways toward success. The Journal of Secondary Gifted Education15, 50-55. [Keywords: Characteristics of Gifted Youth]

Language minority students, while often underrepresented in traditional gifted programs, can benefit from "heritage language" courses focused on developing academic proficiency and exploring challenging content in their home language. We describe how heritage language courses can provide an appropriate venue for the identification of gifted potential among language minority students, how such courses can enhance student motivation for learning, and what cognitive benefits may be associated with additive bilingualism developed through such courses.

Fredrick, L. D., Keel, M. C., & Neel, J. H. (2002). Making the most of instructional time: Teaching reading at an accelerated rate to students at risk. Journal of Direct Instruction, 2(1), 57-63.

Students who are performing below their grade-level can be considered to be "at-risk for school failure." These students need to learn at an accelerated rate, that is, faster than national norms to move out of the risk situation. Direct Instruction is one means of accelerating learning (Carnine, 1988). Reading Mastery, a Direct Instruction program, was used to teach reading to first- and second-grade students at risk. The Woodcock Reading Mastery Test-Revised was administered pre and post to determine students' reading grade level and rate of reading gain prior to and during the implementation of Reading Mastery. The rate of reading gain during the Reading Mastery intervention using a dependent one-tailed t test with a Bonferroni corrections for each grade level. A significant difference in rate of gain was found for Total Reading in both grades and for Word Attack in first grade and Word Identification in second grade.

Harrison, J. A. (1998). A great LEAP forward. American School Board Journal, 185(9), 44-45.

In 1996, a Winston-Salem principal closed a failing alternative school and developed a new program dedicated to helping at-risk kids succeed. The result was LEAP (Learning and Acceleration Program) Academy, a school that helps academically unstable middle-school students catch up to their peers by completing two years of academic coursework in one school year.

Swanson, J. D. (1995). Project SEARCH: Selection, enrichment, and acceleration of rural children. (Final Report). Columbia, SC: South Carolina Department of Education.

This final report describes the activities of Project Search (Selection Enrichment and Acceleration of Rural Children), a project funded by a federal Javits grant to address the identification of young gifted and talented students from underrepresented populations and to develop a model for providing appropriate services for young, potentially gifted children. The project focused on three pilot school sites in rural areas of the Charleston County School District in South Carolina. All three schools served a majority of African American children. The project began with kindergarten classrooms and then added second and third grade classrooms. By the end of the project, staff directly affected more than 450 students and 26 teachers and principals. Assessment instruments were used to evaluate students' intelligence, academics, creativity, and social leadership; student portfolios were also used for identification of the top 10-15 percent of students. The project developed an inclusive classroom model for nurturing giftedness that involved curriculum development and teacher training. Classroom strategies included higher level questioning and dialog, open-ended and project-based assignments, varied materials and hands-on activities with students, and opportunities for self-directed activities. The report includes the final dissemination packet on promising practices, information about assessment instruments, and an evaluation.

Rimm, S. B. (1992). The use of subject and grade skipping for the prevention and reversal of underachievement. Gifted Child Quarterly, 36(2), 100-105.

Fourteen sets of parents and 11 gifted students who had been accelerated (early kindergarten entrance, grade skipping, and subject skipping) were interviewed. All parents and students indicated they would make the same decision again. Administrator attitudes became more positive, but teachers perceived some student adjustment problems.

Jones, E. D., et al. (1990). Attitudes of gifted underachievers toward accelerative options. Paper presented at the Annual Convention of the National Association for Gifted Children, Little Rock, AR.

This study surveyed underachieving gifted students and their parents in order to: determine the extent and sources of positive and negative attitudes toward educational acceleration; compare the views of parents and students for congruence; and compare the perceptions of successful students and their parents with the views of identified underachieving students and their parents. Data from 15 students and their parents indicated few concerns that acceleration would have negative effects on leadership, academic achievement, or creativity. The overriding concern of parents and students was for the potentially negative effects that acceleration would have on social and emotional development. Eight of the parents indicated that they had considered acceleration for their children, seven of these decided to accelerate their children, and all but one of the seven stated that the decision to accelerate worked out well. Parents and students from the underachieving sample held generally similar perceptions of potential harm compared to a sample of successful students and their parents.

Janos, P. M., Sanfilippo, S. M., & Robinson, N. M. (1986). Underachievement among markedly accelerated college students. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 15(4), 303-311.

This study investigated those few lackluster achievers as could be identified, using loose criteria, in a college-level program of academic acceleration. Underachieving males appeared less psychologically mature and appeared to suffer more internal conflict than achieving males, but underachieving females evidenced greater maturity than their counterparts.