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Cognitively Speaking: A Closer Look at Local Norms

Dr. Joni M. Lakin
Written By Dr. Joni M. Lakin
On Jun 3, 2022
2 minute read

A Deeper Dive into Local Norms


Gifted and talented services are most effective when they serve students for whom the standard curriculum is not sufficient. The goal is to identify students who are not well served by this curriculum, which is designed for the average student. In deciding whether to use district- or building-level norms it is important to consider this concept. If your district has a tightly controlled curriculum, it may be that the targeted difficulty doesn't vary across buildings much. However, teachers will always have to adapt instruction to the speed and ways in which their students learn best. Students who are more able than their peers will be bored by the repetition and slow pace.


In this newsletter, we show examples of when local norms will and will not improve representation. We will contrast the impact of district-level norms compared to local norms based on school building.

Access the Full Cognitively Speaking Here


There's still a lot to learn! This is the follow-up to a previous issue of Cognitively Speaking where we discussed why local norms can be valuable to districts whose typical students perform well above or well below national averages and evaluated how local norms may help with expanding the diversity of students identified. Read the previous issue, Cognitively Speaking: Why and How to Use Local Norms, to further explore these topics.

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