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CogAT K12 Ability Assessments

Getting Value and Equity from Your Universal Screening Process

Dr. Joni M. Lakin
Written By Dr. Joni M. Lakin
On Apr 14, 2020
1 minute read

The Importance of Using the Right Measures for Universal Screening

Evidence suggests that universal screening is the most fair and unbiased method to identify low income and underrepresented minority students for gifted programming. Universal screening is a process where all students in a given grade are administered a common measure (or set of measures) of abilities and characteristics that indicate a need for specialized services not offered within the regular classroom. Often the universal screener is a brief measure of general ability used to identify a subset of students who are then administered a larger battery of assessments to further inform the identification decision. Research has consistently shown that universal screening improves the representation of minority students and girls in gifted and talented services by relying on an objective test rather than subjective parent and teacher referrals. The goal of this issue of Cognitively Speaking is to discuss some of the common processes and missteps in this type of universal screening

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