This study examined ethnic differences in performance among 78 elementary age students (22 black, 56 white) who participated in a special program for mathematically talented children and 185 program alternates (40 black, 140 white, 3 other). Statistically significant differences favoring whites were noted on the STEP test and the Raven's Matrices used as entry (selection) criteria for the total group but only for the Raven's Matrices among program participants. These data provide evidence that the entry level mathematics skills of talented black and white students selected for the program do not differ statistically and calls into question the overreliance on the Raven's Progressive Matrices as culture fair. A regression discontinuity analysis indicated that both black and white students who participated in the special program scored higher than their counterparts who did not participate on the MANS test, a mathematics problem-solving measure. The small differences in effect size for black participation (.88) versus white participation (.54) were not statistically significant. However, the correlation between the identification variable and the MANS outcome measure was respectably high for blacks (.76) as well as for whites (.73). In other words, talented black children benefit from participation in enriched and accelerated mathematics programs, and the identification procedure is reasonably effective in locating black children likely to demonstrate high post-test performance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology