Date of Award

Winter 12-16-2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in School Leadership


Center for Leadership & Learning


College of Education

Committee Chair

Steve Bounds, Ed.D.

Second Committee Member

John Freeman, Ph.D

Third Committee Member

Todd Edwards, Ed.D

Program Director

John Freeman, Ph.D

Dean of Graduate College

Sarah Gordon, Ph.D.


The exploration of dissecting gifted and talented programs combined with student advancement and academic success is one daunting but doable. The purpose of this study was to investigate the equity of the gifted and talented program while analyzing the achievement scores of these students compared to their peers. This quantitative study includes an evaluation of third through fifth grade students in a central Arkansas school district while merging the relationships of the general education population versus the academically gifted and talented population. Both groups were examined through the independent variables classified as ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. A descriptive data analysis was conducted to assess the academic performance of students enrolled in the gifted and talented program, paralleled with their counterparts in the general education setting. The findings of this study reveal valuable insights into the equity of gifted and talented programs and the impact of such programs on the academic success of their participants. A Chi-Square test was conducted to determine if there was an association between the number of students admitted to the gifted and talented program and those not admitted based on ethnicity, gender, and socioeconomic status. The data indicated that students were selected disproportionately for gifted and talented programs based on ethnicity and socioeconomic status. This research contributes to the ongoing dialogue surrounding educational equity and provides recommendations for policymakers and educators to create more inclusive and equitable educational environments.