Gifted Identification and the Role of Gifted Education: A Commentary on “Evaluating the Gifted Program of an Urban School District Using a Modified Regression Discontinuity Design”

Saiying Steenbergen-Hu*, Paula Olszewski-Kubilius

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


The article by Davis, Engberg, Epple, Sieg, and Zimmer (2010) represents one of the recent research efforts from economists in evaluating the impact of gifted programs. It can serve as a worked example of the implementation of the regression discontinuity (RD) design method in gifted education research. In this commentary, we first illustrate the basic logic or principles of a RD design using Davis et al. (2010) as an example, explain the structure of the study, and summarize its key findings. We then critique the credibility and validity of the study findings from the perspective of gifted education. We discuss its potential implications for gifted education. We highlight some noteworthy recent progress or research findings concerning gifted identification. Finally, we reflect the role of gifted education in current social, economic, and educational context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)99-108
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Advanced Academics
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1 2016



  • gifted education
  • gifted identification
  • intelligence test
  • regression discontinuity design
  • student retention

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education

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