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Ford18 - Urban Education http/uex.sagepub.com Another Look...

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http://uex.sagepub.com Urban Education DOI: 10.1177/0042085907312344 2008; 43; 216 Urban Education Donna Y. Ford, Tarek C. Grantham and Gilman W. Whiting Experiences of Gifted Black Students Another Look at the Achievement Gap: Learning From the http://uex.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/43/2/216 The online version of this article can be found at: Published by: http://www.sagepublications.com can be found at: Urban Education Additional services and information for http://uex.sagepub.com/cgi/alerts Email Alerts: http://uex.sagepub.com/subscriptions Subscriptions: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsReprints.nav Reprints: http://www.sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav Permissions: http://uex.sagepub.com/cgi/content/refs/43/2/216 Citations at Ebsco Electronic Journals Service (EJS) on April 21, 2009 http://uex.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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216 Another Look at the Achievement Gap Learning From the Experiences of Gifted Black Students Donna Y. Ford Vanderbilt University Tarek C. Grantham University of Georgia Gilman W. Whiting Vanderbilt University Many studies have been conducted on the achievement gap, with most findings pointing to how school and family variables affect Black students’ achieve- ment. Another body of work focuses on how social variables (i.e., peers) impact Black students’ achievement, including how accusations of “acting White” affect the performance of Black students and contribute to the achieve- ment gap. The current descriptive and exploratory study extends this work by examining peer pressure among Black students identified as gifted ( n = 166). As part of a larger study, gifted Black 5th through 12th graders were surveyed regarding their achievement-related attitudes and behaviors and perceptions of “acting White” and “acting Black.” Many of the gifted Black students demonstrate an attitude-behavior discrepancy, face negative peer pressures, and attribute acting White to school achievement, intelligence, and positive school behaviors and attitudes; most attribute acting Black to negative school achieve- ment, low intelligence, and poor behaviors and attitudes. Recommendations are provided. Keywords: achievement gap; gifted education; African American students; underrepresentation T wo issues have been heavily debated in education relative to African American 1 students. The first is their lower academic performance compared to White students, referred to as the “achievement gap.” The second relates to their underrepresentation in gifted education (e.g., advanced place- ment [AP] classes). Urban Education Volume 43 Number 2 March 2008 216-239 © 2008 Corwin Press 10.1177/0042085907312344 http://uex.sagepub.com hosted at http://online.sagepub.com at Ebsco Electronic Journals Service (EJS) on April 21, 2009 http://uex.sagepub.com Downloaded from
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Much has been written about the first issue—that of the achievement gap specifically between Black students and White students. A litany of studies has been conducted, as well as conceptual and theoretical pieces, in response to this stubborn and pervasive problem (e.g., Barton, 2003; Education Trust, 2006; Ferguson, 2002; Jencks & Phillips, 1998; Lee & Burkham, 2002; Peske & Haycock, 2006). That is, theologians, policy makers, administrators,
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