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School District Introduces New Method Of Identifying Gifted Students

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- The Philadelphia School District is getting its first results from a new way to select gifted students.

It's said the difference between a bright child and a gifted child is: A bright child knows the answers. A gifted child asks the questions.

The Philadelphia School District this spring launched a new method of identifying gifted students, one Superintendent William Hite says is designed to be more equitable.

"While we are a system that's predominantly minority, the majority of children before now who were receiving gifted and talented services were white."

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Hite says the district has moved to a nonverbal cognitive assessment for second graders. That's a test using pictures instead of words...

"We were trying to get a clear read on aptitude and ability, versus biases that some individuals may have about certain children."

Hite said the results were eye-opening: Two children who scored at the top of the IQ scale... one was an English-as-a-second-language student, and the other was from a North Philadephia school with few gifted programs.

Hite made his comments at a luncheon last week sponsored by the Center City Proprietors Association.

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