Card and Giuliano’s research found that those disparities could be blamed in large part on the county’s gifted nomination process, which relied on teachers and parents to recommend kids for IQ testing by a psychologist. Many promising students, particularly those attending poorer schools, just weren’t getting referred.
That all changed after the county began universally screening its second-graders. The screening test flagged thousands of children as potentially gifted, and school psychologists started working overtime to evaluate all of them. Out of that process, Broward identified an additional 300 gifted children between 2005 and 2006, according to Card and Giuliano’s research. The impact on racial equity was huge: 80 percent more black students and 130 percent more Hispanic students were now entering gifted programs in third grade.