Massachusetts to Missouri

State
Name
Theoretical
Operational
Source(s)
Massachusetts
Farhat Ahmad
There is no specific theoretical definition of gifted in the state of Massachusetts because they haven't passed any laws defining what gifted is. Currently, gifted student fall under special education, and the theoretical definition for that is as follows:

Students are assessed in multiple ways, including but not limited to their participation in the state assessment (MCAS exams). Student progress is measured, in part, by their individual growth and subject matter competency. Teachers provide students with feedback so students better understand how well they are mastering the content they are expected to know. Such ongoing classroom based assessments are used to diagnose instructional needs and to guide effective teaching and learning.

Consequently, there is no operational definition either. Gifted education does not fall under alternative education in the state of Massachusetts.

Massachusetts Alternative Education Definition

Alternative Education is an initiative within a public school district, charter school, or educational collaborative established to serve at-risk students whose needs are not being met in the traditional school setting.
For the purposes of this definition, Alternative Education does not include private schools, home schooling, General Educational Development (GED) services, or gifted and talented programs. Alternative Education may serve some students with disabilities but is not designed exclusively for students with disabilities.
http://www.doe.mass.edu/alted/about.html?section=definition
Michigan
Ashley Jones
(a) The "gifted and/or academically talented" means elementary and/or secondary school students who may be considered to be (1) intellectually gifted, (2) outstanding in school achievement, and/or (3) those who have outstanding abilities in particular areas of human endeavor, including the arts and humanities.
(Michigan does not have an outlined operational defnition. Each district has its own gifted and talented opportunities/programs.)

Talent DevelopmentTalent Development (previously Gifted and Talented) programs were created to help advanced learning students achieve the most our of their educational opportunities. The Department of Education recognizes that children with talents have unique learning styles which require special planning and accommodations by school personnel to recognize, develop and nurture.
To help answer questions and administer Advanced and Accelerated programs, each Intermediate School District has its own Consultant. Contact your ISD agent for information in regard to these programs, or for specific questions regarding your district's gifted and talented opportunities.
Minnesota
Jenny Johnson
"Gifted and talented children and youth are those students with outstanding abilities, identified at preschool, elementary and secondary levels. These students are capable of high performance when compared to others of similar age, experience and environment, and represent the diverse populations of our communities. These are students whose potential requires differentiated and challenging educational programs and/or services beyond those provided in the general school program. Students capable of high performance include those with demonstrated achievement or
potential ability in any one or more of the following areas: general intellectual, specific academic subjects, creativity, leadership and visual and performing arts.

Definitions:
General intellectual ability: Students who demonstrate a high aptitude for abstract reasoning and conceptualization, who master skills and concepts quickly, and/or exhibit advanced critical thinking
capability.
Specific academic aptitude: Students who evidence extraordinary learning ability in one or more specific disciplines.
Creative and critical thinking: Students who are highly insightful, imaginative and innovative,
who consistently assimilate and synthesize seemingly unrelated information to create new and novel solutions for conventional tasks and who can interpret, analyze and evaluate information.
Leadership ability: Students who emerge as leaders, and who demonstrate high ability to
accomplish group goals by working with and through others.
Visual and performing arts: Students who are consistently superior in the development of a
product or performance in any of the visual and performing arts"
(http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/groups/GiftedTalented/documents/Report/030710.pdf).
"Minnesota is a local control state, which allows districts to select the method for identifying students who would qualify for Gifted & Talented.
Students need to be formally identified as gifted and talented by the enrolling district using the
district’s criteria to be reported as gifted and talented"
(http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/groups/GiftedTalented/documents/Report/030710.pdf).

Minnesota suggests that each district form their own protocol for their own operation definition of gifted. "The protocols are designed to reflect “best practices” in gifted education identification, which is articulated in several publications, most notably by the National Association for Gifted Children (NAGC) in the NAGC Pre-K-12 Gifted Education Program Standards (Landrum, Callahan & Shaklee, 2001), and position statements, such as “Using Tests to Identify Gifted Students Position Statement” (NAGC, 1997). Five guiding principles comprise the NAGC standard on identification.
Guiding Principle #1: A comprehensive and cohesive process for student nomination must be
coordinated in order to determine eligibility for gifted education services.
Guiding Principle #2: Instruments used for student assessment to determine eligibility for gifted education services must measure diverse abilities, talents, strengths and needs in order to provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate any strengths.
Guiding Principle #3: A student assessment profile of individual strengths and needs must be
developed to plan appropriate intervention.
Guiding Principle #4: All student identification procedures and instruments must be based on
current theory and research.
Guiding Principle #5: Written procedures for student identification must include, at the very least, provisions for informed consent, student retention, student reassessment, student exiting and appeals procedures.
Definitions for each of the above principles can be found in the NAGC Pre-K–Grade 12 Gifted
Program Standards publication, and examples of minimum and exemplary standards for each can be found in the book as well as on the NAGC Web site"
(http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/groups/GiftedTalented/documents/Report/030710.pdf).
http://education.state.mn.us/mdeprod/groups/GiftedTalented/documents/Report/030710.pdf
Mississippi
Katie Gamble
The Mississippi Code of 1972 defines giftedness by the following:

"Gifted children" shall mean children who are found to have an exceptionally high degree of intellect, and/or academic, creative or artistic ability.
1.A score at or above the 90th percentile on the total score in the pertinent academic area on a norm-referenced achievement test,
2.A score at or above the 90th percentile in the pertinent academic area on a norm-referenced individual achievement test, or
3.A portfolio of the student’s work demonstrating outstanding achievement in the pertinent academic area over a period of at least six months. The portfolio shall be evaluated using a rubric approved by the MDE.
http://www.mscode.com/free/statutes/37/023/0175.htm

http://www.mde.k12.ms.us/acad/id/curriculum/gifted/gifted.html (This website contains a series of PDF files that contain valuable information regarding the identification of gifted students.)
Missouri
Cali Strauss
Section 162.675. RSMo, defines gifted children as "those children who exhibit precocious development of mental capacity and learning potential as determined by competent professional evaluation to the extent that continued educational growth and stimulation could best be served by an academic environment beyond that offered through a standard grade level curriculum."


(Missouri State Special Education Law H.B. 474)
1. General Mental Ability
Full-scale scores on an individual intelligence test at or above the 95th percentile: The district may use various IQ tests, administered according to their appropriateness in reference to program areas and student needs.
2. Academic Ability
If achievement test scores are used for formal evaluation and placement, they must be derived from a norm-referenced test and the cut-off score must be set at the 95th percentile or higher. MAP content area test scores may be used for placement in subject specific classes. For interdisciplinary programs, tests must be used that sample a majority of the core subject areas of Math, Science, Social Studies and Communication Arts.
3. Creativity, Reasoning, and Problem-solving Ability
Results of valid tests or other assessments indicating outstanding ability in one of the following areas: (1) creative and productive thinking, (2) advanced insight, (3) outstanding imagination, (4) innovative or creative reasoning ability, (5) advanced perception of cause and effect relationships, (6) problem solving, or (7) abstract concepts. These areas of ability must be related to the design of the gifted program.
4. Other
Documented evidence of exceptional performance in a general academic area, a fine arts area, or another area related to the design of the gifted program: Such evidence may take the form of portfolios of student work, formal classroom observations by persons knowledgeable about characteristics of gifted students, auditions, product demonstrations, etc.

(State Department of Missouri Gifted Education Manual)
http://www.nagc.org/index.aspx?id=643

http://dese.mo.gov/schoollaw/rulesregs/documents/Manual-GiftedEducation8-06.pdf

http://dese.mo.gov/divimprove/gifted/