Variability of prevalence data for the category of gifted and talented was examined with respect to two alternative explanations: definitional differences and differences in the application of definitions. State-adopted definitions of giftedness were analyzed, as were guidelines for student identification procedures. Statistical analyses (coefficient of variability, t test for dependent samples) used in previous comparisons of prevalence data for learning disabilities, behavior disorders, and educable mental retardation also were applied to the gifted and talented. This category was found to be no less, if not more, variable than the disability conditions. Implications for identifying students as gifted and talented are discussed.
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