Criticisms about the assessments used to identify students for advanced academic programs are rooted in the persistent underrepresentation of students of color. Scholars in gifted education are committed to equity and have identified research-based strategies for reducing excellence gaps in education (e.g., universal screening, local norms), but work remains to be done to create equitable identification practices that reliably identify all students with advanced learning needs. In this article, the authors propose incorporating philosophical theory, specifically ideas about truthmaking and vagueness, to explore why students continue to be identified for school-based gifted and talented services at systematically different rates. This article argues for examining claims of language and cultural bias in gifted and talented identification tests by qualitatively exploring the decisions individuals make at the item-level when taking these assessments.

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