Equal Talents, Unequal Opportunities
A Report Card on State Support for Academically Talented Low-Income Students

Year after year, in every state and community in our nation, students
from low-income families are less likely than other students to reach
advanced levels of academic performance, even when demonstrating
the potential to do so. These income-based “excellence gaps” appear
in elementary school and continue through high school. It is a
story of demography predetermining destiny, with bright low-
income students becoming what one research team referred to as a
“persistent talent underclass.”

This report examines the performance of America’s high-ability
students, with an emphasis on those who come from low-
income backgrounds. The report examines a range of state-level
interventions that are intended to foster academic talent, with
the goal of identifying the policies currently in use that should be
implemented more widely.