Rider 69 of the 76th Texas Legislature directed the Texas Education Agency (TEA) to develop an assessment system and statewide standards for gifted/talented (G/T) students at all grade levels. This work began with the 2000-2002 Performance Standards Pilot, an effort to develop statewide standards, sample tasks, and an assessment structure for exit-level G/T students in the areas of English language arts and reading, mathematics, science, and social studies.
In 2001-2002, a working committee of Texas middle school educators drafted performance standards, guidelines for student projects, and design parameters for a pre-pilot of similar materials for grade 8. A committee of national specialists in G/T education then reviewed the results of the pre-pilot, and grade 8 TPSP materials were piloted statewide in the 2002-2003 school year.
Also during 2002-2003, the TPSP was expanded to include grade 4. Five tasks were developed and field tested in schools and districts across the state. A scoring system was also developed and tested during the summer of 2003. In the 2003-2004 school year, the original pilot sites field tested the tasks with revisions based on the previous year's pilot
After the pilot project, similar set of tasks were developed for other grade levels to provide a comprehensive set of K-12 TPSP G/T resources.
Getting the TPSP off the ground and into the schools was a major effort. Numerous individuals, including staff from schools, districts, and regional education service centers, were instrumental in the development and revision of the TPSP. We would like to give special thanks to B.K. Dean, Doris Teague, Evie Hiatt, Ann Wink, and John Keene for their leadership and contributions. In addition, we would like to recognize all of the pilot schools and districts.