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About the TPSP

A 2007 evaluation of the Texas Performance Standards Project (TPSP) pilots at grade 4, grade 8, and exit level indicated that the system can help districts evaluate and improve services for gifted/talented (G/T) students in all areas, including identification, professional development, curriculum and instruction, and student and program assessment.

Study findings indicated that use of TPSP materials can support the following:

  • G/T instruction that is rigorous, relevant, and appropriately challenging and that includes; options in the four foundation as well as enrichment subjects;
  • growth in student content knowledge and confidence;
  • student skill development in oral communication, inquiry and research processes, and analysis and synthesis;
  • preparation for advanced courses in grade 10 and beyond;
  • teacher professional growth and differentiation for G/T instruction; and
  • parent involvement.

In discussing TPSP program benefits with stakeholders, please consider the following:

How do students benefit from participation in the TPSP?
Students who participate in the TPSP:

  • develop confidence in their abilities to complete an independent research project;
  • use their own research to produce an innovative, discipline-based product;
  • are stretched to discover what they are capable of doing academically;
  • learn to accept challenges in order to perform at a high academic and intellectual level;
  • explore an area of interest and passion;
  • perform research outside of the traditional curriculum; and
  • improve communication and presentation skills.

How do teachers benefit from participation in the TPSP?
Teachers who participate in the TPSP have access to:

  • an evaluation tool that provides measures for student growth;
  • a way to achieve vertical alignment in the district’s services for G/T students;
  • fully developed G/T curriculum tasks that can be differentiated for students of all ability levels;
  • units of study that are aligned with the TEKS and the Texas State Plan for the Education of Gifted/Talented Students; and
  • the opportunity to work with students in a meaningful, creative, and open-ended way.

What are the benefits to the entire learning community?
The TPSP provides a way to align the curriculum so that a school or district has a true continuum of G/T services. This alignment helps ensure that G/T programs are meeting the criteria from the Texas State Plan for G/T education. After participating in the TPSP, educators will be able to identify areas of strength and weakness in their program. Because of the open-ended nature of the tasks, the TPSP showcases what gifted students are capable of doing academically. Successful students are visible in the learning community and project a positive image of the G/T program.

How does the TPSP help students achieve their learning goals?
The TPSP gives students a framework for successfully completing an independent research project. Because the student work is divided into two phases at most grade levels, there are built-in opportunities for teachers to provide direct instruction so that students have the skills necessary for developing an end product. The TPSP enables students to become real thinkers and scholars. Students are challenged to think critically, abstractly, and logically to evaluate and solve a problem. Students synthesize new information and comprehend different points of view. They also learn to communicate effectively and clearly in written and oral forms.

Photos of Students