||Underachievement is defined as a discrepancy between a student’s ability and performance.
Underachievement in gifted children, namely those one to two years above grade level,
is especially concerning. Gifted children of high potential require additional nurturing
and motivation to fulfill this potential, a task for parents, teachers, and school
administrators alike. In Orange County Schools, a public school district in Orange
County, North Carolina, these stakeholders care about the achievement of students
in the Academically and Intellectually Gifted (AIG) program. This study explores test
score growth among Orange County Schools’ AIG students in the fifth through eighth
grade in order to assess underachievement for this group. By examining the quantitative
and qualitative factors contributing to gifted student learning, it finds that test
score growth does not accurately reflect gifted student achievement, and instead suggests
that other measurements be used to assess Orange County Schools’ gifted program.