In Removing the Mask Paul D. Slocumb, Ed.D. and Ruby K. Payne, Ph.D. present an identification model that is based on a new paradigm. They maintain that environmental factors often mask giftedness in students from poverty, making their gifted attributes unrecognisable in schools that operate using the hidden rules of middle class.
Slocumb and Payne propose that equity, not equality, needs to be at the heart of any gifted assessment process. Without equity, students from poverty will never be judged fairly. Disproportionate numbers of affluent students will continue to be identified for gifted services while non-affluent students are excluded.
Removing the Mask is a highly instructive book for the practicing professional who is committed to finding and serving the best and brightest students from the culture of poverty. It also offers suggestions on how to help gifted/talented students from poverty be successful and remain in gifted/talented programs once the students have been identified.