Seattle Public Schools to Replace Gifted Programs for ‘Inclusivity’

The Seattle Public Schools have decided to replace its gifted program with a new approach– eliminating honors programs to be more inclusive and equal.

In the 2021–22 school year, SPS began a plan to progressively reduce Highly Capable Cohort (HCC) schools and advanced study courses. Concerns about reducing racial inequalities led to this decision.

According to an announcement made by SPS, all SPS schools will have completely adopted the Highly Capable Neighborhood School Model by the 2024–25 academic year. Instead of sending each kid to a separate school or classroom for exceptional pupils, the teacher will design an individualized curriculum to meet their needs.

Our student services are crafted with an appreciation for and understanding of the wide range of cultural backgrounds and experiences represented within our student body. Addressing past unfairness is the reason the district is crediting the revisions.

Worried educators and parents are speaking out against the program, citing concerns that talented pupils would go unrecognized. Educators’ ability to tailor classes to the unique requirements of a big student body was a source of worry.

On the other hand, those who favor the changes argue that the new method will include all pupils, including those whose families had trouble with Saturday testing.

According to reports, during the 2022–23 academic year, White kids made up the largest group of very bright SPS pupils, followed by Asian students and Black students.

According to SPS, students who have been historically marginalized in terms of educational chances would benefit more from the new initiative.

The district claims it is preparing to provide teachers with the necessary curriculum and training, but a 2020 prediction shows that the first three years of an enrichment-for-all program will cost the district $1.1 million.

As one teacher pointed out, the new curriculum will make it more difficult to teach math to students of varying abilities. Furthermore, she believes that students may not be adequately prepared for Advanced Placement (AP) math and science courses when whole-class instruction is used.

Many parents worry their kids will be neglected under the new arrangement.