Only Gifted Students Can Correctly Answer: How Do You Equalize a Forest?

Jpharoahdoss
4 min readJun 7, 2024
Photo by HamZa NOUASRIA on Unsplash

In the first half of the 20th century, educators assigned children who performed above grade level to higher grades. By the 1950s, psychologists wanted to provide a more developmentally appropriate setting than putting younger students in classrooms with older kids.

The new model would pair advanced learners with kids their own age.

The Soviet Union launched the world’s first satellite in 1957. The United States felt it was falling behind the Soviets in space technology, so Congress passed the National Defense Education Act of 1958. As part of a national effort to improve the next generation’s math and science abilities, the NDEA intended to offer financing to identify gifted students and provide them with a distinct education.

In the 1960s, Seattle Public Schools established the Accelerated Primary Program for exceptional students. Over time, Seattle’s original gifted program morphed into the Highly Capable Cohort schools. HCC eventually included three high schools, five middle schools, and three primary schools. HCC schools specialized in accelerated learning; hence, the curriculum was one to two years ahead of the student’s grade level, depending on the subject.

During the 1970s, when racial integration was a national priority, a Seattle parent committee was tasked with ensuring that exceptional students were not grouped together…

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Jpharoahdoss

J. Pharoah Doss is a columnist for the New Pittsburgh Courier.