Slow, boring, equal
Bored in English class, bright students in a Bay Area suburb asked for a pre-honors class that would read more challenging books and discuss more than the plot and the characters.
The Mt. Diablo school board said no: Helping kids who lack basic skills comes first. But there’s no extra cost in grouping advanced students together. In fact, teachers could focus more on slow students if they didn’t have to worry putting the bright students to sleep.
The only thing that saved my sanity in school — till I hit Level 1 classes in high school — was teachers’ tolerance for my habit of reading during class. I read every fiction book in the elementary school library, plus five books a week from the city library. Being able to take high school classes with other students who read books for fun was heaven. Even the math and science classes were fun because they didn’t drag.
In untracked classes before high school, I don’t think my presence was much help to slower students. Either I dominated class discussion, letting them zone out, or I zoned out with a book.