Lincoln Middle School near San Diego has eliminated separate classes for gifted students in response to complaints by parents who charged the set-up segregated white and Hispanic students. School officials hope mixed classes will raise test scores. “Many parents of Latino students and English-learners said they supported the change because their children would be forced to excel,” reports the San Diego Union-Tribune. In other words, they think mainstream classes set lower expectations and watered down the curriculum.
Lincoln’s white students, who make up 35 percent of enrollment, score 785 on the state’s Academic Performance Index; Hispanic students, who make up 57 percent, average 577, a huge achievement gap.
The school is classified as needing improvement under NCLB; students can transfer to other schools. Of 1,334 students, 192 have asked to transfer. Not counting students who are leaving for high school, that’s more than 20 percent of enrollment. School officials won’t say how many were among 231 GATE students, but it’s a fair guess that test scores will be way down next year.