Why are American schools slowing down so many bright children? asks Washington Post columnist Jay Mathews.
“The research shows that many biases against acceleration, such as the fear that children will feel awkward with older classmates, are unfounded,” writes Mathews. “But resistance to grade skipping still rules many schools.”
When I was in fifth grade, I tested at the 12th-grade level in reading. I’d accelerated myself by reading in class. But our district never skipped anyone — except for my sister. My husband also skipped a grade in Catholic school. He thinks his fifth-grade teacher wanted to get rid of him.
High schools offer a lot more acceleration options than in the past, including Advanced Placement and early college programs. I loved tracking, which started in ninth grade. Until then, I read a book a day.
Stanford’s Education Program for Gifted Youth, a distance-learning program designed to accelerate math students, has been replaced by a Core-aligned curriculum called Redbird, a parent complains. “This is an unfortunate development for mathematically gifted students,” writes Nicholas Tampio.
My daughter used EPGY to take algebra in seventh grade. She wasn’t mathematically gifted — just wiling to do anything to escape a “fuzzy” pre-algebra course.