Seattle Schools Kill Gifted Program for Woke Agenda

Seattle Public Schools has caused a stir among parents and students by gradually phasing out its Highly Capable Cohorts program, designed for advanced learners, and introducing the Highly Capable School Neighborhood Model. While administrators tout this shift as a more inclusive, equitable, and culturally sensitive alternative, concerns arise about its implications for high-achieving students previously enrolled in the now-discontinued program.

The district's website champions the transition, asserting that it aims to rectify historical inequities and provide teaching and learning experiences that respect individual cultures and backgrounds. However, skeptics view this as mere rhetoric aimed at justifying the dismantling of a successful program tailored for exceptional students. Will diluting the curriculum and rebranding the program truly address underlying issues?

Liv Finne, director of the Center for Education at the Washington Policy Center, challenges the district's narrative. She perceives the decision to phase out the advanced program as inherently discriminatory, suggesting it is motivated by a desire to rectify perceived racial disparities in enrollment. This approach, she argues, unfairly penalizes students who have thrived in the Highly Capable Cohorts program through hard work and dedication.

Finne's skepticism is echoed by numerous parents and educators who view the change as a disservice to students, sacrificing academic excellence in the name of ideological conformity. Despite the district's assertion of inclusivity, critics argue that it is sacrificing a successful program for the sake of political correctness.

The enactment of Senate Bill 5044, which mandates diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism curricula in school training, appears to have paved the way for Seattle Public Schools' decision to implement these changes. The district has already adjusted admission criteria to foster greater inclusivity, but the decision to discontinue the program altogether signals a significant departure from its original goals.

While Seattle Public Schools seeks to reassure stakeholders that the new program will be "more inclusive, equitable, and culturally sensitive," many remain skeptical. Replacing a proven program with a watered-down version raises doubts about its efficacy and the ultimate impact on students, particularly those who excel academically. In the end, it is these bright students who may bear the brunt of these changes.

Written by Staff Reports

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