Advanced learning

Education: Advanced learning fails in Seattle

I’m not surprised that public school enrollment in Seattle is down because the quality and variety of education they provide has plummeted. The district is rightly focused on increasing equity in education. Unfortunately, the approach inexplicably seems to ensure that all children are also at the lowest minimum level. Seattle has scaled back all advanced learning programs and now refuses to let motivated and capable children step up or challenge themselves in their program. It is now forbidden for primary school pupils to be a year ahead in mathematics. High school students must follow a very prescribed curriculum with virtually no advanced challenge options for grades 9 or 10.

I thought fairness meant that very capable children who had been left behind in the past would be properly identified and encouraged to challenge themselves. Instead, no one can step up and everyone must perform at the same level and take the same courses. My children are bored and disengaged in school. I think they are at a disadvantage being in Seattle and I would have liked to live in Shoreline or Northshore.

Washington state law states that access to accelerated learning and enhanced instruction is part of a basic education for highly able children (RCW28A.185.020)

Natalie Nairn, Seattle (parent of two SPS students)