Seattle Public Schools throws away gifted students program due to 'historical inequity'

​Seattle Public Schools decided to throw away its gifted students program over concerns it isn't inclusive enough.

Seattle Public Schools decided to throw away its gifted students program over concerns it isn’t inclusive enough.

According to FOX 13, 11 schools for highly capable students including three elementary schools, five middle schools, and three high schools will be closed. “Cohorts” at the schools gave students the chance to be taught based on their advanced learning skills.

Students in the “cohorts,” or gifted, program will be incorporated into other neighborhood schools that don’t have gifted student programs beginning this fall, with a complete phase-out planned by the 2027-2028 school year.

The reason Seattle Public Schools gave for the closures? The “cohorts” weren’t equitable enough.

[RELATED: Vanderbilt chancellor says BDS protesters ‘transgressed’ free speech limits by forcefully occupying campus building: VIDEO]

Gifted schools often reported having more white and Asian students, and Seattle Public Schools says the relocation of these students to neighborhood classrooms will address “historical inequity.” 

According to the Seattle Times, in the 2022-2023 school year, 52% of students in the program were White, 16% Asian, and 3.4% Black.

Seattle Public Schools will switch to a whole-classroom model where teachers tailor learning plans for individual students in the same classroom. The change doesn’t translate to more staff in each classroom.

[RELATED: Three Vanderbilt students charged with assault after shoving officer, forcing way into building for sit-in: WATCH]

”All teachers will provide teaching and learning that is delivered with universal design for learning (UDL) and differentiated to meet the needs of students within their grade level,” the school district’s website states.

Katie McAllister, whose child has ADHD and was in one of the “cohort” schools, told the Seattle Times that the program has had a deep impact.

“It was a real lifesaver,” said McAllister. “I don’t know what would’ve happened if he was in a neighborhood school because he can be really frustrating (to the teachers around him) if he’s not challenged.”

Campus Reform reached out to Seattle Public Schools for comment.