Access and opportunity are pillars of an equitable school experience. We know that acceleration is a research-supported method of challenging academically talented students, so we need to provide talented students access to accelerative opportunities. Research confirms that talented students who are allowed to move ahead tend to perform better academically both in the short- and the long-term. How do we make access to acceleration equitable, so that all students who are ready can take advantage of the opportunities that acceleration can provide?
The answer is policy. Acceleration policies can make educational opportunities more equitable for talented students. So, let’s examine our current acceleration policies and practices and see what might be getting in the way of student opportunity.
Some examples of inequitable practices and procedures include:
- a teacher-initiated review process,
- unclear information or information that is not adequately publicized on accelerative options,
- school-sponsored testing scheduled for weekends when students would need transportation,
- requiring families to pay for individual testing that might be needed for acceleration decisions,
- information available only in English,
- rigid criteria for identification that does not allow for alternate assessment data,
- and single-entry date admission.
School systems need individuals within them to serve advocates for acceleration. Are you an advocate for acceleration in your school?
Resources for Acceleration Policy
With thanks to Randy Lange for providing this content.