HCC and Equity, Part One
It is clear from many, many threads and comments that to talk about the Highly Capable Cohort (formerly known as APP) is to start a discussion about equity. I think that equity is certainly a part of the picture but to focus only on that is a disservice to all children who would benefit from the program.
I'll say that again; there are children - especially those of color - who are not being found and served. THAT is the real issue.
(Editor's note: we are going to have a calm discussion here, looking for solutions. If your solution is to dissolve the program, certainly say that but please have a real reason why.)
There are other threads where we could rehash history but let's go to the Cliff Notes and then onto discussion. (I do plan another thread on race and equity in this district as the issue of HCC seems to be some kind of uniform rallying cry around equity which I find odd. Like many other issues, it seems to be a confluence of both timing and focus.)
Here are my beliefs right up front:
- I think the premise that seems to feed this discussion over HCC (but which doesn't really get said out loud) is the belief that giftedness in academics for children does not exist. I'm sure most people will agree that there are "off-the-charts in intelligence" students but that those students are few and far between and certainly not the population of HCC.
I'm hoping no one is going to deny this because it is the subtext I hear over and over and I reject it. The reasons I reject it are :
1) I think there are off-the-charts intelligent kids, across the racial spectrum and,
2) I think that there are very bright kids - across the racial spectrum - who need that talent to be nurtured.
But I will say, there is no child so bright that he or she will always easily learn everything and will not struggle in a particular subject. Children only truly learn when challenged (unless you count rote learning and I don't for this discussion.)
Because you can be a bright child but still have academic challenges. In fact, I think this is one of the hardest issues for some of these students is that academic work comes very easily to them and when they do get challenged, they aren't ready to rise to that challenge.
- just like many other challenges, this district struggles with getting it right. Compare this info from the Bellevue School district to the FAQs from SPS. Now, Bellevue's is not trying to pack everything about the program in Seattle Schools Community Forum: HCC and Equity, Part One: