Posted on April 3, 2024

School District Takes Next Step in Ditching Seattle Gifted Program

Jason Rantz, KTTH, April 2, 2024

Privileged progressives, donning their white knight armor, are in the next phase of a plan to end Seattle Public Schools’ gifted students program — known locally as its Highly Capable Cohort (HCC). They complained the HCC was too white.

HCC separates academically gifted students from others via different classrooms or entirely different schools. But in 2020, white Seattle school board directors voted to terminate the HCC over the objections of parents. HCC will be completely phased out by the 2027-28 school year.

Outraged more by the success of white and Asian students than by the untapped potential of black and Hispanic pupils, progressives would rather drag achievers down than elevate everyone. These self-proclaimed saviors boast on social media about tackling inequities, oblivious to the harm they inflict. Indeed, the program to replace the HCC, and be implemented in every classroom, ensures that gifted students will be unchallenged, struggling students will escape the attention they deserve and teachers will be overwhelmed. In other words, everyone will be equitably harmed.


Critics argued the students in HCC did not reflect the diversity of the community. The move was prompted by Black Lives Matter activism.

In 2018, three years after Seattle Public Schools (SPS) hired an “equity specialist” to address so-called racial inequities, the students HCC served 13% multiracial, 11.8% Asian, 3.7% Hispanic and 1.6% black. (By 2023, it was 20% multiracial, 16% Asian, 8.2% Hispanic and 3.4% black.) Critics argue that because the HCC didn’t match the district’s diversity, the program was irredeemably racist and needed to be dismantled.

But parents, including those who are black, Asian and Hispanic, argued against closing them down. They argued that SPS should work harder to identify minority students who are eligible for HCC, rather then kill the program entirely.

One father pleaded that the Seattle School Board “consider the disservice you would be doing to the minorities that are already in the HCC program.” He argued that the gifted program “does more for Black children, particularly Black boys, than it does for their peers.”

But the extremist Seattle School Board was unmoved.

Then-director Chandra Hampson accused black parents supporting the HCC as being “tokenized” by white Seattle parents.


The “whole-classroom model” is replacing HCC and be implemented in each classroom starting in the 2024-25 school year. It’s unworkable.

Under the model, classrooms will include students of all different learning abilities. A teacher is supposed to address each group of students, in classrooms with 20-30 students, with no additional resources and limited new training. How does a teacher create individualized programs for so many students with disparate needs? It’s not likely that a teacher can help a student who can barely read while simultaneously challenging a classmate who is reading two advanced books a week.