Colorado district eliminates grade levels
The struggling Adams 50 school district, which serves a working-class suburb north of Denver, will eliminate grade levels and begin grouping students based on ability, according to this article in The Denver Post. The Gates Foundation has paid for some school districts in Alaska to try the same thing.
We all know the challenges teachers face when presented with a class where some students are academically prepared and some aren't. But clearly, grade levels also play a big role in the socialization process. The problems leading to a high dropout rate among the many over-age students in Baltimore aren't just academic; it's socially awkward for them to be in class with kids who are significantly younger. On the flip side, what would happen to an academically gifted child if placed alongside classmates who are much older?