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Acceleration Options

After years of controversy, it is now generally agreed by scholars of gifted education that acceleration is the best educational arrangement for gifted students. Several events turned the tide among scholars to bring about this consensus. First of all, when most schools in the 1970s adamantly opposed providing acceleration to gifted children—based on nonempirical beliefs that acceleration was deleterious to children's emotional and social development, and on the spurious linking of acceleration with “tracking”—Julian Stanley and his colleagues at Johns Hopkins University determined that the only way to provide this much-needed programming was for universities to do so through talent searches and out-of-school courses. Talent search programs permitted seventh graders who scored at or above the mean for high school seniors on out-of-level achievement tests ...

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