Expert on gifted education calls U46 programming ‘exemplary’ (Sun-Times Media)
by Emily McFarlan Miller
CHICAGO — Last month, Judge Robert Gettleman questioned how a school district putting Hispanic students it considered proficient in English into a gifted program solely for Spanish-speaking students was not segregation. That would mean Brown v. Board of Education was wrongly decided, Gettleman said at the time.
But Carolyn Callahan said Tuesday Elgin School District U46’s Spanish English Transition School Within A School (SET SWAS) program was “significantly” different from the case in Brown v. Board.
SET SWAS students choose to be part of the program, said Callahan, a professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education. They also mix with other students at their schools for classes outside the core curriculum, such as art, music and PE, as well as lunch and recess.
“It’s language-based, not race-based,” she said.
Callahan, an expert witness on gifted education for U46, began her testimony Tuesday in the racial discrimination lawsuit against Illinois’ second-largest school district.
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