SACRAMENTO — California’s brightest students might be allowed to skip from elementary school directly to college, missing high school altogether, under legislation recently approved by the state Assembly.
Students of any age, even kindergarten, could take the state’s high school proficiency examination under the bill, AB 2607, written by Assemblywoman Lynne Leach, R-Walnut Creek.
Passage of the test — which measures reading, writing and arithmetic skills — would allow students to enter community colleges as if they had obtained their high school diplomas.
The measure is meant for thousands of students who are so bright they strain schools’ ability to serve them and can get bored with even the highest-level traditional classes.
“It would be wrong to put barricades in the way of someone who has extraordinary skill and ability, and is just champing at the bit to do great things,” said Leach.
But critics say the bill could worsen crowding at many community colleges, and they fear some young children — though brilliant academically — might not be ready socially or emotionally to mix with students who are much older.
AB 2607 would apply only to students classified as “highly gifted,” meaning they have IQs above 150, or have demonstrated “extraordinary aptitude and achievement” in core academic subjects.
Officials estimate that 20,000 to 60,000 students in elementary, middle and high schools could qualify as highly gifted.
The bill will now be considered by the Senate.