“Acceleration is one of the most curious phenomena in the field of education. I can think of no other issue in which there is such a gulf between what research has revealed and what most practitioners believe. The research on acceleration is so uniformly positive, the benefits of appropriate acceleration so unequivocal, that it is difficult to see how an educator can oppose it.”
- Professor James Borland, Teachers College, Columbia University
As quoted in the national report on acceleration, A Nation Deceived
Covington Latin School was founded on the basis that academic ability should determine a student’s grade level, not merely age. Given the incredibly wide-ranging ability and needs of a given group of children who happen to be the same age, we strongly believe that academic decisions should be guided by academic criteria rather than age alone. Acceleration allows students to move at a pace appropriate for their individual needs. Exceptional students often require educational programs that likewise are exceptions to the norm.
Intervening by accelerating a qualified candidate eliminates the risk of boredom and apathy in school which may occur if the child is not being challenged to the full extent of his or her ability. Indeed, many students perform beyond their current grade level, and to hold such a student on that level solely due to age may actually impede his or her intellectual growth.
In addition to the academic benefits, there are social benefits as well. Research indicates emotional and social maturity often correlate with academic advancement. As a result, for many advanced students, acceleration means entering an environment where new and long-lasting friendships await them with other, like-minded students with whom they are likely to share interests. In addition, the wide range of experiences available to students in the Latin School program, lead to strong social maturity and development.
For most Covington Latin students, the benefits of acceleration continue beyond graduation. Both general research and alumni surveys indicate that the vast majority of graduates experience both exceptional academic success and very successful social adjustment to the college experience.
Acceleration has been the correct decision for thousands of CLS students which is why our alumni overwhelmingly choose Latin School for their children. Parents of current Covington Latin students and alumni likewise continuously choose to send younger siblings here after experiencing the beneficial effects of acceleration for their children.