When she was just 3, Teela Huff understood how to add numbers. By third grade, she was tutoring her peers.
“She can explain the problems to you without making you feel stupid,” one of Teela’s classmates wrote of her, according to her father, Tom.
But Teela’s quick mind — she is now a 10-year-old fifth grader but reads at a 12th-grade level — meant her classes at Silver Oak Elementary in San Jose were often boring and frustrating. She finally enrolled in a program for gifted children, where students wrestled with things like mind-bending math riddles and thought-provoking questions like how to survive on a desert island. And she loved it.
Her new adventures in learning ended in September, however, when the Evergreen School District eliminated all programs for its 790 or so gifted children. The move was part of a statewide wave of cuts in a program known as Gifted and Talented Education.