That's the basis of "No child left behind", the kids that get the curriculum have to wait for the kids that don't, or vice versa. It's no longer each individual student, it's that class as a whole. The class has x- amount of time for each topic, if the majority of the class gets it, great. If not, it cuts into the next topics allotted time.
We have that issue with J, she excels at geometry, but still doesn't get the multiplication table. To bad, so sad for her. Of coarse as a parent, I've found ways to keep her working on it, but it's done on our own.
What frustrated me (and our teachers) is that a new way of doing math problems was required to be taught during elementary school, but at the middle school & high school they need to go back to the way we were taught as kids. I can't tell you how frustrated our teachers are about that one.
But, the approach has indeed been changed in that gifted kids are being dispersed throughout the schools instead of singled out as a group. However, at least at my school, the gifted kids are still sub-identified and given a gifted curriculum and there are still gifted classrooms, just not overall identified as such.
And… in this way, kids who are not gifted but show a strength in a particular area, like math for example, are identified and given access to the gifted curriculum in that subject and a chance to excel.
It also means that in certain subjects, kids get to move at their own pace. Math in particular is broken up by groups and the groups work on different things and at different paces. True, in the end they probably all still need to meet the minimum guidelines, but those who wiz past this right away are given higher stuff to work on and the slower paced kids are given the time they need as well.
As I have experienced with my son at our school, if he’s having a hard time with a subject, it is not too bad so sad. There have been a few areas that he has struggled, but they have always worked with him before moving on and I would think it would be that same for your child too in my district.
What this means in the end as far as what the diploma means or the overall big picture, remains to be seen.