Racial barriers to gifted classes are widespread and persistent. Chesterfield schools is looking to break them down…

Herminio Sanchez Cabrera and Nick Finger’s heads nearly touched as they bent over the criss-crossed track of plastic cars. The Chesterfield County third-graders needed to find how to get the red car past other cars and to the edge of the board game.

Their third grade classroom at Elizabeth Scott Elementary buzzed with the task. Now several minutes into the game, students were taking their time as they slid the cars along the tracks, lining up the cause and effect of each movement.

The puzzle called “Rush Hour” may seem like an ordinary children’s board game. But for third grade teacher Cindy Smith, they are a crucial window into the ability of Cabrera and Finger to problem solve,…

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