Beginning this year, middle- and high-school students in a North Carolina district will have the option of testing out of basic classes to enroll in courses where they are learning something new about a particular subject. Officials say the approach, approved statewide last year, is a new take on gifted education -- allowing students who excel in a given subject to take on more advanced work. Under the program, students can receive a credit for a course if they prove through an exam and project that they have mastered the material.

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