I take little interest in the politics in Davis, but after reading and hearing many complaints about the GATE program and being a former GATE student myself, I felt it was time to give my opinion.
The biggest complaint I have seen is about the “segregation” that the program causes. While there is evidence to support this through the separation of classes, I disagree, as I have had many friends who were not in the GATE program. While many core classes are separated between GATE and non-GATE, most, if not all, elective classes are not, and to be honest that is where I find most friendships are made.
The other problem I have with many of the critics is that from what I have seen, none of them seem to truly understand why we have a GATE program in the first place. Like it or not, there are intelligent and unintelligent kids in our community, I’m sorry, but get used to it. To remove the GATE program would be either to stick these intelligent kids, who work at a much faster pace, in classes that are slower and essentially bore them to death, or to stick the less intelligent kids in classes that are too fast for them and thus their grades would suffer. The GATE program allows students to learn at the pace that fits them best so that they receive the most from their education.
As for parents having “bragging rights,” I can’t believe I’m saying this, but grow up. If you are offended by parents bragging about their kids and making you feel bad about yours, then the problem is with you. You shouldn’t be judging your child based on others, you should love and accept them for who they are regardless of how they compare to others.
To summarize, the GATE program may have some minor problems, but by no means should we get rid of it. It could use a little reform, but to address the problems that are in the GATE program by dismantling it would be to release the flood of problems that it has dammed up for so many years.