The Davis school board/district has made it clear they intend to conduct an evaluation of the hotly debated GATE/AIM program. Wisely, they realize that a credible evaluation requires not only the ability to be objective, but also the ability to reassure others that you are objective. While the question of what the AIM program should look like may not be clear, the question of who should (and shouldn’t) be making the evaluation is very clear.
No one close to this discussion, not parents, not retired GATE teachers, and certainly not the GATE coordinator, can lend the impression of credibility to this discussion … we all lost any semblance of impartiality long ago in the often vicious quest for the district’s “ear.”
For all the angst over this evaluation, has anyone ever known the board or district to do anything other than give full support to the GATE program? Do we really have so little faith in them to be fair and honest, and to do their jobs appropriately? Davis is always touting how great we think our schools, our teachers, and our counselors are … we talk the talk. We need to back-off so they will feel comfortable stepping forward and participating in this important discussion … parents need to walk the walk, and the school board needs to support the authority of the superintendent in this endeavor.
We either come together and show our children what a good education looks like, or we continue to insist we are the only one who is right and show our children what bad behavior looks like. How about we stop the repetitive tit-for-tat and take a step back? I suspect if we all stopped being so ugly over this issue, the district just might come up with an AIM program that everyone can agree has a credible identification process, and the flexibility to meet the needs of all high-achievers as well as the underachievers.