Recent letters and commentary by those determined to preserve unchanged Davis’ self-contained, heavily tracked gifted model, or expand it, bring to mind the fairy tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Palo Alto and Lafayette districts are “too hard,” they are too wealthy and too “intellectually endowed” to be considered as an example. Napa district is “too soft,” it is too economically unprivileged and “intellectually unendowed” to be worth learning about and from. For a short time, the Rocklin district seemed to be “just right,” until it came to light that Rocklin’s self-contained GATE program is tiny, serving only 4 percent of the student of population, compared to the whopping 20 percent of Davis self-contained students in grades 4-8.
The story winds out, leading inevitably to the conclusion that only the current Davis gifted program ever can be “just right,” the kind of comfortable cozy bed worth snuggling down into for a good night’s sleep, as Goldilocks did in Baby Bear’s bed.
But as we all recall from the tale, Baby Bear finally came home and he didn’t like seeing that his bed had been completely occupied by the self-invited Miss G. The self-contained gifted program in Davis, which has claimed to occupy the field on “academic excellence” and rests on a premise of exaggerated entitlement, is like Goldilocks in Baby Bear’s bed.
Goldilocks may not have been happy about it, but it was only fair that Baby Bear reclaim a resting place in his own bed. So too, the remainder of the children and families in Davis might want to reclaim their own equitable place of significance, within the schools that belong to all of us.
Many in Davis join me in challenging and inviting the Davis school district to build a gifted program that best suits the needs of all of the district’s children. No other district is exactly like ours — but then again our district is not yet like what it could be, if it were to live fully into its mission of serving and promoting the academic excellence and social/emotional well-being of all of its students.