Wednesday, April 16, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Kids flourish with all types

I am a retired teacher who did not ever teach in or attend a GATE district. Our two daughters also did not attend GATE districts in Southern California. Still, they both were accepted to and graduated from UC Davis, their university of choice. They did this by taking honors and AP classes in junior high and high school.

I have been reading everything about GATE in Davis in The Enterprise. All I can say is: “All GATE, or no GATE,” where nobody gets left behind with hurt feelings. All educators know that kids rise to what you expect of them. What happens to the kids who get left out of GATE? Will they sink to the occasion of being a GATE reject through sadness, feeling second best or not try as hard?

This is a town with all advanced students and parents and GATE in Davis is the ultimate segregation. Kids flourish when in a classroom with children of all types — the math whiz, the artist, the clown, the straight arrow, the sweet and kind person. It makes school more enriching, enjoyable and turns out a lot of better-adjusted kids.

I wholeheartedly agree with the brave parent, Susanna Mould, who wrote Sunday’s opinion piece, “Davis GATE operates on a false premise.”

Virginia Wallace
Davis

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • ChristineApril 10, 2013 - 4:49 pm

    Statistics show that GATE and non-GATE kids do equally well in college placement after graduation, which obviously means that both sets of children are being served equally well by their respective programs. Furthermore, Davis is recognized as a stellar district, and yet we point to other districts and how THEY do things to justify making changes in ours. Taking away GATE could very well mean that the kids who learn differently will struggle in a traditional environment. I saw kids who were struggling and/or bored in third grade start to thrive once they entered GATE in fourth grade. And by the way, there are "the math whiz, the artist, the clown, the straight arrow, the sweet and kind person" in both GATE and non-GATE tracks. Not sure why anyone would think otherwise of either track. Fact of the matter is, all kids aren't athletic. All kids aren't artistic. Some kids wouldn't do well in Montessori. For others Spanish immersion would be a very poor fit. Similarly, all kids aren't GATE. People aren't all cookie-cutter; it's very ironic that in our wonderful town where diversity is rightly valued, when it comes to GATE we want to pretend everybody is THE SAME. GATE is an unfortunate name. Perhaps self-contained classes aren't optimal. Perhaps it shouldn't be 30% of all kids (too INCLUSIVE) and it should go back to the original 3% (too EXCLUSIVE). But to eliminate GATE entirely because of "hurt feelings" is going to do a disservice to those children who need GATE because their brains are wired differently, and don't learn well in a traditional classroom. Are we worried about THEIR hurt feelings?

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  • ChristineApril 10, 2013 - 4:52 pm

    Please forgive the looooong paragraph in my last comment. It had been broken down into several in the original comment, but apparently formatting is lost once published. :/

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  • kimApril 12, 2013 - 2:08 am

    Well said. Thank you.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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