Time for an unbiased voice

There has been so much unnecessary “GATE angst” lately … unnecessary because no one is seeking to dismantle the GATE program. There are, however, many parents and teachers interested in crafting a program that offers some basic tenets: 1) a consistently administered identification process, 2) open to all students who qualify, 3) flexibility for students to move in and out of advanced-level classes as appropriate and 4) provide a self-contained classroom for those students who cannot learn in the regular classroom format.

I think most parents would support this, but this isn’t what GATE looks like in our town. The discussion about “why” has been ugly.

The school district is asking the board to allow it to bring in an unbiased evaluator to make suggestions for the school district in general, as well as the GATE program specifically. Given the emotional charge of this issue, removing the initial evaluation from parent groups is the only reasonable option. Parents can and should be involved in the final decisions, but asking parents, with all our personal biases, to make an honest evaluation has been an exercise in futility and bad behavior.

If you support the district in bringing in an unbiased evaluator to help move this conversation along and put an end to the mayhem, please let the school board members know in an email. They will be discussing it at the school board meeting on Thursday night.

Wendy Amundsen

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