Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

We can work together on this

Several recent letters and editorials have questioned our school district’s practice of sorting and labeling children from a very young age. Some have urged our educational leaders to look at the larger, schoolwide and districtwide impacts of our current “Gifted and Talented” program with its increasing number of strands occupying neighborhood schools across our town.

Others have asked for a closer examination of the rationale behind designating a sizable percent of Davis students as “gifted” learners who need a “different” learning environment from what their peers need. Still others have requested that our educators take a closer look at recent educational and brain research and best practices adopted by other school districts in Northern California.

Finally, some letter writers have asked that we consider the psychological impact on all of our children when 30 percent are labeled as “gifted” and the remaining 70 percent, by default, as “not gifted.”

Thankfully, our community discussion on GATE has recently broadened to include a wider spectrum of voices. While we as parents are often concerned first with advocating for our own children’s unique needs, I am confident that as we commit to truly hearing one another we will be able to work together to create a learning environment that brings out the best in all of our children.

Jill Van Zanten
Davis

Letters to the Editor

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Discussion | 4 comments

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  • kimApril 16, 2013 - 1:57 am

    Thank you for spelling out the many concerns with the GATE program in a rational, reasonable fashion. This is the type of discussion point I was hoping to find in our community forums.

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  • richard blohmApril 17, 2013 - 12:54 pm

    CORRECTION; EINSTEIN WOULD NOT QUALIFY FOR GATE

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  • KimApril 19, 2013 - 12:39 am

    Wow, I'm impressed you know Einstein's OLSAT scores? Seriously, I'd actually think what we know of his early schooling (much of what you say is now considered myth) makes him sound like a potential candidate -- a very intelligent kid who did not do well in all his years of traditional schooling (however that compares to today's schools). Perhaps he needed a program that was differentiated to suit his learning style? That may have been what he got from his home tutor. But, it's hard to really know since that was, um, over 100 years ago . . .

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  • richard blohmApril 17, 2013 - 12:46 pm

    ALBERT EINSTEIN WOULD QUALIFY FOR GATE!!!! Einstein was slow in learning how to speak. He tended to think in pictures rather than words. If he lived in Davis at this time he wouldnt be in GATE. GATE is an elitist program which really has no place in public school system. Let your children interact with others of all levels and backgrounds at a young age, they will determine their paths irrespective of being place in GATE. Instead of spending their money on test prep and coaching for GATE testing, parents can simply spend more time with their children. GATE should be abolished at the elementary school level

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