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