Sunday, April 20, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A student’s perspective on GATE

By Claire Finn

I’ve been keeping an eye on the Davis GATE issue these past months and have been very interested in what the community has had to say. However, I have noticed that while many parents and other adult community members have voiced their perspectives, a voice that the conversation ultimately revolves around has not — that is, the voice of a Davis student who has been through the system, has many friends and peers who were and were not in GATE, and who has seen what GATE is and who is in it from an insider’s perspective.

And so, as a college sophomore who went to Davis schools from first through 12th grade, I write this letter.

Listening to students and parents, I sense that the primary reason parents enroll their children in GATE is to give them an education boost that ultimately will lead to advanced courses in high school and then to college. I believe this reason gets warped into the idea that says that GATE is the way for this to happen.

I was never a GATE student, and yet (not to blow my own horn) I was successful. I got good grades, took advanced classes and was qualified (and then lucky enough) to get into the college of my choice. I also felt achievement, purpose and happiness thanks to the challenging, fabulous education I received.

My point is that many of my non-GATE friends and I ended up on the same “track” as my GATE friends did; from what I can see, we did equally well. I have GATE friends who agree that they probably would have ended up in the same place at graduation no matter what “track” they were on.

It is not as if GATE is unimportant — it is very important for those who need it. But Davis GATE overwhelmingly serves children who are not so much “gifted” in the actual sense of the word as they are gifted with the ability to learn well and quickly. After 11 years of interaction and observation with my peers, how many GATE kids do I know that have brains that work differently enough that they can’t function in a normal classroom? The number is almost zero.

From what I’ve seen, GATE does not produce results any different from those that come from a non-GATE Davis education. So why enroll bright students in a system that tends to produce segregated classrooms and continues to plant false ideas about superiority in young children’s minds and let them stew there into young adulthood?

The kids who are accelerated learners are lucky, and with and without GATE they are for the most part going to be fine. As a previous letter to the editor said, do no harm.

The Lafayette School District proved that downsizing GATE works. As a student knowledgeable about Davis schools in one of the most intimate ways, I fully support a similar plan in our community and urge you to do the same in whatever way you can. Thank you.

— Claire Finn is a 2011 Davis High School graduate and a sophomore at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minn.

Special to The Enterprise

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Davis Enterprise does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

News

Hub of activity: DHS newspaper keeps evolving

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
A springtime ritual

By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Tom Adams seeks Davis school board seat

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1

 
 
Holy fire ceremony draws thousands in Jerusalem

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

Tour renovated YCCC facility Thursday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Tour Davis Waldorf School on Wednesday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

The fifth annual Tour de Cluck is soon to be hatched

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Ortiz lawn signs available

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Sign up soon for spring cooking classes

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Robb Davis team to rally on Saturday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

Steadfast in their support

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4, 11 Comments | Gallery

 
Yolo Hospice offers free grief workshops

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Sign up for Camp Kesem caterpillar crawl

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Quilters gear up for annual show

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A4

League hosts a series of candidate forums

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

 
KDVS launches fund drive on Monday

By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A5

Calling all Scrabble fans

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Hub webpage is seeing traffic increasing

By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

Learn Chinese crafts at I-House

By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A16

 
Preschool open house set at Davis Waldorf

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Birch Lane celebrates its 50th anniversary

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

 
Hotel/conference center info meeting set

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16

Lescroart welcomes all to book-launch party

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A16 | Gallery

 
DEVO set to serve up 14th annual Winkler Dinner

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A16 | Gallery

.

Forum

Take ownership of your health

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Not thrilled with lack of symmetry

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

Reliving the agony and ecstasy of spring

By Marion Franck | From Page: A7

 
Keep your baby safe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

 
Road diet? No, city diet!

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 5 Comments

We’re reveling in our equality

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 1 Comment

 
Vote no; it’s fiscally responsible

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

Rick McKee cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

 
Core values on campus

By Our View | From Page: A12, 3 Comments

 
Bill is an affront to UC Davis ag biotech and local farmers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 3 Comments

Don’t want to sit in Fix 50 traffic? Consider alternatives

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A13, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

UCD softball shut out by Santa Barbara

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Aggie men shoot 9-under, lead own tourney

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Stars shine in Woody Wilson Classic

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Devils burn up the track

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

 
UCD roundup: Aggie baseball swept away by Highlanders

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

A’s score 3 in ninth, rally past Astros 4-3

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

 
.

Features

.

Arts

.

Business

PG&E pays taxes, fees to county, cities

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

 
Will Davis get an Old Soul?

By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A9

Pediatricians, nurse practitioner hired at Woodland Healthcare

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
Asian stocks mostly higher after mixed U.S. earnings

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Yolo Federal Credit Union gets WISH funds

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
Davis Roots will showcase its graduating startups

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14

University Honda wins another President’s Award

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. raises $19,000 for girl with leukemia

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A14 | Gallery

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Sunday, April 20, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8