Friday, October 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

A student’s perspective on GATE

By
From page A8 | January 29, 2013 |

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.

Comments

comments

Special to The Enterprise

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    A-Z: Downtown Davis is the place to celebrate

    By Kimberly Yarris | From Page: C1

     
    Courageous Thompson tapped for cycling shrine

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    UC researchers: How low-water can our landscapes go?

    By Katie F. Hetrick | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Testimony begins in Winters murder trial

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Hong Kong protesters to vote on staying in streets

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Cloud business lifts Microsoft’s quarterly results

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Yoga and chanting workshop planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Downtown menu: coffee, boba tea, dessert

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: C3

     
    Can you give them a home?

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Scientists work to save endangered desert mammal

    By Kat Kerlin | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Host families needed for students and teachers from Mexico

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    Halloween Dance set Friday for teens

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Day of the Dead folk art class set

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Flea Market planned Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Enjoy A Taste of Capay at historic ranch

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Red-hot tunes set at Blues Harvest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Learn how to fill a cornucopia with flowers

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Video highlights Props. 1 and 2

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    ‘Homeopathy at Home’ program planned

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Celebrate origami at Davis library

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Garden sale and open house features water-wise demos

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: C4

    Meet Poppenga at dog park Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Bay Bridge art project needs $4 million to keep shining

    By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Weir honored, a year early

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    For a good cause

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A6

    Americans, internationals make connections

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    Explorit: Poison-proof your home with free lecture

    By Lisa Justice | From Page: A6

    Sutter auxiliary seeks volunteers

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

     
    School board hopefuls discuss homework policy

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A7

    Walkers welcome to join Sierra Club outings

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    Project Linus seeks donations

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

    .

    Forum

    The magic is long gone

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    What’s next with Ebola?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    More theories on the abstention

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Rights beget responsibilities

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Water returns to its source

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    A solution to the drought

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

    Experience nature’s treasures

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Subs have other concerns

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A10

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A10

    .

    Sports

    DHS footballers take on Pleasant Grove

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Bye No. 2 comes at perfect time for nicked-up UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Shhh. Are Aggie women BWC’s best-kept secret?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    Bump, set, playoffs: Blue Devil girls clinch spot in postseason

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Aggies expect a bonny meeting in Sacramento

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

     
    UCD roundup: Preseason awards roll in for Aggie hoopster Hawkins

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sharks suffer from road woes

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    DMTC plans ‘My Fair Lady’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11

     
    Czech Philharmonic Orchestra to perform

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

    Calling all artists for upcoming show

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11

     
    ‘St. Vincent:’ Quite a character

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Rumpledethumps to play at Village Homes Performers’ Circle

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

     
    Car Care: Five things to ask yourself when shopping for a new vehicle

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B7

    .

    Obituaries

    Lewis Melvin Dudman

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Ann Foley Scheuring

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Friday, October 24, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B3