Thursday, July 24, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Gifted kids need appropriate instruction

By
From page A8 | January 29, 2013 |

By Anupam Chander and Madhavi Sunder

All across the country, we have seen successful programs in music, sports and arts dismantled due to lack of funds. In Davis today, we are considering dismantling the highly successful GATE program for high-achieving and high-potential children, even though it costs almost nothing extra.

While critics have denounced the GATE program as elitist or even “segregationist,” they are anything but. They provide a high-expectation education to students whose parents cannot afford truly elite private schools or very expensive suburbs.

Would we label the great Madrigals program, which allows our children to tour Europe, elitist or segregationist because it restricts entry to the most talented singers and then has them practice in a different room? Should we open up varsity football to a lottery to give equal access to the highest-quality coaching? Would we tar Spanish immersion, Fairfield Elementary, Montessori or Da Vinci Charter Academy as “segregation”?

That term, freighted with the horrors of a grave centuries-long injustice, is inappropriate here, even more so in a classroom filled with students of diverse backgrounds.

We are also told that GATE is “divisive.” Should we get rid of the honor society, class prizes, grades, varsity sports or class presidents because they cause hurt feelings among students who do not place as well as their parents would like? The alternatives proposed — having gifted students sit together in “clusters” or be “pulled out” for special instruction — make differences even more apparent. Furthermore, California law requires the school to identify “gifted and talented” students, so we will continue to identify such students whatever the changes in the programming.

Those arguing against GATE have offered no proof that the GATE classrooms are failing the students in them. Some 1,700 students are in the GATE program. Parents already have the option of placing their GATE-identified children in regular classrooms where they are supposed to receive differentiated instruction.

Research suggests that differentiated instruction, with a single teacher drawing up multiple lesson plans for every class period (not to mention homework, exams, projects, etc.), though wonderful in theory, is exceedingly difficult to achieve in practice, especially in a class of 35 students with a huge range of educational attainment.

Davis schools have a legal obligation to serve our academically high-achieving and high-potential students just as we must serve our students who are academically challenged. GATE students need appropriate instruction in order to learn to their full potential.

Our children deserve the best education, not to be thwarted in their dreams.

— Anupam Chander and Madhavi Sunder are Davis residents and parents.

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

 
Ag officials predict bumper almond crop

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Teens lead the way in fight against cancer

By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Victim of fatal crash identified

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

 
Official: Air Algerie flight ‘probably crashed’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
New-home sales plummet in June

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
CSU pumps brakes on enrollment growth

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Diplomas all around for professor and sons

By Dave Jones | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Consumption guidelines for Cache Creek fish updated

By Elizabeth Case | From Page: A3

 
Local singer/songwriter will perform Friday on KDRT

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

Davis Flea hosts night market Sunday

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Free technology help offered to seniors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Contestants sought for Yolo County Fair Queen contest

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Parents can learn all about IEPs

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Museum sells market bags as fundraiser

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
City of Davis recruits for its advisory commissions

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Colleges woo Native Americans with new programs

By The Associated Press | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Zip Book: Request it, read it, return it

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

.

Forum

Battle lines are drawn

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
Don’t tell me I can’t help him

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Water trains through Davis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 2 Comments

 
Water storage must be a priority

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6, 1 Comment

Act now to support middle school students

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

 
.

Sports

UCD coach has navigated a Maze of experiences

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Lethargic and roster-thin, Post 77 loses Area 1 opener

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

Pence outscores Phillies

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Quincy Amarikwa: years in the making

By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Area sports briefs: Nelson earns All-Academic honors

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

 
Youth roundup: Aftershock finishes second in tournament

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Majka makes winning look easy

By The Associated Press | From Page: B10 | Gallery

 
.

Features

Name Droppers: Transportation fellowship goes to Aggie

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

 
.

Arts

 
‘South Pacific’ storyline still making waves

By Bev Sykes | From Page: A7 | Gallery

‘The Miracle Worker’ auditions set for WOH

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Death notice: James Thomas Feather

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A2

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, July 24, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B8