Thursday, April 17, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Gifted kids need appropriate instruction

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

Benefit set for local bike legend

By Adrian Glass-Moore | From Page: A1

 
Jury deliberates murder, elder-abuse charges

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1

 
Davis wins USA Today Best Cycling Town honor

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

 
California residents divided on drought solution

By San Francisco Chronicle | From Page: A2

For the record

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A2

 
Three killed in attack on Ukrainian base

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

State’s health care sign-ups beat projections

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

 
For the record

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Scholar will discuss human trafficking in Friday talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

 
Downtown post office set to reopen

By Thomas Oide | From Page: B3

Run or walk to prevent child abuse in Yolo County

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
Nominations sought for charity paint giveaway

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3

Food Co-op board plans open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Davis Downtown hosts candidate forum

By Dave Ryan | From Page: A4

Learn more about Google Glass at talk

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Per Capita Davis: Now, for some good news

By John Mott-Smith | From Page: A4

Birch Lane hosts 50th anniversary party

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Hannah Stein reads poetry at gallery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Davis Food Co-op to offer free bags on Earth Day

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Get in the picture with school board candidate

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

KDVS hosts on-air fundraiser April 21-27

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Tickets on sale for Pence Garden Tour

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Fundraiser planned for Allen’s campaign

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Barbecue celebrates winter shelter program

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

Sign of things to come

By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A8

 
Davis Soroptimists celebrate 60 years

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

.

Forum

Fancy meeting you here …

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5

 
Expert: Free parking is a myth

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

Have they really learned?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
A great community effort

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

Public Health Heroes honored

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

Don’t miss a Trokanski dance

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

 
Frank Bruni: The oldest hatred, forever young

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A6

.

Sports

Foster steps down as Lady Blue Devil basketball coach

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
River Cats’ streak reaches six wins

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Landry evolves into UCD women’s lacrosse leader

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Huge inning propels Pleasant Grove past DHS

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

Giants edge Dodgers

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Youth roundup: Martinez, Chan come up big at gymnastics regional

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Kings drop season finale to Suns

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Angels get past A’s in extras

By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

.

Features

.

Arts

Wineaux: Good deals off the beaten path

By Susan Leonardi | From Page: A7

 
Rockabilly phenom to play at The Palms

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

HellaCappella showcases a cappella singing

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
‘One’ singular sensation to open at DMTC

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

25th annual state clay competition exhibit at The Artery

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

Tapan Munroe

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

 
.

Comics

Comics: Thursday, April 17, 2014

By Creator | From Page: B6