Tuesday, September 23, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis school board settles GATE admission policy lawsuit

By
From page A1 | February 15, 2013 |

The Davis school district has settled a lawsuit, filed last August by attorney David Meyers, concerning the district’s policy for admitting students to its Gifted and Talented Education program.

Meyers brought the suit on behalf of a “John Doe” client, asserting that the district followed “discriminatory GATE admission practices when it comes to evaluating students with risk factors” such as English as a second language.

Meyers argued that “in every such case, the native English speaker will be placed into GATE before a non-native speaker, the student with a disability that inhibits his or her performance on the OLSAT” — one of the tests used to identify GATE-eligible students — “will be placed behind a student with no such disability, etc.”

The settlement — which includes a $10,000 payment to the parents of a South Davis elementary school student, to cover legal fees — allows the family and Meyers to “state they are pleased with the recent efforts … to review, monitor and seek appropriate changes to the GATE placement process.”

Contacted by The Enterprise, Meyers expressed appreciation “to the superintendent and his team for their willingness to take on the issues we presented to them, and to work earnestly and in good faith on behalf of all of their students and families.”

Added Davis Board of Education president Sheila Allen, “We’re very interested in making sure that students identified as GATE-eligible all have fair and equal access to the program.”

At last Thursday’s school board meeting, the board voted unanimously to adopt an administrative recommendation to place new GATE-identified students in GATE classes by drawing names from a pool of all eligible students. Previously, GATE placement had been based on a rank-ordered system, with students scoring in the 99th percentile on one of the tests used for GATE identification being admitted first, followed by students in the 98th percentile, etc.

Students with risk factors scoring in the 96th or 95th percentile, while qualifying for GATE admission, tended to end up on the lower part of the list — hence the lawsuit brought by Meyers.

Eve Fichtner, the school district’s general counsel, told the school board that the “current rank-order placement process has the potential of discriminating against students in a protected category. … The lottery system is a way to eliminate the potential for discrimination.”

However, numerous parents of students in the GATE program who spoke last week defended the rank-ordered system, with various speakers arguing that students with the highest scores on the GATE-identification tests should be admitted first.

School board trustee Gina Daleiden told the parents, as she prepared to vote for the lottery system, “we don’t seem to have any other options that pass legal muster.” And trustee Susan Lovenburg observed, “If we have an existing discriminatory program, we continue to be at risk.”

— Reach Jeff Hudson at jhudson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8055.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

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

  • .

    News

    UC joins U.N.-supported Principles for Responsible Investment

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

     
    Nature’s beauty is in our own back yard

    By Charlotte Orr | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Jury finds Dixon man guilty of mortgage fraud

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1

     
    Harmony Award nominations sought

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Baha’is celebrate 50th anniversary in Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Downtown gift cards get a new perk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Unscheduled landing

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Free community yard sale Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Street Food Rodeo rolls into West Davis

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Wolk kicks off ‘Morning with the Mayor’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    So you want to be an entomologist?

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

     
    Sheriff’s Office honored for safe-driving initiative

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

     
    Forum will answer questions about new license law

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Applications open for Biberstein grants

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    .

    Forum

    Brother’s drinking out of control

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    We must not stand for perpetual war

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Don’t cut all the trees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A great Day in the Country

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Donors support school matinees

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    A big Explorit thanks!

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Teacher tenure becomes key campaign issue

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Blue Devils bounce back against Pleasant Grove

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Running game powered Devils in first football win

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Davis field hockey team rights ship at Lassen

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Devil golfers soar past Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggie women reach finals of East/West golf tourney

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2Comments are off for this post | Gallery

     
    U11s get a win in an eventful weekend of youth football

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    A’s support Samardzija in a win over Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Carol L. Walsh

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, September 23, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7