A recent letter to the editor in the Davis Enterprise criticized the GATE program in Davis schools, calling it divisive and oversized.
In her letter, Wendy Amundsen said that the GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) Program brands some students as “special” and others as, essentially, the opposite. She says this goes against the inclusive nature of the town.
She wrote that the “quest for a GPA higher than the kid next to me” attitude is turning high school students into robots. Even the teachers have tried to rein it in, she says.
Her argument is that GATE was intended for bright, but “socially problematic” students who might otherwise fall through the cracks, which makes up 3-5 percent of the population. That's not the case in Davis's program, she says.
One commenter in the Enterprise says that cutting back these offerings "would put our kids at a huge disadvantage when they apply to college." Other commenters shared similar feelings.
The California Department of Education says the program aims to serve “high achieving and underachieving pupils” in the state.
A debate has taken hold around Amundsen’s letter, and it illustrates that there are varying (passionately held) opinions on this issue. Let us know what you think in this poll and share your opinion in the comments below.
- GATE Master Plan from the DJUSD site.
- GATE FAQs from the DJUSD site.
- GATE testing schedulefrom DJUSD site.