Analysis: Is GATE a Modern Day Segregation System?

AIM-July2015-6

One of the interesting things that came out of some of the public comment is the notion that a self-contained GATE/AIM program is a form of segregation. Given the way that schools evolve during a child’s education, we see increased separate tracking of students over time.

When I was in elementary school, more than 30 years ago, beginning in the fourth grade we had tracks for reading and math – even though we were otherwise contained in a single classroom. We also had a magnet school for high achieving students after third grade.

This is actually an issue that extends well-beyond the confines of DJUSD, and therefore it might be instructive to look at the broader debate before examining our own district.

On November 18, 2014, The Atlantic published an article, “Modern-Day Segregation in Public Schools.” It notes, “The Department of Education has branded ‘tracking’—designating students for separate educational paths based on their academic performance—as a modern day form of segregation.”

The publication notes, “The education department and advocates have said tracking perpetuates a modern system of segregation that favors white students and keeps students of color, many of them black, from long-term equal achievement. Now the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights is trying to change the system, one school district at a time.”

They continue, “Proponents of tracking and of ability-grouping (a milder version that separates students within the same classroom based on ability) say that the practices allow students to learn at their own levels and prevent a difficult situation for teachers: large classes where children with a wide range of different needs and skill levels are mixed together. In many districts, the higher-level instruction in ‘gifted and talented’ or advanced placement classes is what keeps wealthier families from entirely abandoning the public school system.”

On the other hand, opponents argue that “the ill effects for the students in the lower-skilled classes negate the advantages that the students in the advanced classes gain. Many education researchers have argued that tracking perpetuates class inequality and is partially to blame for the stubborn achievement gap in the U.S. educational system—between white and Asian students on one side, and black and Latino students on the other.”

But the issue is more complicated than even this, as we get closer to home. For one thing is GATE effectively tracking? To answer that requires a better assessment of what the local GATE/AIM program is supposed to be than I have seen to date.

As we asked earlier this week, is GATE really a high achievers program? Is GATE for students who are technically “gifted” but underachievers, due to social issues or lack of interest in the mainstream classroom? And finally, which really is something that I gleaned from the study – is GATE something that will only benefit a small subsection of the student population or can we expect it to benefit much broader swaths?

It seems that opponents of GATE have offered up differentiated instruction as the antidote. The idea here is finding a way to meet the needs of many students within a single classroom.

As I read the California Department of Education’s guidelines on differentiated instruction, it notes that cognitive research results “suggest that a one-size-fits-all approach to classroom teaching is ineffective for most students and even harmful for some.”

The principles that point clearly to the need for differentiated instruction are listed as follows:

  1. Need for emotional safety. Learning environments must feel emotionally safe to students for the most effective learning to take place.
  2. Need for appropriate challenges. Students require appropriate levels of challenge. When students are confronted with content and performance standards well beyond their level of readiness, intense stress frequently results… A one-size-fits-all approach to teaching produces lessons pitched at a single-challenge level, virtually ensuring that many students will be overchallenged or underchallenged. Neither group will learn effectively. Research supports the conviction that all students should strive to meet the same content and performance standards, although many will do so at different levels of acceptable proficiency.
  1. Need for self-constructed meaning. Students need opportunities to develop their own meaning as new knowledge and skills are encountered. They have different learning styles, process ideas and concepts differently, have varied backgrounds and experiences, and express themselves differently. All must be helped to assimilate new knowledge and skills within the framework of prior personal experiences.

The real question, then, isn’t whether we have differentiated instruction, but how we structure it.

One of the interesting facets of the local debate on GATE is that the national concern over tracking programs in general, and GATE in particular, has been the disparate impact on children of color and the lower class.

Critics charge that tracking perpetuates inequality across classes and is partially to blame for the achievement gap where whites and Asians heavily outperform their black and Latino counterparts in the classroom.

Against that debate is the observation from Thursday that the people advocating change in the current program were far less diverse than the group of people defending the self-contained GATE program.

AIM-2

There are of course those who argue that we are simply over-identifying people for the AIM program. I want to again reiterate a key point – if GATE/AIM is benefiting 30-40 percent of students, who cares about over-identification? Our question should be to determine how to best meet the needs of all of the students, and too many people seem to want to use the label “GATE” or “AIM” as a status symbol rather than an educational tool.

But for this conversation, the other important thing to note is what happens if we limit our identification to the OLSAT (Otis-Lennon School Ability Test).

We end up with a much smaller Black/Latino/American Indian pool of identifiers (I use identifiers because it has been brought to my attention that the people who actually end up in the program differ markedly from those identified for the program – something else we need to examine).

The OLSAT produces the kind of pool that the critics of tracking seem concerned about – 92 percent of identifiers are White and Asians, with only six percent Hispanic and one percent each for Black and American Indian.

Those numbers change drastically under TONI (Test of Nonverbal Intelligence) where the numbers rise to 31 percent Hispanic, 8 percent Black and 6 percent American Indian.

Professor White criticizes these findings, arguing that “the current rescreening process is fundamentally flawed.” The “TONI and OLSAT have dramatically different psychometric properties, one score should not simply replace the other.”

He noted, “The TONI is designed to address only a limited range of the search and serve criteria, yet is being applied for all of them.” He concludes, “The TONI is clearly identifying a more diverse group of students than the OLSAT, but as a function of student selection rather than test bias.”

My review of the literature on non-verbal testing offers a very different view, where non-verbal testing not only is appropriate for those with speech, language, and learning disorders, but also low socio-economic groups who have more limited language foundations than their counterparts.

TONI might not be the best non-verbal testing tool, but it is clear that OLSAT produces its own biased sample that Professor White did not seem to account for.

For me, the bottom line is that there seems to be a lot of complicated issues here. We need to examine current practices with an eye for what is best for the students. We need to discard GATE as a status symbol and look to it as a teaching tool and a practice, and we need to direct our practices towards the ones that will help as many students as possible reach their full potential.

Terms like segregation are historically loaded, and may not apply to the local situation. We should attempt ways to avoid polarizing descriptions on an issue that is already polarizing.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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43 Comments

  1. zaqzaq

    The term “segregation” and “elitist”  are historically loaded terms that the AIM opponents are using for their propaganda purposes.  Unfortunately this method has proven effective.

  2. Tia Will

    We need to discard GATE as a status symbol and look to it as a teaching tool and practice and we need to direct our practices towards the ones that will help as many students as possible reach their full potential.:

    With this concept, I am in complete agreement. However, I think that it is important that while we preserve the benefits of Gate for those selected for the program, we continue to recognize that those who are not selected should still be getting an optimized educational experience and this is where I think that the emphasis on Gate for the minority may be lessening the educational experience for the majority. It is a fine balance.

    zaqzaq

    While it may be true that opponents are using the term “elitist” for their propaganda purposes this does not mean that this has not been a problem in the past as it certainly was in my daughters case from about 15 years ago and may still be today.

     

     

    1. David Greenwald

      “With this concept, I am in complete agreement. However, I think that it is important that while we preserve the benefits of Gate for those selected for the program”

      That is what I meant when I said: “We need to discard GATE as a status symbol and look to it as a teaching tool and practice”

  3. ryankelly

    Are you really saying that efforts to reform GATE is discrimination by white people against ethnic minorities?

    Is this really the direction you want this discussion to take?

    1. David Greenwald

      No, I’m not taking that view. I’m simply attempting to show that the issues are much more complicated than the simple narrative would imply.

  4. Barack Palin

    David wrote this in an article in 2012.  It looks like his views haven’t changed much.

    The 1970s are apparently not over.  We know what this is about, the affluent white families of South Davis apparently do not want their kids to go to school with Latinos and other lower SES Students.
     

  5. Tia Will

    Are you really saying that efforts to reform GATE is discrimination by white people against ethnic minorities?”

    Not speaking at all for David here. I think that it is quite possible that this is frequently the unintentional outcome of actions by the more affluent of our society who by acting only in their own perceived best interests, either intentionally or inadvertently push policies that do indeed harm the less affluent who often happen to be ethnic minorities.

    Whether maintaining the current system, or making changes will have such an effect with regard to the local Gate program is certainly worthy of consideration and discussion.

    1. David Greenwald

      What I’m saying is that the issue is not as black and white as it might appear in terms of who is benefited by change and what change we implement.

  6. MrsW

    If not the term “segregation” what term?  “Tracking” applies well in junior high because students have AIM English, AIM social studies and AIM science, but all other courses (art, music, PE, foreign language, shop, etc.) are with everybody. But in elementary school, the students are completely isolated by design and policy.  The elementary principals and teachers could integrate the students more but for reasons I do not understand, they don’t.  With single strands, the class list determined in 4th grade is the same through 6th grade.  They students do every course together, including typing and PE–which may be AIM 4th and 5th grade, but not AIM 4th and non-AIM 4th.  Then there is the administrative response to phenomenon like the AIM classes consistently have more than enough drivers for field trips and the non-AIM courses don’t have enough.  The administration’s response is to stop field trips for all–there’s equality for you, nothing is equal–rather than combining the classes to go on field trips, so there are enough drivers.  Another phenomenon, since AIM is operated as a school-within-a-school, the non-AIM teachers don’t always learn the non-neighborhood AIM student’s names, increasing the non-neighborhood student’s feelings of isolation.
     

    Against that debate is the observation from Thursday that the people advocating change in the current program were far less diverse than the group of people defending the self-contained GATE program.

    This is really interesting.  Are you saying this based on skin color? Do you think white people are the only ones who should be held accountable for creating and valuing an inclusive society? 
     

    1. David Greenwald

      I wrote: Against that debate is the observation from Thursday that the people advocating change in the current program were far less diverse than the group of people defending the self-contained GATE program.

      You responded: This is really interesting. Are you saying this based on skin color? Do you think white people are the only ones who should be held accountable for creating and valuing an inclusive society?

      You have to weigh my comment against the backdrop of the critics of tracking who believe it perpetuates the advantaged and the achievement gap. It is not clear that the issue is working in that direction in Davis.

      1. hpierce

        Funny you should say that some “…critics of tracking who believe it perpetuates the advantaged and the achievement gap.”   My experience growing up was the opposite… most of the folk I went thru the G&T program with were in the ‘lower middle class’ (some even less economically advantaged), and/or were ‘children of color’. But, that was 50 years ago, and perhaps things have changed, or we were in a weird district.

    2. DavisAnon

      Maybe these things are specific to different sites. At our school, AIM has definitely had field trips cancelled due a lack of drivers. Also, there is mixing with other classes (AIM and non-AIM) for a variety of activities throughout the year.

  7. ryankelly

    Using the numbers given in the Carell report and using the percentages on this chart I have gathered the actual numbers for 2013 to the best of my ability.  This will not be completely accurate because I don’t know what year the chart represents, but it should give us a general idea:

    2013 Total GATE qualified: 196

    Black   Total: 8   OLSAT: >1 (.56)    TONI: 7    Other test (Private?): >1

    Native Am: Total: 7     OLSAT: >1   TONI: 5    Other: >1

    Asian: Total: 51    OLSAT: 25    TONI: 10     Other: 16

    Hispanic: Total: 29    OLSAT: 3     TONI: 26    Other: 0

    White:   Total: 101    OLSAT: 27    TONI: 36   Other: 38

    However, the number of students in the self-contained GATE program in 2013 was only 131.  There is no data given on the ethnic make up of students actually in the program.

     

        1. wdf1

          ryankelly: This still just gives the GATE identified totals – not the ethnic make up of the students in the self-contained classrooms.

          This might be the best you can get.  The GATE chart on the link I think aggregates all GATE students.  It is possible to search for individual schools and get the ethnic/racial makeup as well.

          Again, mostly I think examining for racial diversity isn’t as meaningful as examining for class diversity.  But class info is sparse to non-existent.

  8. Frankly

    So, one of the arguments for racial segregation has been that the kids of color attend crappier schools, and if only they could mingle with those higher-achieving white kids, they would be better served in their educational experience.  And the white kids would get forced diversity which would then make them more accepting and inclusive.  All good stuff, right?

    Now, I have always rejected that argument to some degree because I have always seen the source of the problem as being the crappy school… or the school that is not adequately responding to the super-set of development needs for its student body.  Inner-city schools filled full of minority students should have a different approach to education.  But they don’t for the most part.  All public schools pretty much teach with the same prehistoric methods with de minimis and superficial tweaks here and there.

    And herein lies my problem with AIM/GATE.  First, it disregards this first “principle” forced on people for the supposed benefits of integration of a diverse student body… it is supposed to be good for all the kids, right?   It would be interesting to poll all the supporters and demanders of AIM/GATE to see where they stand on this larger question about forced desegregation.  Maybe they are just comfortable with it for other people’s kids.

    But the second point is my main issue.   I think carve-outs (desegregation) and forced segregation are all indicators of crappy schools.  They are a concession that we eventually get to in recognition that the schools are not doing a good enough job educating some kids.  Instead of demanding the type of education system reforms required for striving for and achieving the optimum education outcomes for each and every child based on each and every child’s unique needs, we categorize the kids like cattle and group them to separate pens.

    Lastly, the schools have limited resources.  Grouping demands dedicated resources.  Dedicated resources result in less ability to creatively manage the resources to cover more of the needs. (Teacher is certified to teach AIM/GATE and so will ONLY teach AIM/GATE and cannot be reassigned).

    What we are all failing to see and accept here , is the evidence that these demands for grouping and carve outs are a call for needed drastic reforms.  For example, we should should have more counselors, tutors and facilitators, and be using technology to accurately assess and track individual education paths for each student.

    Inner city schools might have to be completely different.   Maybe including more boarding schools and employing the students to work on campus.  Even Davis might need to adopt some new methods for lower income students with different needs.

    But these things are innovative and disruptive to the status quo adult jobs program that public education really is.  We won’t accept anything that risks fewer members of the teachers unions.  So, we get stuck with the same old prehistoric model and so we keep putting on the band aids and push for a carve out for our special offspring.

    1. Don Shor

      (Teacher is certified to teach AIM/GATE and so will ONLY teach AIM/GATE and cannot be reassigned).

      I don’t believe that is true. Also, most of the ‘reforms’ being enacted by the board will cost the district more money so far. Full-time coordinator replaces part-time, all teachers mandated to receive training for differentiated instruction, remaining students requiring higher teacher/student ratios.

        1. hpierce

          Thank you for looking at that and sharing… interesting… at this point, am not having an opinion as to significance. [as if it mattered if I did]

          0.4 FTE would be consistent with hiring a ‘retired annuitant’, though…

    2. Davis Progressive

      ” I think carve-outs (desegregation) and forced segregation are all indicators of crappy schools.  They are a concession that we eventually get to in recognition that the schools are not doing a good enough job educating some kids.”

      but that seems to come from a one-size fits all approach to education, whereas in reality some kids do better in one setting over another – no?

      1. Frankly

        Nope.  Not one size fits all.  All sizes needed and all times for every kid.

        I agree that some kids do better in one setting over another.  So differentiate providing the needed settings for all.

        1. hpierce

          “Not one size fits all.”  Careful, Frankly.  Watch your consistency of thought.  You tend lump all teachers, public employees, “liberals”, Democrats, illegal immigrants, anyone who has a nuanced opinion different from your ‘world view’ as “one size”.  Which you use a lot of perjorative adjectives/adverbs to denigrate.  Meant as ‘a friendly assessment’.  You tend to cause self-inflicted wounds to really good ideas/opinions you have from time to time.

          I believe I can say that, because I have the same problem, from time to time.

    3. wdf1

      Frankly:  Have you read Charles Murray’s book, Coming Apart, The State of White America, 1960-2010?

      Charles Murray was co-author of the controversial book, The Bell Curve.  The problem with that book, and also a little bit with his perspective in Coming Apart, IMO, is his reliance on IQ as a meaningful measure.  I disagree with some of Murray’s other assumptions in Coming Apart, but I think the body of his observations is worth thought.  You would probably agree with what I disagree with.  But it relates to issues that you mention in this comment.

  9. ryankelly

    For those who keep saying that the Board is not clearly stating what their vision for the GATE program is and their reasoning for the motion that was put forward and approved, you should go back and carefully re-listen to the June 4th meeting.  Except for the decision to not accept private testing results as an override of poor performance on the OLSAT, the Board just gave direction to the staff, which is what the staff (and members of the AIM Advisory Committee who spoke at public comment) repeatedly requested.   This was after staff acknowledged problems and concerns with the current assessment process.  This included a heads up that bringing the retesting process in house would require additional staffing.

     

  10. Scarlet

    Hmm… From the district demographic data, it looks like many Chavez families are affluent, native English speakers, whereas the majority of Hispanic low income families are across the town in Montgomery. Was it right for the district to group the majority of the districts low income families at Montgomery? Is that segregation?

    For years the district had things set up so that many of the few affluent students that did attend Montgomery left after the 3rd grade to attend Chavez (the Spanish Immersion strand at Montgomery ended after 3rd grade, the only 4-6 classes being at Chavez). Montgomery was the first Davis elementary school that went into “site improvement” which triggered more families with resources to switch schools. Sometimes the remaining Montgomery kids didn’t have enough parent volunteers to drive them to field trips, meanwhile those entitled kids can have parents drive them across downtown to attend Chavez to learn a second language?

  11. Scarlet

    Hmm… From the district demographic data, it looks like many Chavez families are affluent, native English speakers, whereas the majority of Hispanic families are across the town in Montgomery. Was it right for the district to group the majority of the district’s Hispanic families at Montgomery? The district deliberately concentrated Hispanic students at Montgomery, which by definition, is segregation.

    For years the district had things set up so that many of the few affluent students that did attend Montgomery left after the 3rd grade to attend Chavez (the Spanish Immersion strand at Montgomery ended after 3rd grade, the only 4-6 classes being at Chavez). Montgomery was the first Davis elementary school that went into “site improvement” which triggered more families with resources to switch schools. Sometimes the remaining Montgomery kids didn’t have enough parent volunteers to drive them to field trips, meanwhile those entitled kids can have parents drive them across town to attend Chavez to learn a second language? 

    Talking about standard tests scores for all students, the school district should do research to be sure Chavez is not the reason for any negative impact on Hispanic student’s scores.

    1. wdf1

      Scarlet:  Hmm… From the district demographic data, it looks like many Chavez families are affluent, native English speakers, whereas the majority of Hispanic families are across the town in Montgomery. Was it right for the district to group the majority of the district’s Hispanic families at Montgomery? The district deliberately concentrated Hispanic students at Montgomery, which by definition, is segregation.

      Talking about standard tests scores for all students, the school district should do research to be sure Chavez is not the reason for any negative impact on Hispanic student’s scores.

      Not quite sure I understand what point you’re making.  But I would love to have you elaborate.

      Chavez Elementary has the second highest percentage of students who identify as Hispanic/Latino (~22%).  Montgomery has the highest (~37%).  Birch Lane is third highest, then Patwin.  After that are the schools that have AIM strands.

    2. wdf1

      Scarlet:  The data I cited above was taken from 2011.  Data from 2014-15 dataquest show these percentage breakdowns for Hispanic/Latino among K-6 elementary schools.  Only slight changes, but noteworthy.

      Montgomery: 54.2

      Chavez: 28.2

      Patwin: 21.7

      Korematsu: 18.3

      North Davis: 17

      Birch Lane:  14.1

      Pioneer: 14.1

      Willett: 9.8

       

      1. Scarlet

        Thank you WDF1, I was looking up these numbers when you posted the new one.

        Based on CA Dept of Education data (http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/)
        In year 2014-15, 245 out of 452 kids enrolled in Montgomery are Hispanic; that is 54% Hispanic kids.  In Chavez, 180 out 638 are Hispanic, about 28%. In addition, if I read the “socioeconomically disadvantaged” data correctly, there are 192 Hispanic kids at Montgomery are socioeconomically disadvantaged, that is 78% of the Hispanic kids there! Whereas in Chavez, that number is 34%.

        These changes happened in the last few years.  This is what the district did deliberately.  I believe “segregation” is really a loaded word to describe any of our public school programs.  But if people want to use it, then why ignore this data!  
        http://dq.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/Enrollment/EthnicEnr.aspx?cChoice=DistEnrEt2&cYear=2014-15&cSelect=5772678–Davis%20Joint%20Unified&TheCounty=&cLevel=District&cTopic=Enrollment&myTimeFrame=S&cType=ALL&cGender=B

        1. wdf1

          Socioeconomically disavantaged means this:

          According to the definition adopted by the State Board of Education (SBE), the “socioeconomically disadvantaged subgroup” consists of students who meet either one of two criteria:

          Neither of the student’s parents has received a high school diploma OR

          The student is eligible for the free or reduced-price lunch program

          Source

          It would be helpful to disaggregate the data, but that doesn’t appear to be an option.

          In Davis there are a number of UCD students with families (probably more frequently, grad students) who might be temporarily at a lower income level and on free or reduced-price lunch, but with more overall job prospects than a family without a high school diploma

        2. wdf1

          Scarlet: This is what the district did deliberately. 

          Perhaps you refer to the district “deliberately” implementing a Dual Immersion program at MME?  According to this article it seems to be going well, but maybe it’s too early to know fully.  It is an alternative to Spanish Immersion.  I remember some lower level resistance to having Dual Immersion from some in the Spanish Immersion program.  But I the fact that there are two versions of elementary foreign language instruction suggests to me that it should be possible to have two credible versions of AIM/GATE delivery.

        3. Scarlet

          The district drew the school boundaries in a way that MME would include as many of the low income housing complexes and mobile home parks as possible. In addition, I heard the district directs the majority of the migrant farm families to MME. It is quite possible the district did this deliberately to maximize federal funding (if a school is over 40% of low SES, the Feds provide additional funding). Of course, the district would never so bluntly admit doing so.  The actual words they used were “to focus resources to help families in need.”  I consider dual immersion a façade to hide this segregation practice. Does the district believe these kids won’t qualify for GATE, or wouldn’t need a different way of learning such as Montessori?!

          The district refused to put AIM at MME – as if the Hispanic families or low SES families would not want AIM. Instead the district put Spanish Immersion at MME. But in case you thought this strand might be for the benefit of low SES families, the district proved you wrong by setting up the program as K-3 only. Starting in 4th grade all Spanish Immersion students had to be driven across town every day, something low SES families were unlikely to have the luxury to do. Parents at MME attempted to arrange for a bus to make the trip from MME to Chavez once in the morning and then the reverse trip once each afternoon. The district did absolutely zero to help with this.

          The district should have located AIM strands in the schools most populated by those students least likely to have the luxury of traveling across town. Instead the district chose to locate AIM in exactly the opposite schools. You can look at the data at http://davisexcel.org/gate-identification-data/ It shows that 17% of the district’s Hispanic children test into AIM, essentially the same as their part of all students in DJUSD. But only 8% of students in AIM classrooms are Hispanic, so about half of the Hispanic students that are AIM identified do not go into the program. How many of these students elected not to join AIM because of transportation issues vs. how many simply wanted a different program for their children? Did the district ever survey these parents? No. Despite having been asked to by the AIM advisory committee. In fact, the data at the above link shows that Latino/Latina students are much less likely to enroll in any of the district’s special programs, other than Chavez, almost all of which require transportation across town.

        4. wdf1

          Scarlet:  The district drew the school boundaries in a way that MME would include as many of the low income housing complexes and mobile home parks as possible.

          I think the city has assisted in this phenomenon through the planning process.  Most recently they opened up New Harmony within the MME attendance area.  Also, this isn’t just district administrators drawing up attendance boundaries.  These are also school board trustees with vocal input of some parents.  In other words, at some level, some of your city neighbors wanted it this way.

          I’m only aware of one mobile home park in the MME attendance area.  Is there another?

          Scarlet:  How many of these students elected not to join AIM because of transportation issues vs. how many simply wanted a different program for their children? Did the district ever survey these parents? No. Despite having been asked to by the AIM advisory committee.

          Did the district communicate to Spanish speaking families about the AIM program in Spanish?  I understand that there is a flyer in Spanish, but English speaking parents, like yourself, perhaps, like to have someone to talk to for more information about various education options in Davis schools.  You and I also have the luxury of reading more information about AIM/GATE in various other venues like the Davis Enterprise or the Davis Vanguard, and likelier come into casual social contact with other knowledgeable parents to talk about the program.  All the more reason to have some available to talk to these families about AIM in Spanish.  Would communications in Spanish about AIM fall under the purview of the AIM/GATE coordinator?

          Scarlet:  Instead the district put Spanish Immersion at MME.  But in case you thought this strand might be for the benefit of low SES families, the district proved you wrong by setting up the program as K-3 only.

          How many low SES Spanish-speaking families participated in Spanish Immersion while it was at MME?  Dual Immersion is expected to extend all the way to sixth grade.  And Dual Immersion seems to do a better job than SI of socially integrating native English speakers with native Spanish speakers.  As I read it, it seems like an improvement over what existed before with Spanish Immersion, no?

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