In Their Own Words: Barbara Archer

Board member Barbara Archer makes her comments late in the evening
Board member Barbara Archer makes her comments late in the evening

The Vanguard will be publishing the comments of each of the five school board members on the AIM program. We began with the comments of Susan Lovenburg on Sunday. Today we cover what Barbara Archer said. Below is a video clip from her comments.

Barbara Archer:

I’ve talked to a lot of people in the community as well. I met with teachers, I have talked with more parents than I can count. I met with neighborhood teachers. There’s a variety of opinion in our community about the changes that we’re proposing to happen.

Three people today called me and said it’s not far enough. This is not far enough – this is not in line with your motion. Some people are saying – you know what, this is all right. This is fine. And some people are saying, no it’s too much, it’s too fast. I think we have to acknowledge all those opinions and listen to each other.

We did pass a motion. People ask where did the 98 percent come from, where did a lot of these recommendations come from? We passed a motion in June, before school ended might I add, “that the focus of the assessment we be to identify students whose needs cannot be met in classrooms which fully implement best practices of differentiated instruction.”

Yes, we have work to do in differentiation. Yes, we have some teachers, many teachers in fact, who are doing it fabulously well already, but we as a board have moved in a direction where… (we have) a needs based program – students who really would have trouble functioning in a neighborhood classroom.

I really want to enter commentary just about the tenor of the conversation – we all live in this small town together. My hope is that we don’t hurt each other so much that we can’t be allies on other issues. I mean, the rhetoric tonight has been very nasty and hurtful, and I really don’t think there’s a place for that in this conversation. We don’t need to throw each other under the bus to have a discussion about this.

There’s lots of talk about kids at the very least being disengaged in the neighborhood programs and worse being harmed in the neighborhood programs. There are comments made mostly by people who haven’t even tried the neighborhood programs.

The analogy that came to my mind was a kid who said, well I don’t like green beans. Have you ever tried green beans? Well no, I haven’t tried green beans. And so if you haven’t been in the neighborhood program, if you haven’t experienced differentiation in the neighborhood program, please don’t tell me that your kid can’t be served in that program because you really don’t know.

I think with an average of 31 percent of AIM identified students opting out of AIM, these students and students of all ability levels are being served are being served very well by teachers in the neighborhood program. I think what we uncovered when we looked at the testing data was that the AIM program – the current iteration of the AIM program – is made up of kids by all ability levels.

You have kids who scored very high on the OLSAT, you have kids who scored in every decile of the OLSAT and entered through private testing or the TONI – so obviously the AIM teachers are having to differentiate.

Then in the neighborhood program, I have colleagues, friends, they have eight AIM identified students in their neighborhood program, seven AIM identified kids in their neighborhood classroom, along with kids of all other ability levels – so really we’re kind of playing a semantics game here because what we’re looking at is a class that’s labeled AIM, a class that’s labeled neighborhood, and in fact they’re very similar populations.

I’m hoping to continue the dialogue. I think Susan’s idea about getting out there and talking to people who can’t make time to come to board meetings is a good idea. I’m all for continuing the discussion as we need to. That said, we’re on a timeline, we have kids who are taking the OLSAT in a week and we have to decide how we’re going to move forward. So that’s where I’m at.

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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58 Comments

  1. zaqzaq

    The deception of this women knows no limits.  She concealed her true position on the AIM program during the election in order to win.  It is clear that she believes that the AIM children should be in the neighborhood schools.  Does she hold the same position for Spanish Immersion and Montessori students?  This is an awful example for the children of the school district.  When the true depth of her deception becomes public why would voters want to entrust her with the responsibility of allocating the use of tax dollars?  Should the ends justify the means?

    1. fishtaco25

      Both of your points are false.

      1.  She clearly states that “current models” for AIM-GATE.  Here is another clue, she uses the phrase “Mentally gifted minors”.  Anyone who throws this term out there is clearly not for segregated classrooms for high IQ kids.

      2. The comparison of AIM-GATE with Spanish Immersion and Montessori programs is false and is consistently and incorrectly used as pro-AIM-GATE argument by supporters.  There is not an scored examination given to students for as a requirement for admission to Spanish Immersion and Montessori.  They are open to all students.

      1. wdf1

        fishtaco:  She clearly states that “current models” for AIM-GATE.  Here is another clue, she uses the phrase “Mentally gifted minors”.  Anyone who throws this term out there is clearly not for segregated classrooms for high IQ kids.

        She used the phrase as a reference to what the program used to be called in the 1970’s, the Mentally-Gifted Minors program (MGM).

      2. zaqzaq

        fishtaco25

        Why wouldn’t her green beans analogy be applicable to both Montessori and Spanish immersion?  The point being that neighborhood schools are good and parents who pull students out into other programs would find that the neighborhood schools more than meet her needs.

    2. Napoleon Pig IV

      zaqzaq, I think you’ve nailed her character and ongoing deception right in dead center. This woman should be recalled. Period. However, that process is very difficult, costly, and generally designed to prevent recall initiatives from ever getting started. So, we mere parents are left with little to do except continue calling her out on her misrepresentations, pre-existing biases, and unwillingness (or inability) to be persuaded by objective data.

      Of course, she is only one part of the problem. A majority of the board seems to have chipped in together to buy DJUSD a one-way ticket on the proverbial handbasket to hell. Oink!

  2. Tia Will

    zaqzaq

    She concealed her true position on the AIM program during the election in order to win.”

    I confess to not having followed Ms. Archer’s position on the Gate/Aim program closely prior to the current controversy. Can you give some examples from her campaign or direct me to her contradictory comments that lead you to believe that “The deception of this women knows no limits.” ?

        1. Davis Progressive

          i think that’s largely true, though you do have to kind of read between the lines on it.

          she said: “What I believe is that that we owe it to our students to learn what other districts are doing” – which is what they did.

          “Regarding balancing needs of all our students, I think it would best serve our students to make sure that all children have an enriching education regardless of ability level.”

          she has been consistent on this.

          the one problem with her answer then is this: “Some parents believe that self-contained classes of AIM-identified students are the best way to educate their students. Some parents who have kids in the program are not wedded to the idea of the self-contained model. Some parents have AIM-identified kids and choose to do the neighborhood program because they do not agree with the self-contained model. Some parents believe that we must put equal resources toward all needs – GATE/AIM, high achieving, learning disabled, and students who struggle with academics to name a few groups. Some parents believe that the self-contained model is out-moded, and we should look into more current models for serving AIM-identified students.”

          while she laid out what some parents believed – she never said what she believed and what she would do.

          i don’t see any lies, but she didn’t come out and state that she would support the move to reduce the size of gate and transition toward differentiated instruction.

           

        2. DavisAnon

          That just reminded me of comments to a letter to the editor in the Enterprise Barbara apparently made a few years ago. I know someone who confronted her with these comments near the beginning of her campaign and she absolutely denied that these were representative of her views on GATE. Now these two year old comments look just like what she is putting forward. At least things are becoming clear, but I am very disappointed she wasn’t more genuine about her true feelings on GATE during the campaign.

          Barbara ArcherJune 28, 2013 – 6:43 am

          I have always heard that the DJUSD giftedness threshold is actually quite low compared to other programs and that is why the district gave serious thought to raising it to 98% just this year. Not to mention, many districts similar to ours have done away with self-contained gifted programs as an outmoded educational practice. Also, AIM/GATE is not like other magnet programs because you have to qualify to get in and the ways by which you can qualify are suspect in my opinion. Is the OLSAT a true measure of giftedness? Why are we allowing private testing? Why do students overwhelmingly test at 99% on the TONI test and gain entry? In other district “choice” programs, you have to apply, but you don’t have to qualify. You don’t have the option of paying for private testing to gain entry. The district doesn’t “search and serve” for these other magnet programs like it does with AIM. I think Ms Poulos taught awhile ago and since then, the GATE/AIM program has grown beyond its original intentions, which as I understand them, were to serve students who could not function in a regular classroom because of extreme giftedness. Let us remember that GATE/AIM is a district special ed program not a magnet program, and it is a program that has lacked proper oversight for years, pulling in students who would do just fine in the regular track programs. A program with private testing that takes away resources that could be used for the greater good has no place in a public school district. Also, a lot of pro self contained people say that people who complain about this program have sour grapes that their kids didn’t get in. But in fact, most people I know who criticize the program have AIM-identified kids and are/were part of the program.

          Reply | Report abusive comment

          Barbara ArcherJune 29, 2013 – 5:55 pm

          I have not spread distortions or falsehoods. In fact, I have studied the program quite rigorously, was a parent in the program at one point and stand by my comments. I am a former PTA president and have spent literally hundreds of hours on an elementary campus observing the dynamics of a school with a GATE track. I repeat – this program is supposed to be a special ed program. Deann’s aggressive efforts to “search and serve” with no district oversight and the questionable TONI and OLSAT tests have filled the program with students who can be perfectly well served in the regular track program. Students in this program have lower class sizes (capped at 32) – that’s what I’d call a resource. This program was supposed to be for students who are so profoundly gifted that they cannot function in a regular class, and it is certainly no longer that. Just because my opinion differs from yours doesn’t make it a distortion.

           

    1. DavisAnon

      She said in a fairly recent meeting (few months ago?) something along the lines of that she had been publicly speaking out against the AIM program for several years. I think that caused many to question whether she fully disclosed her intent during the campaign.

      It would be nice if she’d clarify her educational concerns about the program and her reasoning for how the proposed changes would improve education for students. The only reason I can recall she gave at that time was that someone on the playground told her daughter she wouldn’t play with them, but I may not be remembering that entirely accurately. I would hope she won’t want to  shrink every program where one child might’ve said something bratty on the playground to another,  or we’ll run out of open public schools, though improving playground climate would be a good thing at any school.

    2. lotaspark

      Check out the board’s video from the July meeting at 2:15. That is where she talks about wanting reform for 7 years. In addition, check out the cached pages from change.org from 2012 where she signed a petition to get rid of the program. None of which she said in her statement to the public during the election.

      1. Napoleon Pig IV

        DavisAnon and lotaspark, you do an important public service in holding this politician responsible for her past public statements, especially to the extent they demonstrate not evolution in thinking but rather deceptive intent. Oink!

    3. zaqzaq

      Tia,

      I believe that she had a bad personal experience with the then GATE program a number of years ago.

      She signed the PAGE petition a couple of years ago.  PAGE is an organization that advocates for the use of differentiated instruction instead of the self contained AIM model.

      The two comments below attributed to her in the Enterprise in 2013 clearly demonstrate a position on the AIM program that is inconsistent with her campaign statements.

      At the July she commented at a school board meeting that she has been trying to reform the AIM program for over seven years.

      In her campaign she did not call for the reform of the AIM program and describe the needed reform.

      She specifically did not advocate any of the following during her campaign.

      1.  Firing the longtime AIM (GATE) coordinator.

      2.  Abolishing private testing.

      3. Increase the AIM eligibility score from a 96 to 98.

      4. Reduce the size of the AIM program by 50%.

      I am concerned that she had a Nancy Peterson like issue with Deanne Quinn that has driven her over the years to seek public office in order to enact her revenge.  This type of motivation and deceit can only harm our schools when it comes time for parcel taxes.  Why would the public trust a woman with making decisions on their tax dollars who mislead them about her true motivations and intentions when she ran for office?

      For this reason I believe it is important for the board to achieve a 5-0 consensus on where to go with the AIM program.  I believe that they can achieve this consensus with the new testing policy while leaving the threshold at 96.  The 2005 report commissioned by the board called for an even lower threshold score below 96 in order to capture all of the minority students that were not otherwise being identified for the program.  Hope this helps.

       

      1. Tia Will

        zaqzaq

        Thank you ( and all of the other readers) who addressed my question in various ways.

        I would just question one aspect of your comment. The claim of deceit or lying.  I am wondering given her known opposition, through her previous statements and actions, if anyone vigorously questioned her about her GATE position during the campaign.

        I think it would be natural for anyone mounting a campaign to accentuate their positives and downplay parts of their position that they see as more controversial.

        People act as they do for many, many reasons. I really believe that it is important to give people the benefit of the doubt and not assume that they are acting in nefarious ways when they act on strongly held beliefs, and or defend actions that are different from the policy positions that we would like to see enacted.

        1. zaqzaq

          Ideally the school board should be above politics as usual and be about program policy.  When asked about the AIM program she sidestepped it and did not articulate her actual position on the program to avoid political controversy.  I am truly shocked by the level of the deceit in play here and I am surprised that David did not do any digging on these candidates.  A large number of people feel that they were deceived by her campaign and that the deception is leading to policy changes that they do not support.

        2. DavisAnon

          Tia,

          I’m in complete agreement that we should give people the benefit of the doubt and not assume the worst of them. Here is why I feel Barbara has not been honest with the public about her views and intentions regarding AIM.

          As I mentioned before I know someone who questioned her in detail early in the campaign about the comments she had made in the Enterprise regarding AIM. She indicated that those comments had been made over a year earlier and were absolutely not representative of her current views on AIM. She said she had some confusion over the testing procedures, specifically private testing. She also mentioned that she had had a child in the program for a year but that it was not a good fit and they had gone on to try other educational programs that seemed to be a better fit. She stated she had no animosity toward the program and no intent to make significant changes, but that it was always good to continue to consider ways of strengthening every program.

          She said there had been political concerns over differing field trips and activities at her neighborhood school for kids in and out of AIM, but that she had successfully found ways to solve that problem by having a popular AIM activity become one that every student at the school could participate in and enjoy. She did mention her belief that AIM class sizes typically were significantly smaller than neighborhood classes (false) and that therefore the costs of AIM were substantially higher, and that she knew this from her years working on the parcel tax. She denied any concern over school climate issues (contradicting her recent statement in a Board meeting). She stated she had supporters (and people running her campaign) who were strongly supportive of the AIM program and had children in it. She used this as evidence to back her assertion that she was not opposed to the self-contained AIM program as it existed.

          This seemed like fairly rigorous inquiry. I accept that people’s views may change over time, but in retrospect the comments she published in 2013 look a lot closer to what she is saying now than what she stated her views were during the campaign. Finally, she said in a recent Board meeting that she had been making clear public statements for the last 7 years expressing her opposition to the AIM program in its current form. If that is the case, it looks to me that she was not honest with the public during her campaign.

  3. ryankelly

    I don’t agree with your repeated allegation that Barbara lied or deceived the public.  There was almost no discussion of AIM during the election by any candidate.  What I think is that you possibly voted for her and are now regretting it.

    Barbara makes a valid point – research has shown that we have students of all abilities both in AIM and in neighborhood programs and the District needs to focus on better identification of students who need and deserve GATE instruction.

  4. Don Shor

    The part that’s missing from these comments is what she led with: her questions about the total number of kids in GATE, then the total number in the district and her comment about how much time they were spending on this issue.

    1. DavisAnon

      Agreed, Don. She seemed genuinely surprised at how many kids were actually in the self-contained program at the last meeting, as though her assumption was that it was much larger than it is. That struck me as odd when her mind appeared to be firmly made up, but she didn’t expand any further on her thinking that I recall.

      1. wdf1

        DavisAnon: She seemed genuinely surprised at how many kids were actually in the self-contained program at the last meeting, as though her assumption was that it was much larger than it is.

        I’m not surprised at the confusion over AIM/GATE numbers.  I have seen at least three numbers referenced in board discussion and public comment.

        1)  total number of AIM/GATE identified students in the district, which will give the largest number of all (not every identified student ends up participating in self-contained AIM/GATE,

        2) total number of current students who are or have participated in self-contained AIM/GATE (high school students don’t have self-contained AIM/GATE, although they may have participated in earlier grades), and then

        3) number of students currently in the self-contained AIM/GATE program.

        And I think I’ve seen where these numbers also appear to be confused in the discussion.  It’s a little bit like confusing the demographic percentages of students who are GATE-identified vs. those who are actually participating.

        By the way, does any reader know the answer to the third figure, the number of students currently in the self contained AIM/GATE program?  Either the 2014-15 school year or the 2015-16 school year would be fine for me.  Thanks.

        A key number that I haven’t heard is how many AIM/GATE-identified students participate in whatever AIM/GATE program is offered at Emerson JH.

    2. lotaspark

      It definitely came across as though she was saying “we are wasting time with the minority of students instead of dealing with the majority”. Since when are minorities discounted in this way? Does she feel that way about all minorities?

  5. sos

    No matter where each board member stands on this issue, four of the five trustees agree the current admission process is unacceptable. The current cut-off for admission is an OLSAT score of 96, and 75% of the students identified fail to make that cut-off. The issue isn’t the size…the issue is what’s being done to achieve that size.

    1. Davis Progressive

      ” four of the five trustees agree the current admission process is unacceptable.”

      i think it’s actually five of the five.

      “The current cut-off for admission is an OLSAT score of 96, and 75% of the students identified fail to make that cut-off. The issue isn’t the size…the issue is what’s being done to achieve that size.”

      yes.  and as the vanguard has pointed out, there is no educational justification for moving the cut-off from 96 to 98.

        1. Don Shor

          The higher the number, the greater the likelihood that some students who would benefit from self-contained GATE will get missed. The lower the number, the greater the likelihood that a lot of students who don’t need self-contained GATE will be in there.
          The first case harms students. The second case wastes resources and possibly reduces the effectiveness of the self-contained program for those who need it. Somewhere in between you get the right balance, matching needs to students.
          The district needs to determine the best way to figure out which students really need self-contained GATE. They seem to think that a combination of testing and a review committee will do that.
          Unfortunately, when we talk about percentiles and cutoffs, we’re focusing on the numbers again. The numbers don’t determine the need. They’re just a starting point. And also unfortunately, it appears that this whole discussion at the board level IS driven by the numbers: they want to reduce the number of students in self-contained GATE. I have heard far too little discussion from the board members about how they plan to provide the best placement and resources to students who are highly gifted and underachieving. Differentiation is not the answer for that, especially not as it is being touted by the staff and board so far.

        2. sos

          Don is correct…the number is just the starting point. After the number, comes all of the additional parameters (far more than we currently have) to identify students whose needs can’t be met in the regular classroom. The higher number isn’t intended to shrink the program, it’s intended to remove the student who, to paraphrase Don’s words, “doesn’t need self contained GATE and possibly reduces the effectiveness for those who do need it”. The size of GATE will almost certainly be smaller, not because of a board agenda, but because the current program has become a mixed abilities program with many students who do not require a self contained classroom. The board is seeking differentiation for the regular classroom, not the self contained.

          1. Don Shor

            The board is seeking differentiation for the regular classroom, not the self contained.

            This is the core of the problem. The board is not doing anything with respect to differentiation that directly pertains to gifted students. In fact, it’s hard to tell if they are really doing anything significant with respect to differentiation at all. In the absence of cluster grouping, they are just shrinking the GATE program. So ultimately the proposal probably does more harm than good.

        3. sos

          I agree the district has not acceptably laid out plans for differention, but I do know it can be done as it was done very well in the past at NDE. But for the student who needs a self contained classroom, differentiation (or lack of it) isn’t the issue, but rather a very different learning style.

          1. Don Shor

            I agree the district has not acceptably laid out plans for differention, but I do know it can be done

            IMO, until it is described, implemented, piloted, and meets with parental acceptance, they should not raise the threshold for self-contained GATE. But that isn’t what the district staff is presenting. They, in fact, say that differentiation is not a program. They will not detail how any gifted student would be identified within a differentiated classroom, or even how it would be implemented as a “philosophy” across the district.
            They are positing differentiation as a practice to implement as they reduce the size of GATE, but we are not getting clarity and it seems they don’t intend to be clear. At this point, differentiation has nothing to do with GATE.
            This leads me to conclude that the staff proposal would be harmful to some students, and I don’t see how it would be beneficial to any students.

        4. sos

          If the current AIM program were a gifted program, retaining the program until other options were implemented might make sense. But it is a mixed abilities classroom as a result of “retesting”, very much mirroring the regular classroom. We currently have no gifted program (for either high achieving or under achieving), and as a result of retesting, we no longer have a true high acheivers program.

          1. Don Shor

            Mostly, and more so than the general population of students. It likely includes those who need self-contained GATE, as well as a fair number who don’t. I think, as I’ve said before, that San Diego’s program probably reflects that division pretty well and gives us some measure as to numbers with 6 – 13% of their students in self-contained GATE (seminar) and the remaining gifted-identified students clustered in differentiated programs (6 – 13% is in the schools closest to UCSD). That, of course, would be a far larger number than you would accept, given your previously stated criteria.

        5. sos

          NP IV,
          Actually, it is based on the facts. All the numbers…who is in the program, how they tested, how they retested, why they retested, how their scores compare to each other, how they compare to students not in the program…is all available to the public. The GATE program may have been a gifted program at one time, and it definitely was a high achiever program at one time, but the numbers make it very clear it is neither anymore.

      1. sos

        No criteria, no set number…statistical probabilities, but no set number. But you and I aren’t going to agree on this one…our AIM program is not serving gifted students, and that is why the board is doing what it is doing.

    2. hpierce

      Confused… 96 on OLSAT is not a percentile? 25% manage to be in the 96th percentile? Really?  Locally? Statewide? Nationwide? Worldwide, as far as ‘normalizing’?

      I assumed (apparently wrongly) that the percentile scoring was based on the DJUSD population.  There IS something wrong in Denmark…

        1. DavisAnon

          Something stinks, but it’s this proposal. The OLSAT is a nationally normed test based on large numbers of Anerican test takers. If you take it in Canada, it’s normed to the Canadian population. I believe the answer sheets are sent somewhere back east to the testing company for scoring and then results are mailed to the district. Perhaps you think the testing company has some agenda having to do with the AIM program in Davis, too? I’m  honestly tired of these people who are convinced they smell a conspiracy yet are ignorant of the myriad checks in the process to minimize that likelihood.   So many are in a rush to destroy a program they have  only superficial knowledge about and yet assume there must be implicit bias, and this approach includes certain members of the board and administration unfortunately as well.

          Why is Archer in such a rush to vote to cut a program by more than half as she deems it too big when  it was clear the other night she has no idea how many students are actually in it?

          The population in Davis has very little resemblance to the “real world”.  It is a highly educated, academically focused population, so  of course our scores look different than  those of neighboring communities. There are similar aberrations in other communities that have UC schools in them  as Don has mentioned before.

  6. fishtaco25

    AIM-GATE should be open to all or shuttered.  The superintendent and board saw the light when the program was sued for discriminatory practices three years ago and forced to move to a lottery system.  The superintendent and board see that a two-tiered AIM-GATE program is antiquated and unlawfully exclusive.

    In order to get to the right place with AIM-GATE, the superintendent and board had two options.  One, remove all IQ-based eligibility qualifications and open AIM-GATE to all.  This would cause all sorts of issues and would force a pause in the program, followed by its demise.  In the end this course would have been too disruptive.  Two, raise the eligibility requirements and eliminate paid one-on-one IQ testing as a means for admission.  By making the program more exclusive an up roar results and the AIM-GATE is exposed as AP 4th-8th grade that is not open to all.  The program shrinks and then ultimately they move to the differentiation model for elementary students and open AP/honors courses for 7th-8th grade.

    1. Don Shor

      AIM-GATE should be open to all or shuttered.

      That would make it a pointless program, and would be very harmful to those students who need self-contained gifted education.

      the superintendent and board had two options

      Actually they had a lot more than two options.

      1. fishtaco25

        How is it pointless to have an open program?  Why is it harmful for a “gifted” student to be in a regular classroom with less intelligent students?  Is it harmful for the average and above average students to in the same classroom as the low achieving slow disruptive kids?  Certainly we could use the OLSAT to further segregate 4-6th graders based on IQ.  Perhaps a 4 tiered system would be more appropriate.

        1. Don Shor

          The need for self-contained instruction, whether for all or part of the school day, is appropriate for students with a variety of issues. Nobody really questions the need for it for special education, disabilities such as visual and hearing impairment, etc. It may also be appropriate for students with ADHD, with emotional or behavioral issues, etc.
          Students who are academically gifted also can have difficulty functioning in the regular classroom, for a variety of reasons. If you have a significant disparity between test scores and academic performance, for example, there may be a specific disability that limits the ability to learn in a regular classroom. Students who are far ahead of their peers often become isolated, develop self-efficacy problems, and may seek to underperform, appear bored, or develop behavioral issues. When they are learning among their peers, they don’t have those problems.
          There is nothing new about ability grouping. Students who test high and achieve well can do well when grouped with their peers and taught in well-run differentiated classrooms. Students who test high and don’t achieve well don’t do well in those situations. They need self-contained GATE. It would take a really well-trained teacher to manage a class that ranges from special ed to highly gifted. It would take a very strong district commitment to differentiated instruction, smaller class sizes, and a lot of mandated training. They aren’t proposing that. So your statement might be true in theory, but not in practice.

          1. Don Shor

            Self-contained instruction is used for a lot of things, as I note, and does not pertain only to high IQ kids. OLSAT is a starting point; it is one of any number of tests that can be used. Other districts use other tests, and having a good GATE coordinator (Davis had one) or GATE committee is a second part of the process. Irvine and other districts have that, and it seems to be what the staff is proposing here.

        2. fishtaco25

          What other self contained DJUSD elementary programs use a multiple choice IQ exam (or any exam for that matter), for which there are test prep programs ($$$), to determine eligibility?

          1. Don Shor

            If your concern is with the testing method, then the committee should assuage your concerns. If you don’t think that any child needs self-contained GATE, then nothing will satisfy you. Which is it?

    2. wdf1

      fishtaco:  AIM-GATE should be open to all or shuttered. 

      It seems that there is a critical population of students that really need a self-contained program.  How are they accommodated in your vision?

  7. Anon

    I’m hoping to continue the dialogue. I think Susan’s idea about getting out there and talking to people who can’t make time to come to board meetings is a good idea. I’m all for continuing the discussion as we need to. That said, we’re on a timeline, we have kids who are taking the OLSAT in a week and we have to decide how we’re going to move forward. So that’s where I’m at.

    Based on this woman’s comments, it certainly isn’t clear to me (or probably anyone else) “where she’s at”!

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