My View: Will Anger and Discontent Pose a True Threat to the Parcel Tax?

Share:

school-stock-2

With the release of the final numbers of the AIM program, the reduction of the program to two classrooms, the possible return of the lottery, anger and discontent once again rose to the surface.

The numbers are startling – the program has been cut from 146 new students last year to 72 this year.  Blacks and Hispanic students represent nearly one-quarter of the total student population and yet just four of the 72 students in this year’s AIM class will be from those disadvantaged populations.

Adding fuel to the already smoldering fire is the fact that, with just 72 students, it seems the plan is for two classes, with 17 students going on a wait list with a to-be-determined lottery.

The Vanguard asked DJUSD Spokesperson Maria Clayton why there couldn’t be three classes of 24.  She told the Vanguard that, due to “natural attrition,” given those numbers, “there is no way to do three classrooms.”

Four of the five board members, while expressing some level of concern for the demographics, are willing to tweak some of the testing protocols, but are unwilling to revisit other key factors, especially the higher 98th percentile threshold.  Remember, this reduction has occurred while still using the 96th percentile as the threshold bench mark for qualification.

The frustration over the state of this program has once again brought the whispers back about mounting an opposition to the parcel tax.

For many, this is the third rail. Cutting or eliminating the parcel tax would mean slashing core programs in Davis.  Davis has, for reasons that remain somewhat baffling, a far lower state tax base than typical districts. While Davis has a growing Title 1 population, it remains below state average in terms of that population and therefore receives less money through LCAP than other neighboring districts.

“Many people will be surprised to know that (Davis), however, lags far behind the rest of states in funding public education. This means that we in Davis have to step up as a community which believes in education and which believes in our children, to support our state’s future and the future of our nation,” said Board President Madhavi Sunder.

Opposing the parcel tax because of the board’s actions on AIM would, in the view of many on the board, be cutting off their nose to spite their face. It would harm all students in the form of a vendetta.

One of those with that view is Madhavi Sunder, by far the strongest defender of the AIM program on the board.

She told the Vanguard, “As President of the School Board, I cannot count the number of times parents have told me that they moved to Davis because of one thing—our public schools.”

“Without the financial support from a parcel tax, our school system would decline, and so would our home values as people find cheaper options in all of our neighboring communities,” she said.

However, for others, the district increasingly is unaccountable.  The Nancy Peterson scandal has somewhat receded into the background as an unpleasant memory, however, the distrust in the district seems to be growing.

The parcel tax is about leverage to them.  The district can ill-afford to lose the funding stream.  And it remains far more vulnerable here than many believe.

From 2008 until 2012, the district was able to get five parcel tax votes to exceed the 2/3rd threshold.  However, they had a real close call in 2011 with Measure A.  Measure A passed by just 89 votes due to a series of stumbles by the district.

Help the Vanguard Raise $2000 this month, click the button above to see how

In September, our analysis shows the last three elections had alarmingly thin margins. Aside from Measure A, Measure C, in spring 2012, had a 972-vote margin while Measure E, in November 2012, had a 710-vote margin.

It doesn’t take a whole lot of people to switch their vote to change the dynamics.  It bears noting that none of those campaigns had anything resembling organized activities.  There were no precinct walks against the parcel tax.  There were no paid mailers.  The token opposition was a group of anti-tax people who have opposed every tax and whose arguments were not going to resonate in the population.

Still, the idea of risking the loss of millions in parcel tax monies that go to vital school programs, over the AIM program, does not sit well with a lot of people who are generally supporters of AIM.

The alternative, they say, is to change the leadership on the school board.  In the fall, Susan Lovenburg and Alan Fernandes will have their seats up for reelection.  Susan Lovenburg has been the strongest advocate for changing the AIM program.  It was her motion that set this all in motion last June.

Alan Fernandes, on the other hand, has been more moderate.  He supported the June motion but opposed the motion to terminate the contract of Deanne Quinn.

One of the strange oddities in Davis is that the people who end up getting elected to office often do not match the views of many who end up voting for them.  For reasons that are not altogether clear, it may be viewed as easier to oppose and defeat the parcel tax to send a message than it would be to find a candidate that could get elected to change the policy on the board level.

But anger seems to be spilling over.

An anonymous poster said back in November, “It’s increasingly difficult to find ways to go forward in good faith with this administration and this Board, and I am a longtime supporter of DJUSD and prior parcel taxes. I hear serious doubts expressed by many community members about supporting another parcel tax given the actions of this Board over the past year since they were elected.”

The poster continues, “It is difficult to trust them with more money when it’s been spent on strategic planning that is all but ignored a year later as well as costly and wasteful investigations, and to what purpose? Are we getting our money’s worth? Right now, I’d have to say we are not.”

The problem that the school board faces going forward is, how deep does this sentiment go? It is somewhat easy to dismiss the comment if you believe it is made by a small but vocal section of the population.

But let us bear in mind again that doesn’t take a huge tidal wave in most parcel tax elections to change the outcome.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

Share:

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.

Related posts

124 thoughts on “My View: Will Anger and Discontent Pose a True Threat to the Parcel Tax?”

  1. Barack Palin

    Blacks and Hispanic students represent nearly one-quarter of the total student population and yet just 4 of the 72 students in this year’s AIM class will be from those disadvantaged populations.

    I have a question for you.  Why do you assume that Blacks and Hispanics are disadvantaged populations in Davis?  Now if you had said that just 4 of the 72 come from disadvantaged low income families I could see your point.  You’re painting with a very broad brush.

      1. wdf1

        DG:  Good point, it’s entirely possibly that non of the 72 students qualified for AIM were from low income families.

        I have known of two families who qualified as low income and were in AIM/GATE.  In each case one of the parents was in a graduate program/professional program at UCD.  UCD is a magnet for a certain kind diverse population who enroll in our K-12 schools.  I still argue that a better indicator than income level in Davis is family education level.  The district records that information for each student.  I understand that about 10% of DJUSD students come from families where the highest education level is high school graduation or less.

        1. Frankly

          I still argue that a better indicator than income level in Davis is family education level.

          I agree with this, although I think there is a stronger correlation between education level and income level as we have taxed the crap out of private enterprise (including immigration) while converting to an information economy with a bloated and over-compensated government workforce.

          Little Johnny with his high school education used to be able to reach the upper middle class learning how to be a plumber and then eventually starting and growing his own plumbing contractor company.  And with his earned income, he could afford to give his kids a better education.

          But now days little Johnny cannot make a good enough income learning how to be a plumber because his wages are depressed from competition will so much cheap immigrant labor, and even if he could manage to scrape together enough savings to start his own business, the tax and regulatory climate has made it too costly.

          The point here is that education level and income level and becoming synonymous in our society.   The well-educated child from a poor family is the exception.  So, focusing on education level of the family as the advantage is good enough.

        2. wdf1

          Frankly:  But now days little Johnny cannot make a good enough income learning how to be a plumber because his wages are depressed from competition will so much cheap immigrant labor, and even if he could manage to scrape together enough savings to start his own business, the tax and regulatory climate has made it too costly.

          Based on the past couple of times we’ve paid a plumber to do work in our house, I question your example.  It made me think plumbing might be a worthwhile trade/profession.  But maybe you know plumbers that will work for less than what we paid.

        3. Frankly

          There are some plumbers and electricians and other workers in skilled trades that charge a higher rate, but much of the work that is contracted will be discounted because of the lower wage immigrant labor used.

          Basically the income that can be earned as not kept up with inflation because of the over-supply of lower-skilled labor that also adds to trade labor as these people gain skills.

          And then the cost of starting a small business has exceeded the rate of inflation due to tax and regulatory largess.

          I have a friend starting a small business.  He needs a steam boiler.  California requires it to be low nox in his area (Sacramento).  This doubles the cost of the boiler while making it less efficient (the regulations restrict the heat at which the boiler can run) which then requires my friend to have to purchase a larger boiler… which then means is paying 150% more than he would have to pay in other states.

          And the idiocy (from environmental wackos that tend to belong to a particular ideology that I will not mention) is that his larger boiler will just release more nox than it would have in the first place without the stupid-ass regulations.

          This list goes on and on and on.   More bone-head government regulations that drive up costs.  More wachos that restrict development and cause a shortage of properties that drive up cost.  More labor code regulations and taxes (and yes, the minimum wage hike is a tax on business… primarily small business) that drive up costs.

          And many of the people advocating for the things that drive up these costs, the things that cause wages to be depressed, and the things that protect the status quo crappy schools… all these things that keep little Johnny falling farther and farther behind… are the academically privileged demanding their little darlings get special treatment in segregated GATE/AIM.  Isn’t that rich!?

  2. zaqzaq

    Voting against the parcel tax is a signal that the public does not support the board’s performance.  Voting for the parcel tax sends the message that the public supports the board’s decisions and is willing to entrust them with properly allocating this tax revenue.  I simply decline to entrust individuals who blatantly lie to get elected with my tax dollars.  I have never stated that I would vote against any parcel tax until the board reversed it’s new policy on the AIM program.  Instead I would not support a parcel tax while Archer remained on the board.  I have the same feeling towards Adams but less evidence to back it up.  If Archer and Adams had run on reforming the AIM program and won I would not be taking this position.  But they did not do so instead deceiving the public as to their true intentions.  I will not be volunteering to give them any of my hard earned money to spend as I do not find them to be trustworthy.  As an aside I have historically voted for every city or school parcel tax to date and will be changing my position for the first time in two decades concerning the upcoming school parcel tax.

    1. Tia Will

      While voting against a parcel tax will indeed “send a signal” regarding disapproval of the current board, it will also send a much more impactful signal that the voters are willing to do measurable harm to the current students of Davis in order to send their primary signal. This might be a reasonable action if there were no alternative method for indicating dissatisfaction with board members. Fortunately there is such a mechanism. It is to vote the offending board members out of their position.

      Given the fact that we have the ability to remove board members whose actions we disapprove of, I see no need to penalize the students of Davis by effectively cutting educational funds.

    2. ryankelly

      So cutting programming, such as the 7th period at the Junior High level that enables students to take art/music and complete their foreign language requirement, and laying off teachers is a valid form of protest over Board action regarding the GATE program?

      The students that will suffer will be the disadvantaged.  Wealthy parents will pay for private music education, private instruction, hire tutors, etc. The students who don’t have those resources will just have to do without.  Maybe that’s the whole point.

      1. zaqzaq

        ryankelly,

        You sound bitter now.  I recall you taunting me here that had I done my research I should have known that Archer was concealing her true feelings about the AIM program.  I chose not to fund deceit.  Get over it.

  3. ryankelly

    David, The 72 number represents the number of students who requested placement in the self-contained GATE classroom after being identified as gifted, not the number identified.

    1. hpierce

      Thanks for the link… recommend reading it, for any poster on this topic.

      I found it illuminating, particularly with the success had by drawing high-achieving students in with the ‘gifted’ to make up a full class… apparently it demonstrably improved outcomes for both… my experience was partly self-contained, partly not… each and every school day.

      I believe that combination promoted my intellectional and social growth more than any other two years in my life.

      1. zaqzaq

        The district could find 12 high achievers to combine with the 17 AIM students to make a class but are opting not to do so.   They are making a choice to not serve those students and fail to meet these students needs.  Pathetic.

        1. hpierce

          Actually, I strongly agree with that [what you wrote] but there are many GATE/AIM ‘zealots’ who don’t want to even consider “integration”.  Many of the vocal ones demand self-contained.  There is an inherent problem with an “all-or-nothing” stance. [or, “my way or the highway”]

        2. zaqzaq

          hpierce,

          I disagree that supporters of the AIM program would oppose either admitting 95s, high achievers or a combination of both to fill a third AIM strand.  We can agree to disagree on that point.  We will never know because this board majority and district leadership will not do the logical thing and open a third strand.  The district will shrink self contained AIM by any means or excuse it can come up with.

        3. hpierce

          Then, zaqzaq… start a recall effort… I’ll be glad to sign for the recall of any, or all five of them… just, please, don’t whine about a situation that can be changed… they are not “leaders”… they all ran to impose their “wills” and/or “agendas” on others… no true “service” motives, in my opinion… not one.  The worst, in my opinion, is one who has an “L” in their name.

  4. Frankly

    We the Davis-advantaged (because we are already living here), don’t want any more people to live here… even though we claim we care deeply about housing costs for the disadvantaged.

    We the Davis-advantaged (because we are already have good jobs and/or enough wealth to live on), don’t want any more people to work here… even though we claim we care deeply about lack of jobs, income and wealth for the disadvantaged.

    We the Davis-advantaged (because we are already blessed with greater: education, income and academic capability), don’t support reforming the schools toward a model of adequate differentiation and away from GATE/AIM academic segregation… even though we claim we care deeply about the poor academic outcomes of the disadvantaged.

    I think this needs to be a billboard sign along I-80 for those passing by.

    Or maybe we can shorten it to say:

    Davis – The great little city filled with class hypocrites.

        1. Don Shor

          But it isn’t “the truth.” It’s just an offensive characterization of those of us who support self-contained GATE as the best option for some students. It is best, in my opinion, for students who benefit from gifted education to be taught by teachers who have special training in that, separately grouped — in clusters in differentiated classrooms in some cases, separately for much of the school day in other cases. That is better for those students as well as for the other students. Thus, in supporting self-contained GATE, I believe I am supporting better education for all students in the district.
          So I’m not a hypocrite for supporting self-contained GATE. You are free to disagree with my conclusions, but impugning my character for that disagreement is inappropriate and offensive.

        2. Frankly

          but impugning my character for that disagreement is inappropriate and offensive.

          Well, maybe yours is not the character I am impugning.  Read what I wrote again.

    1. Justice4All

      I find it ironic that Frankly doesnt call out the obvious hypocrisies of the right wing trolls on this page, but is willing to do the same to the NIMBY’s and simultaneously paint all of Davis as elitist jerks, as if the Davis community is some homogeneous collective without diversity of opinion or culture. That Frankly is ridiculous. While I will agree with some of the sentiment that on the surface, I certainly cannot condone its manner or much of its conclusions. Davis purports to be a progressive city, (in many ways it is) with that said, there are deep hypocrisies in some of the city’s policies, and even in citizens opinions. For instance, the Nishi project. We care about the incoming housing crisis, and how it will affect low income people looking to live in Davis, so we are going to build this great development that no one who isnt upper middle class can afford to live in, and we are going to exempt the developer from the affordable housing ordinance. While there may be some relief provided simply by increasing the number of available units to rent, this by no means will help those who are already rent impacted. Its some kind of cruel joke for working poor people in Davis.

       

       

    2. zaqzaq

      The supporters of differentiated instruction should have influenced district policy to actually try to create a working differentiated instruction in the Davis schools.  Had differentiation been properly introduced into the classrooms and proved that it works it could have reduced the demand for stand alone AIM classrooms.  Instead it was used as a means to attack the AIM program.  Now the AIM program being reduced to a smaller size.  It could go away altogether if there are less than 29 students eligible when the cutoff moves to 98.  Neither the board nor the district have moved to mandating differentiated instruction in the classroom instead they play lip service to it by making it voluntary.  Advocates of differentiated instruction should focus their energy on making it the standard in the neighborhood classrooms instead of attacking the AIM program.

  5. Don Shor

    It’s not the end of the world for the district if one particular parcel tax ballot measure goes down. They can just regroup, rewrite it, and put it up on the next ballot. No programs need to be cut. No students need to be harmed. It can send a simple message, and then they can <i>heed that message</i> and try again.

     

      1. Tia Will

        Or to put it another way, if we vote FOR the parcel tax, NOTHING WILL CHANGE.”

        I disagree that this is the best way to effect change. Change will occur when we change the members of the school board. Voting down any given parcel tax does not send a clear message. It sends the message that enough people did not want to pass that tax, not a clear message of what they are dissatisfied with.

        I will take an absurd example, since you all know my views about paying for what we want, but what if I were to decide tomorrow that I just don’t want to pay any more taxes, ever. Should my no vote on a parcel tax be interpreted as a “message” that I didn’t like the handling of AIM ?

        1. zaqzaq

          Adams and Archer are not up  for re-election for another two years so the most effective way to send a message is a no vote on the parcel tax.  Voting out Lovenburg would be a start as it would be nice to get another board member that has children in the district and put Lovenburg out to pasture.

        2. hpierce

          They can be up for re-election (as it were) in November… let me spell it out for you… “r-e-c-a-l-l”.  Actually not that hard to put them back on the ballot by November… if folk are so inclined…

        3. Napoleon Pig IV

          Recalling Lovenburg and Archer is a great idea. Unfortunately, it takes a lot of work and a lot of time. Voting against a parcel tax takes about five minutes.

          If the parcel tax fails, I don’t think there will be any doubt as to why.

        1. Tia Will

          so the most effective way to send a message is a no vote on the parcel tax.”

          maybe it’s time for taxpayers to start acting like activists for change and speak out by voting no on any new parcel tax.”

          And to hell with any collateral damage that may due to the current students !

    1. wdf1

      Don Shor:  It’s not the end of the world for the district if one particular parcel tax ballot measure goes down. They can just regroup, rewrite it, and put it up on the next ballot. No programs need to be cut. No students need to be harmed. It can send a simple message, and then they can heed that message and try again.

      I think this is speculative that it would work out the way you think.  Having worked on several school parcel tax campaigns and interacting with voters, there are always voters who are unhappy with the school district for one reason or another, and use that/those reason(s) to vote against a school parcel tax.  It could be the closing of school, the questionable actions of a superintendent, the firing of a popular athletic coach or other staff member, the perception that Davis students are already over-privileged, dissatisfaction with certain school board members, that teachers or administrators make too much money, or that the GATE/AIM program should be identifying more students, or some other issue.

      Before there were school parcel taxes beginning in 1984 in Davis, the equivalent funding mechanism that Davis voters considered were “tax overrides.”  In the 1970’s, two consecutive tax override votes failed (the threshold in those days was 50% +1), and the district went through a series of years of cutting the budget from the late 1970’s (even before Prop. 13) to 1984, when the first school parcel tax in Davis passed by a 2/3 margin or better.   From researching those days and talking to older residents, the reasons why the 1970’s tax overrides failed was a combination of a bunch issues, not unlike those I list above.  Granted times were different, but I begin to find that there is really not that much new in education policy.  School elections in the early 1970’s involved campaign issues not unfamiliar to 2016.

      My main point is that if it is the AIM/GATE contingent that succeeds in sending a message in November and defeats, then in the next election it will probably be another contingent that will feel confident to campaign against a school parcel tax redo to send a message.  IMO, the better strategy for someone unhappy with AIM/GATE policy is to run strong candidates who support a more favorable position.  It requires a lower threshold of votes to succeed than 2/3.

      1. hpierce

        Yeah, David is assisting setting up a possibility of Mutual Assured Destruction… OK… I’ll play… if the GATE/AIM folk want to threaten a parcel tax vote unless the program is expanded, I’ll work towards defeating one unless it’s eliminated… totally.  Permanently…

        And I believe in the value of having the right programs for all, be they gifted, high-achievers, ESL, average, ‘special needs’, etc.   But if the folk upset about the GATE/AIM decisions want to throw a “hissy-fit” and try to blackmail the district, fine.  To the mattresses.  What David suggests some might threaten to do, is in fact, bullying.

        And in my opinion perhaps for readership, “hits”, the VG appears to be egging things on… look at frequency of recent “reporting” on the topic…

          1. Don Shor

            Do you think the GATE program is better now that it’s smaller? Do you feel the gifted kids are getting their best placement?

        1. hpierce

          The topic Don, is not what the ideal GATE/AIM program is… the topic is whether the direction h district appears to be heading in will jeopardize a renewal of the DJUSD parcel tax measures…

          I don’t care if the the program is two strands or forty-two strands… AS LONG AS THE PROGRAM IS ADDRESSING NEEDS OF THE STUDENTS!!!  Not the egos of the parents.

          I am offended by what seems to be ‘blackmail’ by some to get “their way”.  That’s on-topic.

          I also firmly believe that some gifted students will not thrive without some self-contained elements… I also believe that some classes should contain other students who need to be more challenged in certain subject areas.  I also believe in differentiated instruction.

          I am fed up with those who bitch and moan about what they perceive as “cuts” to GATE/AIM, yet never seem to advocate for programs for those who ALSO learn differently… those on the OTHER end of the bell-curve.

          Using two “loaded” questions, back to back, is not a sign of someone who is likely to be interested in an honest discussion…

          1. Don Shor

            We have discussed the GATE program in great detail on the Vanguard. I wrote an op-ed outlining my positions. Suggesting that I don’t want an “honest discussion” is akin to Frankly telling those of us who support self-contained GATE that we are hypocrites.
            The program’s been cut in half. That’s not a “perception,” it’s a fact. I can assure you, if there was a proposal to cut Special Ed, or King or DSIS for that matter, by any amount I would certainly argue vigorously as well against it. Because such cuts would also be harmful to the students who need those programs.

            Sorry you think I’m not having an honest discussion. Sorry Frankly thinks I’m a hypocrite. I’m pretty fed up, too. Fed up with being called names. Fed up with school board candidates who didn’t make their positions clear when they ran. Fed up with the manner this decision came about and the obvious adverse results that have ensued. Fed up enough to advocate that voters reject one ballot measure to send a message to the school board. That’s not blackmail. It’s a response to a set of terrible decisions that are harming students.

        2. hpierce

          If you go back Don, and honestly go back to see the bulk of what I have written on GATE/AIM over the many threads, you will find that I strongly support GATE/AIM, but I do not believe that the way it has been ‘administered‘ the last 20 years.

          I’m sorry if someone who seems to think along the lines of the sacrosanct status of GATE/AIM the way it has been implemented, then pretends to apologize if someone doesn’t agree with them, [in a sarcastic manner] (and WOW, Frankly and I are both probably getting a big belly-laugh in the linkage… know I am), offends you, makes you feel I’m attacking either the program and/or you.

          You seem to read ~ 20% of my content in any given post, and ignore, not respond to the rest.  To prove my hypothesis, I’ll bet you don’t read, will not comment on my many posts of support… but will find any portion of my posts that you have a problem with.

          Am reminded of a phrase, “My country right or wrong” [or my GATE/AIM right or wrong].  The correct quote is, ““My country, right or wrong; if right, to be kept right; and if wrong, to be set right.”  

          I believe GATE/AIM has problems… I do not pretend to know the answers… the private, repeated testing, the concept that those accepted have to meet any sort of cross-racial/ethnic/religious/gender litmus test to be considered valid… I just can’t get there.

          As I said before (and, Don, you ignored) I could support 42 strands of GATE/AIM IF that was necessary to serve those who will not thrive without it.

          I am a product of these types of programs, and the parent of one who did.

          Yet, with all I am currently saying and have said on this issue, I genuinely believe you will perceive me as an ‘enemy’ of the program.  El wrongo…

        3. Frankly

          Don, this is what I wrote backing my claim of hypocrisy:

          don’t support reforming the schools toward a model of adequate differentiation and away from GATE/AIM academic segregation… even though we claim we care deeply about the poor academic outcomes of the disadvantaged.

          Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you previously supported the view of qualifying GATE/AIM students as having a learning disability for the regular classroom.

          Assuming I am correct here, then isn’t it logical and practical and acceptable that there would be fewer GATE/AIM-identified students?  And then wouldn’t it be logical, practical and acceptable to support reforms toward improvements in differentiation so that all the rest of the students get the best education possible in the regular classroom?

          If I am wrong and you are advocating a self-contained GATE/AIM program that also includes just those academically advanced kids (you know, those children of well-off, high-IQ… but often aloof… UCD professors, doctors and lawyers), then I would be interested in your views for what we do with the regular classroom.  It is possible that you don’t really care so much about the regular classroom, or you do and have some specific ideas for improving outcomes there as well has in the expanded GATE/AIM alternative you prefer.  If so then you certainly are no hypocrite on this topic.  Just wrong, IMO.

          1. Don Shor

            GATE is a form of differentiation. And, of course, good instructors also ‘differentiate’ further as they work to customize learning to each child’s needs. I know there are teachers who read these discussions and scratch their heads, saying ‘we already do that’ with respect to differentiated instruction. That’s not the point.
            Self-contained gifted instruction allows more effective use of resources. GATE teachers can do a better job with those students, and the teachers who have regular classrooms can do a better job with theirs. As I’ve said many times, many gifted-identified students can learn well in a regular classroom, but do better when they are grouped with their peers: cluster-grouping within a classroom, with curriculum and teaching customized to their level of skill and learning styles. But not all can do well in that situation.
            But that’s irrelevant here because the district didn’t implement cluster grouping, hasn’t mandated teacher training for differentiation, appears to be providing very limited oversight, and simply blazed ahead with the drastic reduction of self-contained GATE. So I will say that the status quo ante was better for the gifted kids than the current iteration. If they were committed to gifted instruction, they would have proceeded very differently. Making gifted instruction better was clearly not the board majority’s goal. Reducing the size of the program appears to have been the goal.
            Students in the regular classroom are probably only marginally affected by these changes, except insofar as some disruptive bright kids are now engaging their teachers more and occupying more of their time and energy. Having more bored bright kids in regular classrooms is not a desirable outcome for anyone.
            And the waiting list and lottery are evidence that some students are not being given their optimal placement as identified by the district itself, so in that respect the district is not doing its job and its trustees are failing in their most basic duty.

        4. hpierce

          Frankly… re:  your 5:52 post…

          Although Don apparently considers me an “unfriendly”, your comment,

          Correct me if I am wrong, but I think you previously supported the view of qualifying GATE/AIM students as having a learning disability for the regular classroom.

          is as “el wrongo” as Don’s attacks on my views are… all children learn in “different ways”… from true geniuses to those with severe cognitive ‘issues’.  Think “bell curve”…

          Do you judge all loans on a single set of “metrics”?  Am thinking not.

          “Gifted” children, if not supported in their learning styles, have the same/similar problems as those on the other end of the “curve” not being supported in theirs… and, sometimes tragically, similar outcomes.

          Have known a large number of ‘gifted/talented’… ‘breakdowns’, suicides, ‘acting out’ in violent ways, is not unknown… not common, but perhaps because they were not understood and/or supported.  I know of at least 5 of my cohorts (identified as ‘gifted’) and others who have had bad/tragic outcomes… although most around them, ‘bragged about them’… they had needs that were not met.

        5. Frankly

          hpierce – here is where I come down.

          I am an education socialist.  From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.  I believe that we have it all ass backwards… Bernie Sanders should be the Education Secretary.

          Instead, today with education we segregate, test, group, stigmatize, discriminate, separate, grade, reward, punish… and harm and even damage farm more kids than we optimally help develop to their maximum potential… and then most of the same people in this business turn around a scream bloody murder over the terrible outcomes and point finger of blame at everyone and everything else (conservatives, CEOs, capitalism, Bush, etc.) but themselves.

          The adults that run the K-12 education system are frankly mostly incapable idiots.  They come up with their own professional vocabulary and “science” that they can get certified on so nobody lacking their credentials can question their great wisdom (right) and then set about effing it all up.

          GATE/AIM, although maybe once correctly conceived as being needed for a very small percentage of a specific type of truly developmentally-disabled kids, has been co-opted by the academically privileged elites so that THEIR kids escape the trap of the crappy REGULAR classroom.  And as they have succeed in separating and segregating their little darlings they have and will care even LESS for the rest.

          Put all the kids except the truly developmentally disabled into the regular classroom and implement the “school of one” concept.  Make it the damn collective.  EVERY kid is unique and special and learns in a custom way and ALL kids need to end their K-12 education prepared for their next step toward an economically self-sufficient life.  The system should cater to each unique paying “customer” and stop this asinine segregation approach.

  6. Tia Will

    wdf1

    the better strategy for someone unhappy with AIM/GATE policy is to run strong candidates who support a more favorable position”

    Completely agree.

    1. zaqzaq

      Running strong candidates is one thing but supporting candidates that lie about their true positions is another.  Had Archer run a strong campaign on AIM reform as part of her platform my position on the parcel tax would be different.  Instead she lied about her true intentions concealing them from the voting public.  The deceit on her part (and I believe Adams did the same) is the reason for my no vote.  I will do everything I can to avoid giving her my money to spend as she sees fit as she cannot be trusted.  That is my position and the message I want to send.

      1. hpierce

        Have you considered seeing if folk want to mount a recall effort?  That is indeed, an option for one or more of the current board members… think it takes like 5% of the voters to sign petitions to force a recall election… Gray Davis was removed from office in that manner…

        Or the same 5% could vote against one or more of the parcel taxes, cancelling them… your choice. Choose well…

        1. Tia Will

          hpierce

          they are not “leaders”… they all ran to impose their “wills” and/or “agendas” on others”

          Honest questions for you. How do you differentiate between a “leader” and someone who  runs to “impose their will or agenda on others”. Do not all true leaders have a certain level of confidence that their own ideas are worth pursuing over the ideas of others ? Do not all leaders, at least in a representative democracy have to convince enough of the electorate that they have good ideas, or will be responsive to the good ideas of others, in order to get elected ?

        2. zaqzaq

          hpierce,

          I recently pulled my children out of the school district and put them into private school where these issues do not exist.  I believe a strong public school system is good for the community and property values.  I see the Davis public schools going downhill.  I have no incentive to initiate a recall vote or to support the liars currently on the board by voting for a property tax.  My first no vote in over two decades on a parcel tax (school or city).

  7. Robin W.

    I agree completely with Don and zaqzaq. I have voted for every school parcel tax over the past 22 years. I will not be voting for the next one because this Board has picked a single group of students to disadvantage by dismantling a highly successful and widely revered program needed by these students — and they did so for no reason other than the personal animosity of these Board members. Reputable experts have lauded this Davis program for decades. No money is being saved by dismantling this program. No students are being helped by dismantling this program. These uncaring adults should not be handed any more money with which to continue their personal self-serving agendas which were consciously and deceptively hidden during their election campaigns.

    1. hpierce

      OK… in a sign of solidarity, and as someone who has consistently voted for the parcel taxes as well, I join you in opposing ANY school parcel tax.  Ever.

      You win… [?]

      And, I’ve been in town about twice the time you’ve been voting on those measures…

      1. Misanthrop

        Really Pierce you want to play chicken like James Dean headed for a cliff? With kids in the system I would rather everyone climb down from the ledge. I don’t think a Quentin Tarantino style shoot out where everyone’s kids get it is the answer.

        I’m sad that its come to a point now where the only power people feel they have is to vote no on the parcel tax. The board majority has been determined to shrink the program even in the face of dogged opposition while never actually putting out a rational argument for what the program should be and who it should serve other than a 98% score on some test that is designed to identify who knows what and call it gifted. They talk about consensus but the only real consensus was to get rid of private testing, everything else was done by majority with Sunder only agreeing in order to preserve her ability to bring it back under board rules. Yet the majority has seized on this to argue that there is agreement. Now they have also managed to open the identity politics can of worms too by implementing a selection process that is more insular than ever.

        So just as I feared would happen we now have several people claiming they are going to vote no. (And Don Shor, recklessly claiming he is going to work against passage of the parcel tax.) I don’t think calling their frustration blackmail is helpful just as I don’t think accusing them of wanting to blow up the whole district, as one board member did from the dais, is productive.

        What might help would be reaching out and not taking such a hardline stance. The board majority chose a really bad time to gut the gate program thinking they could do it and then cow people into voting to renew the parcel taxes. Maybe they are correct in that calculation but I’m worried as we have seen several people here claim they supported parcel taxes in the past but will not this time. If the board members are wrong and the parcel tax fails there will be plenty of recriminations, but recriminations don’t pay the bills, so they are effectively useless.

        Pierce, tit for tat threats could end up killing many good programs in addition to gate. The history of getting parcel taxes through with the high bar of a 2/3 yes vote has been to get everyone on board to overcome the anti-tax crowd. It is time for the board majority to realize this means more than demanding that we all get along as the election looms and actually start doing things that cause people to get along and bring people back into the fold instead of continuing to alienate a small but significant slice of the community. It is my sincerest hope that everyone on all sides back down from all entrenched positions in the interest of the greater good.

        1. Don Shor

          (And Don Shor, recklessly claiming he is going to work against passage of the parcel tax.)

          Actually, in the face of the hostility GATE parents usually face, I’d just urge them to quietly vote against the parcel tax, and — if it fails — to donate the comparable sum to the extracurricular or enrichment programs that they value. Give the money where it will be used appropriately and effectively, until such time as there is a board majority that shows actual commitment to gifted education in Davis.

        2. hpierce

          Let those have ears, hear…

          I loved your cite, and said so… it affirmed my own experiences.

          I ‘over-reacted’ to those who were over-reacting.  To make a point, that seems to have either been clumsily made, or ignored due to zealotry.  Tongue was (somewhat angrily/perturbidly) in cheek.  Guess you’d have to know me.

           tit for tat threats could end up killing many good programs in addition to gate.

          My thought, exactly, hence my comments to those zealots for GATE/AIM who are threatening blackmail on a ballot measure.

           

          Pierce you want to play chicken like James Dean headed for a cliff?

          Not me, see David’s pieces, Don’s, zaqzaq’s and others’ comments… I didn’t start this fire (great song, BTW)… but, if they’re “playing chicken”, the poker buff in me is not beyond putting pressure on the accelerator… ya’ got to confront game-players, bullies, etc.

          its come to a point now where the only power people feel they have is to vote no on the parcel tax. 

          Untrue… twice tonight I’ve pointed out the “recall option”… use it, or don’t whine.

          “It is my sincerest hope that everyone on all sides back down from all entrenched positions in the interest of the greater good.” Actually, my goal as well, but may have been very clumsy in professing it… 

           

           

           

           

        3. hpierce

          Don… never once heard of a GATE parent facing hostility… I call BS, and do so as a former GATE parent… cite three examples, and I might reverse my call…

          I’d say City/UCD/County employees have personally had 10-100 times more hostility directed towards them as ANY GATE parent, unless, perhaps, they were going on and on about their child in GATE.

        4. Frankly

          My hostility toward a GATE parent would require that the children of that parent are perfectly capable to do well in the regular classroom, or would do well if that classroom was taught be a capable and well-trained teacher, but instead of pursuing that path, the parent instead demands that their child be put in a special and separate “gifted” classroom, and if the School Board does not make it happen, then that parent threatens to vote down school funding that would result in harming other kids.

          So my hostility toward that parent in this case would be based on a clear indication that he/she has no problem harming other children for the benefit of his/her own.

        5. hpierce

          BTW, why did you choose me, and not Robin as your “target”… fascinating… Don, Robin, David, and others broached that concept… I just piled on as a “cut off your nose to spite your face” irony.   You obviously didn’t read, or ‘selectively’ read my posts on this subject…

        6. zaqzaq

          hpierce,

          Opponents of AIM have called supporters “elitist” and “segregationist” which is a form of bullying.  I am sure you can find more than three instances where those terms have been used to describe AIM supporters.  I find the use of those terms offensive.

    2. iWitness

      We’re with you Robin, Don and zaqzaq.  We have voted lock-step for the school parcel taxes since the first one, because we know, as most flag wavers for hitting the Board with a tax revolt should, that if education is expensive, you’re welcome to try ignorance — and this is what the current Board has chosen.  “The shock” (“surprise” is  quite inadequate) is in DHS, but one of us (I’m not saying who) is over 65, so we can opt not to pay school taxes at all.  How does it benefit society to do that?  On the other hand, what gifted students get in regular classrooms doesn’t benefit society either.  But with our students in GATE as well as in earlier programs, we are sickened at the damage one person can do, squiring around a personal voting bloc in the last election (see the forever young photo that adorns the Education page when we open it — we thought it was irritating for a long time but it’s beginning to look a little, well, sarcastic).  Lovenburg has always wanted AIM just large enough to warehouse the irritating upstart misfits who can’t possibly survive in the regular classroom; with her cronies she’s turned everyone else’s students out of a landmark program that truly met their needs, not their parents’ needs (who needs kids in two elementary schools across town?) or egos (many of us actually, personally know what it offered our students).  Maybe for full inclusion each mainstreamed gifted child would do better with a full-time aide, picked from among all the under-employed Ph.D’s and ABD’s who grew up without GATE.  And hey, hpierce below, check  it out.  Sounds like you’re old enough to make the tax decision we won’t.

  8. Tia Will

    Robin W.

     because this Board has picked a single group of students to disadvantage by dismantling a highly successful and widely revered program needed by these students “

    So now, you are going to choose to “disadvantage” all Davis students because a favored program has been “disadvantaged” !

    1. zaqzaq

      Tia,

      I distinguish between the policy decision and the deceit by which it was attained.  I will not vote to provide my hard earned dollars to individuals like Archer who lie to achieve their position.  Had she run a campaign with a platform of AIM reform (size reduction or elimination) and won I would not be taking this position.  Voting for a parcel tax supports her unethical behavior where the ends justifies the means.  I will not do this.

      1. Tia Will

        zaqzaq

        Very interesting read and in many ways applicable to today’s situation at UCD.”

        I understand your position. I simple disagree with it since I find the collateral damage too high. While a parcel tax may be seen as supporting “her unethical behavior” it also serves to support the educational programs needed by children.

  9. DavisAnon

    Blackmail is not my intent in regard to parcel taxes, but I can understand why my posts may have come across that way. I have always strongly supported these parcel taxes, but I am very disappointed to see the way the Board is spending my hard-earned dollars. I do not want more negative outcomes for students due to the loss of funding (beyond those already created by the Board). The change that needs to happen is that the Board members responsible for these decisions need to go. Archer and Adams are not up for re-election for another two years, but Lovenburg will be up for re-election at the same time as the parcel tax.

    Susan Lovenburg was the architect of this plan from beginning to end. She stated many, many times that her goal was to decrease the size of GATE, and she made the proposal that decimated it. Now, despite the horrible demographic outcomes of this year’s screening, she refuses to even consider modification. She said her proposal would eliminate the lottery, yet now she is silent and allows the lottery to continue. (As an aside, Alan Fernandes, didn’t you also say the lottery should be eliminated and chastise those of us concerned about the effects of the AIM proposal by telling us there were “no significant changes” made to the program?!) Susan assured us that AIM-identified students would be given places in the AIM program, but despite cutting the program in half, there is still a long waitlist. 

    What does the record show for her years on the board? What has she accomplished other than destruction of valued district programs? She voted for Coach Crawford’s VSA to be revoked, and when the community complained, she told us all to just get over it and “move on.” Her tenure on the Board has seen the ‘dumbing down’ of education by shifting the focus to merely meeting standards rather than seeking to encourage each student learn to the best of their ability. This is especially inappropriate when so many of our students start the year having already met the state standards.

    This is not simply about the AIM program for me. If we make our children spend six hours at school five days a week, then each child deserves to have their needs as best as we possibly can given the resources we have. This is about waste and misdirection of public dollars. $60,000 spent on Strategic Planning? What a waste. What did we really get from that? That money should have been spent far more wisely. I am sick of watching administration FTE grow while a school with a large proportion of high need, low SES students (Montgomery) has to beg the Board for more resources. If the students are at MME, then the money that is given to DJUSD on behalf of those students should also rightfully go to MME. We should be spending on class size reduction and directly supporting our classrooms, not adding more administrative positions or paying for outside consultants to do the tasks we’re already paying our administrators salaries to do.

    The schools and students do need our parcel taxes, I absolutely agree. Now it is time for Lovenburg to “move on.” I urge others to consider voting ‘yes’ on the parcel tax, but ‘no’ on Lovenburg.

  10. sisterhood

    I’d prefer the school district to initiate new programs that actually prepare students who are not college bound with career skills that will allow them to make more than minimum wage for the rest of their lives, and therefore graduate high school with more self esteem and a sense of purpose.  Do a survey with the gpa 2.0 or lower students, ask them what are their post graduate plans. Perhaps that is a better indication of the success of the school.

    1. zaqzaq

      The proposed survey should also include what the school district could have done differently to better serve them.  What additional assistance or courses would better prepare them for entering the work force.  The district should have programs to prepare the college bound and non college bound for success upon graduation.

    2. MrsW

      I’ve been thinking about what DJUSD could do to help non-college bound teens and think I’ve come up with an idea that would help ALL of Davis’ teens: re-instate offering drivers education in high school.

      A drivers license provides 1) a way to get to work; 2) a way to get to Community College (free to high school students); and 3) a right-of-passage to adulthood, providing an identification card recognized by adults.  Since teens between the ages of 16 and 18 are required by law to have 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction and classroom training, it also costs about $350.00, per teen.

      At $350, of our friends, family, and acquaintances, about 1 in 3 teens is getting his/her license before his/her 18th birthday. In other words, a huge number of teens are limited to where they can look for work and in Davis, their job prospects are hurt because they are competing with college students for jobs they can walk or ride a bike to.

      I noticed an April 6, 2016, article crediting the program Every 15 Minutes with reducing Davis’ teen drunk driving accidents and deaths.  I wonder how much the reduction in numbers has been reduced by teens not driving at all.

  11. Napoleon Pig IV

    It’s quite logical that the parcel tax would be in jeopardy given how inept, non-transparent, and biased Roberson and his minions and Lovenburg and her minions have been in their mismanagement of DJUSD. Now that Roberson is thankfully gone, elimination of his like-minded lackeys would be a good start to rebuilding credibility. Perhaps the upcoming school board election will further dilute the influence of Lovenburg, Archer and Adams. If none of the above, then certainly the parcel tax is in trouble.

    Does that mean loss of the parcel tax is the best thing for the children of Davis and the quality of programs in DJUSD? No, it doesn’t. However, once the system fails badly enough, it is normal for it to lose support, even if that loss of support causes pain and suffering until a new system arises that is worthy of support. Such is life. It is what it is.

      1. Napoleon Pig IV

        It worked out pretty well for Kennedy and Kruschev and for Reagan and Gorbachev. Might as well give it a try – better than relying on the likes of Lovenburg and Archer to keep the world safe for education.

    1. wdf1

      One problem that I think AIM/GATE advocates have in order to be more successful in pushing back is being clearer about what they’re advocating for.  There are three main changes at issue that I can identify.  1) ending of private testing, 2) raising the OLSAT threshold score to 98, and 3) a different menu of alternatives to the OLSAT (TONI, Naglieri, HOPE scale) for targeted cases.

      So what’s to change, and why?  Bring back private testing?  Seems like Trustee Sunder was actually conceding that ending private testing was appropriate, so that is probably a unanimous decision.

      Lower the OLSAT to 96?  If so, why?

      Change the alternatives to the OLSAT?  If so, why?

      If the issue is that GATE/AIM should be available to more students, then how many more students?  Can we make GATE/AIM instruction the norm for every student?

      I have been critical of the use of standardized tests being used as a part of broad education policy (No Child Left Behind, now Common Core).  After watching the discussion of GATE/AIM here on the Vanguard, in public comment at school board meetings, and letters to the editor at the Enterprise, I’m inclined to extend my criticism to the use of standardized tests for AIM identification.  The only interest that is profiting from this discussion is Pearson Publishing and other standardized test publishing companies.

      I am certain that there are students who need GATE/AIM.  I don’t have answers to what the appropriate means of identification should be.  That’s why I make my comments.  But I think critics of the school board majority are probably on as much shaky ground as the board majority itself.  Saying that the GATE program should be larger or smaller is fine if there is a clearer answer as to why?  and what is it that identifies a GATE student.

      But this is my bigger concern that I don’t think I’ve articulated yet:

      I fear that it is likely that most or all GATE students come from families with college education or better.  A few years ago I knew of one GATE student whose parents didn’t have college education.  No one has asked to have that question answered before now.

      What does it mean if we find out that a very high percentage (say 98, 99, 100%) of GATE identified/GATE-enrolled students come from such families?  Does that mean then that those students are just born that way and it’s all genetic?  or if it is more of an environmental factor of an enriching environment that parents’ education brings, then is that a privileged environment?  If it is the second case, then shouldn’t our focus be on trying to help every student have such an enriching environment?

      I sort of hope that there is a healthy number of students who come from families with less than college education, because otherwise I think the conversation will become uglier than it already is.

      1. Don Shor

        Keep the 96% test threshold for OLSAT qualification, perhaps with the intent to increase it to 98% in 2 – 3 years.
        Establish the AIM Committee.
        Pilot the HOPE screening.
        Adopt the screening and re-test procedures for risk factors.
        Implement a referral process for teachers and parents, and an appeals process for parents.
        Establish true cluster-grouping for differentiated GATE at neighborhood schools. Offer that option to all students who are gifted-identified.
        Develop and implement gifted differentiation training for teachers who will have cluster-grouped gifted students in their classrooms.
        Expand seats available for self-contained GATE to meet demand if necessary. Abolish the lottery.

        — September 2015.

        If you’re going to use OLSAT, there is evidence that it underestimates students with learning disabilities. Thus if you use a lower test score, you are more likely to identify twice-exceptional (gifted + learning disability) students than you are with just a higher threshold. If everyone is allowed the lower threshold, you can then use other assessments to identify the learning disabled gifted students who would benefit from self-contained GATE. If anything, the starting score on OLSAT should actually be lower than 96%, and the followup testing should be geared to this problem — or the assessment team should have specialized training in learning disabilities and giftedness.
        See http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/tests_tell_us.htm and scroll down to Intelligence Tests. Based on that, the OLSAT score should be around 92% or so.
        96% is better than 98% for this reason.

        — Nov. 10 2015

        1. Don Shor

          The goal would be to use cluster-grouping, and carefully implemented and monitored differentiation training for teachers, in order to reduce the demand for self-contained GATE. That would require a clear commitment from the board for gifted instruction, and that the parents of gifted students trust the board and the district.

          1. Don Shor

            Really, what this comes down to is whether the goal is to make the Davis gifted-education program better, or just to make it smaller. They could have made it better, and reduced the size of the self-contained GATE program. But that would have taken time and commitment and resources. They chose not to do that. It seems that the goal was to reduce the size of the gifted program overall, as quickly as possible.
            A cynical observer might think that was primarily political: get the decision out of the way as early in the election cycle as possible, to reduce blowback. Time passes and everyone moves on. And the GATE parents are left with little recourse. So they can just quietly vote against the parcel tax renewal. If other parents ask about the harm to their favorite programs, the GATE parents might legitimately ask: where were you when our kids’ program was being dismantled?

          1. Don Shor

            Yes. Hence this:

            — September 2015.

            After the quoted text. It was what I wrote in September. I was responding to your comment that

            One problem that I think AIM/GATE advocates have in order to be more successful in pushing back is being clearer about what they’re advocating for.

            I think I’ve been very clear about what I’m advocating.

        2. wdf1

          Don Shor:  I think I’ve been very clear about what I’m advocating.

          I appreciate that.  You in particular are more articulate and grounded in your positions. But I don’t have that sense from others unhappy with the board majority, as seen in public comments and letters to the editor.

          But when you get to the point, “it’s subjective,” I think that indicates where political sides develop.

        3. wdf1

          Don Shor:  If other parents ask about the harm to their favorite programs, the GATE parents might legitimately ask: where were you when our kids’ program was being dismantled?

          I can appreciate this, but my issue is that I don’t know what is being defended.  I have seen students who clearly needed GATE, but then I think I am seeing GATE identified students who don’t look like they need it, that maybe they were identified as a “false positive.”

          One example is my daughter.  She was GATE identified in 3rd grade, but we decided to keep her where she was.  At the time I didn’t know GATE was as big a deal as it is.  She never went into the program all through her time in school, even when we asked her (in JH) if she wanted to be in a GATE class.  She graduated from DHS, from college, and turned out okay, I think.  The comments about the district causing harm to students by not letting them into GATE has given me a little pause because it seems to suggest that I ought to have put her in GATE, and maybe caused her harm because I didn’t.

          I don’t understand GATE identification.  An IQ test is supposed to test for these characteristics or these characteristics.  I’m supposed to understand that it just works somehow…

      2. Frankly

        Well done wdf1.

        I like how you walked the line of respect in providing a detailed explanation and challenge.

        However, my sense is that you will not be answered with the same level of thought and detailed explanation from those unhappy with the changes implemented by the School Board.  These folks have already grabbed their pitchforks and bull-horns and are on the march for their pound of flesh.

        I suppose all of us are pretty much married to what we believe is best for our children.

        Interesting because I think both my boys are gifted.  The regular classroom generally sucked for them except for some of their art and music classes.  Both of them tested as GATE-identified when they were little tykes, but then fell off the wagon… when they got crappy teachers.   And crappy teachers they did get… a lot of them.  We hired tutors and did our best, but the bottom line for our boys is that there wasn’t really any track that fit for them.  They muddled through.  It was going to lead to a big conflict with my wife and I because I wanted to rip the school and teachers a new rear-end, but she was working part-time, then stay at home mom and she was/is sweet and nice and did things to help the schools (for example she was the Jr. High band booster president at one point).  She knew a lot of the teachers personally and did not want to upset anyone.

        And she was intimidated by those school employees with their fancy vocabulary for the “business” of public education and their power to make life even more difficult for her kids.

        I think there are probably a lot of parents like her.

        The unfortunate thing was that our kids learned how to dislike education from their Davis schools experience.  It was a setback in their life launch that I will forever hold the education system responsible for it.  And this is probably why I am so adamant about differentiation.

        I think those parents with kids well-served by GATE as was would want it to stay that way.

        I think the parents with kids well-served by the regular classroom would want it to stay that way.

        My beef is that we are making these different tracks because the regular classroom sucks for a great number of students… but we are not making enough tracks to catch enough of them.  We are into turf battles over what is good or bad for our own kids.  It is understandable, but disappointing in its narrow selfish focus.

        Advocating for reforms that provide more variability of tracks within the regular classroom seems to me to be the best way to cover the most kids… and to do it in a more fair, standard and repeatable way.

        It is management/leadership 101.  If I treated/developed employees the way the school system treats/develops students, I would have a lot of pissed off and under performing employees… and probably some lawsuits for discrimination.

        1. Don Shor

          I like how you walked the line of respect in providing a detailed explanation and challenge.

          However, my sense is that you will not be answered with the same level of thought and detailed explanation from those unhappy with the changes implemented by the School Board.

          I answered wdf’s specific questions (the first part of wdf’s comments) with the greatest degree of specificity I could. The more open-ended questions about demographics and such, I don’t really have a simple answer for. I am actually kind of perplexed as to why people care so much about what the background of the parents is. Gifted kids need different curriculum and teaching techniques, and it doesn’t really matter — at least not to me — what their background is.
          I agree that education professionals are prone to jargon, and that it can take persistence to achieve the best placement for your children when they have problems. The overwhelming majority of teachers, counselors, and administrators that we dealt with were very professional and competent, but we did have to push to get changes.

        2. hpierce

          Gifted kids need different curriculum and teaching techniques, and it doesn’t really matter — at least not to me — what their background is.

          Tell that to those who see racial/ethnic discrimination.  I agree with you, but there are strident voices who will still see any result that does not ensure that racial/ethnic representation does not meet or EXCEED that of the racial/ethnic population, as “unacceptable”…  If the result is a TRUE assessment of NEED, and that means that racial/ethnic ‘minorities’ have higher %-ages, I truly have no problem with that… if it is a true assessment, and based on the learning needs of the students.  Same for economic/parental education metrics.

          It should be about the needs of the children…

        3. wdf1

          Don Shor:  I am actually kind of perplexed as to why people care so much about what the background of the parents is. Gifted kids need different curriculum and teaching techniques, and it doesn’t really matter — at least not to me — what their background is.

          Families with high school education or less have kids that show the strongest disparity in performance relative to those from families with college education.

          There was also a considerable difference between the scores of students who have a parent that attended graduate school, and students whose parents finished high school, but did not go on to college. Among students with a grad school-educated parent, 51 percent exceeded standards, 27 percent met standards, 15 percent nearly met standards, and seven percent did not meet standards in math.

          By contrast, among students with parents who only finished high school, only three percent exceeded standards, 17 percent met standards, 32 percent nearly met standards, and 48 percent did not meet standards for math. There was a similar split on English language arts scores between students with grad-school-educated parents and students with high-school-educated parents.
          source, Sept. 2015

          One model for closing the achievement gap is in an integrated student environment.  When higher needs students are segregated, then it is more often found that their performance doesn’t improve as much.  It (integrating students from different backgrounds) is part of the philosophy behind having a dual immersion program at Montgomery Elementary.

          1. Don Shor

            In all of our many conversations about GATE over months and months, I still cannot determine what your opinion is about the program itself or about the district’s actions. You talk all around it but never actually say what you think.

        4. wdf1

          In the last round of standardized tests (the first run through of the SBAC Common Core tests), referenced above at 1:49 p.m., Davis students from families with high school education or less met or exceeded standards at a lower rate than the California statewide average for the same education category. for example, source

        5. wdf1

          Don Shor:  In all of our many conversations about GATE over months and months, I still cannot determine what your opinion is about the program itself or about the district’s actions. You talk all around it but never actually say what you think.

          When Lovenburg’s original motion came out, I liked that it discussed options for serving AIM identified students in regular classrooms.  If successfully implemented, I think it would have the potential of serving more AIM-identified students in more flexible settings.  I’m waiting to see how that will play out.

          I think there should be a self-contained option.  I don’t have an opinion on how big or small it should be.

          But I am dismayed over the arguments about AIM-identification.  I have begun to recognize that AIM-identification is more subjective than I thought, which I think explains why the issue has gone on for decades in Davis, and which tells me that this issue will not resolve easily.

          I am interested in watching the community discussion to see how it plays out for better or for worse.  Hopefully for better.

          From what I can see as an outsider to the AIM community, I think parent advocate support for AIM could be more thoughtful and pro-active than what currently exists.  There used to be an organization called Friends of the Gifted and Talented that seemed to be a kind of school-connected community booster organization to support GATE interests.  Best I can tell it seemed to have fizzled in the 1990’s.  Perhaps the core group of its time moved on and it no one new stepped in.  I understand that this was the organization that initiated what became the Explorit Science Center and sponsored many other interesting activities.  I think it reflected well on the GATE program to sponsor and start up projects like that.

          I think such an organization, if it could be resurrected, could be the basis first, for doing outreach to try to see that as representative a demographic can participate in the AIM program, not just by race/ethnicity, but by income level, and especially family education level.  The purpose would be to build positive and constructive community energy.  One of the weaker positions to have is to appear like you’re only involved to help out your own kid.  While it is a primary responsibility of a parent to look after your own kid(s), a stronger position in community activism is to demonstrate that you’re working to help out other students, too, and especially those who have higher needs.

          I think there is an expectation that the school district has a responsibility automatically to act in the best interest of the AIM/GATE program, as AIM advocates understand it.  That might be wishful thinking.  I think this school administration tends to be to have a neutral stance when there are strong competing interests.  But on the other hand, I think the district staff is attracted to positive energy when it is put out there.  If there are negative vibes being put out, then the staff will draw away.

          I think AIM/GATE advocates will kill their cause in the long term by choosing to vote against the school parcel tax, for several reasons.  AIM/GATE families are not monolithic.  No group truly is.  I think the audacity of such a move will drive away some current AIM families who don’t agree, but also will make it less appealing for newer families (of future 4th graders) to participate.  But I don’t think the broader Davis community would perceive it well.

  12. Tia Will

    If other parents ask about the harm to their favorite programs, the GATE parents might legitimately ask: where were you when our kids’ program was being dismantled?”

    I would hate to think that anyone thinks that a reasonable strategy for school improvement includes deliberately pitting one set of parents against another equally concerned set of parents. Surely we can all agree that the goal should be the optimal education for each child ?  Can’t we ?

    1. Don Shor

      Surely we can all agree that the goal should be the optimal education for each child ? Can’t we ?

      Yes, and dismantling GATE does not achieve that. In fact, it is harming children.

      1. DavisAnon

        Absolutely. I do not understand the obsession with the size of the AIM program or any other program in this town. Why not just serve the needs of the students we have in the best ways possible and stop the bean counting?

        If the AIM, Montessori, neighborhood class, DaVinci, etc. capacity is too large for demand for the program, then shrink the number of classes, while if it is too small for the needs of students, then expand it or find additional methods to successfully educate these kids. I don’t care if you call every single classroom a gifted classroom, but you need to find a way to meet the educational needs of every child in there. With a random mix of students, that is likely to require some special approaches for some that are not in the best interest of others. Research and my personal experience favor cluster grouping by potential and ability, but some here seem to view that as segregationist and elitist. Is it elitist to want your child to learn something when they are required to spend almost their whole day at school? No one is arguing that gifted children should be hidden away. They just want their child to go through the struggles of learning like every other child and gain experience in how to manage challenges.

        Enough with the high level arguments over equity. I elected you to make sure that every child here has the best education we can give. These are children, who have but one chance to go through school and that will have to support them for the rest of their lives. They are not pawns for your social experiment. The lottery needs to be eliminated, and these children should be in AIM classrooms as their parents requested.

        The new “screening” and committee review process is bogus, not unexpected when it is cobbled together by people whose understanding of the complexities of giftedness is very minimal. Are you really going to tell me that only Asian kids are intellectually gifted? For a Board that said they didn’t want AIM to be a program for high achievers, it looks like that’s exactly what we have now thanks to Susan Lovenburg.

  13. Tia Will

    My argument is not anti Gate. My argument is against using the parcel taxes as a weapon in an adult battle that harms all the current students.

    1. Don Shor

      The reality is that I am actually quite persuasible on the issue of the parcel tax. But I really need to see some evidence that the more thoughtful members of the Davis school board understand the adverse impact of their decision, and will act to mitigate that. Otherwise it’s hard to see any other way to get their attention.
      A very simple first step: abandon the lottery and accommodate the students that have been identified and are on the waiting list. That would be a sign that they are concerned about the impact on individual students, and that they will bend a bit if necessary to make sure those kids aren’t affected by these changes.

  14. Tia Will

    A very simple first step: abandon the lottery and accommodate the students that have been identified and are on the waiting list.”

    With this I completely agree. It makes no sense at all to me to cut back a program and then still not provide adequate slots for the students who qualify by the stated criteria and who wish to enter.

  15. Frankly

    I think there is an argument to be made that all children are gifted at any defined point in time with respect to their personal growth and development owning some unique mix of capabilities and related learning needs.

    So how about this?… we make the entire Davis school district a giant GATE program and then everyone should be happy.

    1. Don Shor

      Rembrandt was gifted.

      What would the young Rembrandt’s experience have been if he had entered a school in the United States this year? Of course, it depends what school, but Rembrandt might have found a school that used to have a gifted program but has since mainstreamed all the gifted kids back into heterogeneous classes in a county that used to have thirteen specialists working in gifted education but now only has one, who is also halftime coordinator of system-wide faculty development. He may have entered the same class entered by everyone else who is his chronological age and have been assigned the same textbook exercises that everyone in the class was assigned, and if his extraordinary abilities were recognized, he might have been instructed to work in a cooperative group where he would have tutored other students.

      If young Mozart went to Rembrandt’s school as a second grader, having just completed writing his first concerto, would they let him take music? Or would they schedule him into some other “enrichment” class because all second graders “get” that class?

      And if he did get put into a music class, would he have to fill out the big-print worksheets on the names of the notes because it wouldn’t be fair for anyone to be treated special? Would Mozart have to sit in a circle and call out the names of the notes with his group? Would that be fair to Mozart?

      Fairness.

      http://giftedkids.about.com/od/Identification-of-Giftedness/fl/A-Response-to-the-All-Children-are-Gifted-Comment.htm

      1. wdf1

        Would Rembrandt or Mozart be GATE identified in DJUSD?  Would they be able to pass the OLSAT at 96% or 98%?

        I can get it that some students are as you describe.  DJUSD describes it thus:

        Certain characteristics are indicators of giftedness.  The most common myth—all gifted students are motivated and perform well in school—results in many students not being recognized for their potential.  Some indicators of giftedness include level of questioning, sensitivity to issues of morality and justice, understanding abstract ideas, making connections and establishing relationships between ideas beyond that of their age mates, having varied and multiple interests, demonstrating a sophisticated sense of humor, learning more quickly than their peers, being curious, having highly developed vocabulary, etc.  Adults in the lives of these children need to recognize that sometimes these behaviors are manifested at home and/or in school in a less than positive manner:  class clown, know-it-all, etc.…  Obviously, children are unique.  These are some of the more common characteristics used to identify giftedness. source

        How does the OLSAT identify this spectrum of characteristics?  or the TONI?  I wonder if there is an error factor in identification.

        1. Don Shor

          That’s why I think the OLSAT cutoff should be set lower and other tests and procedures should be used to identify the “twice-exceptional” (ed jargon, not my term) who are learning-disabled and gifted. Those kids, IMO, have just been removed from GATE by the current board’s decisions, and those kids are the ones most in need of self-contained GATE. Hence my statement that the board has done direct harm to current students.

          I would set OLSAT at 92%. But then the choices of other tests and screenings becomes important, and you just aren’t going to get it perfect. That’s why you phase it in, have various feedback mechanisms and appeals processes, and do it slowly. You make every effort to avoid doing harm to the twice-exceptional students. And the board made NO effort to avoid doing harm to them.
          You can debate the tests endlessly. You can paralyze the process trying to find the perfect mechanisms for identifying the students. Add to that the goal of having GATE classes somehow uniquely mirror the district’s ethnic profile, and you will never come to a decision. But the decision made by the Board was about the worst possible series of choices they could have made with respect to the actual needs of the kids.
          http://www.hoagiesgifted.org/tests_tell_us.htm

        2. wdf1

          Don Shor:  I would set OLSAT at 92%. 

          Why 92%?  Okay, I get it, we can debate threshold scores endlessly.  But somehow decades before now we went down a path of standardized tests for GATE identification, when maybe there’s a problem with it that should be explored.  GATE advocates I have heard seem to assume that standardized tests of some sort is the way to go to identify most GATE students. We defined what characteristics GATE students have, but functionally an AIM/GATE student is anyone who passes the OLSAT at whatever threshold score is set.  If a student scores within the threshold, does that mean that they authentically have the characteristics defined above?  Are there false positives?  I think false positives could do as much to undermine confidence in the program as not identifying students who should be GATE identified.

          1. David Greenwald Post author

            One question I would have is what would a 92 percent OLSAT only path look like – no retests, etc. (I’m not advocating it, but would be interested in what it would look like).

          2. Don Shor

            Widen the pool selected with OLSAT, then narrow it with other tests and procedures that, hopefully, help to identify those who most need self-contained GATE. Some of those procedures will necessarily be subjective.

        3. wdf1

          Don Shor:  Widen the pool selected with OLSAT, then narrow it with other tests and procedures that, hopefully, help to identify those who most need self-contained GATE.  Some of those procedures will necessarily be subjective.

          Any idea the scope of subjectivity?

          It would be nice to understand how these tests connect to the traits mentioned above.  Even with Deanne Quinn, whom GATE advocates seemed to approve of, she was using these same tests.  I think one issue with her had to do with having difficulty understanding how she was identifying GATE students relative to those traits.

  16. Greg Brucker

    This thread leaves me at a loss as a teacher and parent in this community.

    I see things like this as lessons for our children.

    What is being advocated for in David’s opinion piece and in many commenters’ anonymous posts is nothing less than a scorched earth policy that serves to only punish everyone (yes everyone) for something created by very very few. Those few can be removed from office if those who are angry so desire to go public with their personas and actually mount campaigns against those elected officials.

    But why punish the students (and many teachers in town who you know and likely really like) just because you didn’t get your way instead of voting in new board members?

    What kind of lesson does that teach our children? Does it teach them community responsibility? Does it teach them how to be more supportive of their peers? Does it teach them how to make positive steps in their own lives that can help benefit others? Does it teach them that they are supported by the community?

    I’d go as far as to suggest that every single person in this thread ready to vote down the parcel tax as a punishment doesn’t have children in the schools, because why would any parent want to punish their own child by taking away lots of really awesome opportunities that our schools provide? It is akin to: “If I can’t have what I want, then no one should have what they want.” Is that really the lesson you want to teach the children in this town? Is that the best way to instruct our newest generation on how to deal with tough issues that they may face?

    This is the exact opposite of everything we work so darn hard in the schools to teach the children about in learning to deal with things that don’t go their way. We teach and support positive ways to deal with our frustration and disappointment. We talk to the students about finding appropriate venues to deal with their frustration and anger, and we set up processes for them to learn about ways to deal with tough issues in a way that doesn’t affect others negatively for the sole purpose of simply doing so.

    I would hope to see that the intelligent, passionate, and good people that I know this community to be filled with stand up against that which punishes everyone for the act of very few, and instead find better, more constructive ways to deal with that which is seen as a bad decision by elected officials.

     

     

    1. zaqzaq

      So far six individuals in my neighborhood are now voting no on the parcel tax due to the conduct of this board.  They are fed up with the lack of ethics and the deceitful decision making process of the board.  Archer can always resign for the good of the school district but I doubt she will do so.  Hopefully someone will publicly call her on it.

    2. Don Shor

      Searching in vain for Greg’s acknowledgment of the harm the district has done to specific, individual students by their actions against GATE.
      If the parcel tax is voted down, not a single student or program has to be harmed. The district’s budget is Byzantine enough, and funds are fungible enough, that every program could be covered until they put another parcel tax on the next ballot. Nobody needs to be “punished” if they do their jobs.

    3. zaqzaq

      “What kind of lesson does that teach our children? Does it teach them community responsibility? Does it teach them how to be more supportive of their peers? Does it teach them how to make positive steps in their own lives that can help benefit others? Does it teach them that they are supported by the community?”

      It teaches them that elected leaders have an obligation to serve all of their constituents.  When they lie to achieve office and fail to serve all of their constituents then people will no longer support them.  It teaches the importance of building a consensus and building the public’s trust.  When elected leaders fail to do so individuals decide not to entrust them with their hard earned dollars.  Had the board only implemented a new testing process that eliminated private testing they would not have this problem.  Instead they raised the qualifying score from 96 to 98 with no justification for doing so.  They also failed to provide a classroom for the 17 students that cannot get in to an AIM classroom when there were viable alternatives.

      Maybe voting Lovenburg out will be sufficient to change the board dynamic.  Maybe voting her out and rejecting the parcel tax will send a bigger message.

      1. Tia Will

        zaqzaq

        It teaches them that elected leaders have an obligation to serve all of their constituents.”

        While this might be the lesson learned by a few politically or civically minded juniors and seniors, I believe it will totally be lost on any  student under high school age. However, the cuts to their curriculum will be felt by all for the civic edification of a few with this approach.

        But then again, it seems to me that those who favor this approach have already demonstrated that they are willing to harm the majority for the benefit of a favored minority unless they get their way.

        1. Don Shor

          If the parcel tax is voted down, not a single student or program has to be harmed. The district’s budget is Byzantine enough, and funds are fungible enough, that every program could be covered until they put another parcel tax on the next ballot. Nobody needs to be “punished” if they do their jobs.

        2. Barack Palin

          Secondly, since much of the State funding has been restored and we were sold that at least one of the parcel taxes was a temporary patch for that lost revenue why then can’t the district get by on one less parcel tax.

    4. Napoleon Pig IV

      Greg,

      Your comments sound good on quick reading but they ignore the reality that students are being harmed now by administrators and board members that cannot so easily and quickly be “removed from office.” The issue is not just GATE/AIM. The incompetent and dishonest way these “leaders” have dealt with parents over the last two to three years on this topic is indicative of how they treat education as a whole.

      There comes a time when changing a corrupt or disfunctional system requires getting outside the system. That also is an important lesson for our children to learn. There is a role for activism, demonstrations, and approaches that can be demeaned as “scorched earth” but aren’t really.

      Cutting off the flow of money to idiots is not a bad way to reduce the impact of idiocy. If a collective desire to minimize collateral damage speeds the removal of the cabal of idiots, then with the mission accomplished, the flow of funds can be restored. Strong medicine has side effects, but presumably is worth the risk.

    5. Frankly

      Here is what the school board has done in “harm”.

      Those well-educated parents know that the competition for choice college spots is extreme.  They know that their kids are going to have a better shot at a prosperous life if they manage to get into a prestigious school.  If the public schools would step up their game in advanced instruction, they would not need to spend as much time and money supplementing what their kids would otherwise get in the regular classroom.  They had discovered this GATE opportunity and took full advantage of it… and there were a lot of parents in Davis doing the same, because Davis is over-represented in well-educated parents.

      As the GATE-identified numbers grew to the point where it divided the student population into stigmatized academically-advantaged have and have-nots, the School Board had to take a new look at the actual original intent of the GATE program.  And the School Board got it right… that the program had been co-opted and morphed into a separate academic advancement facility for those well-educated parents… and not a program meant just for those children with a specific type of learning disability.

      But it would be good to acknowledge and recognize that anytime something is taken away from someone, no matter how righteous, they will feel harmed.  The lesson should be to never give away something inappropriately in the first place.  But, alas, here we are.

      I can certainly put my self in the shoes of a parent expecting his child or children to benefit from access to the GATE program, but now realizing the door has been shut on that advantage… and thus having to come up with a new strategy for how to improve their kids’ odds of landing a slot in a prestigious college… and coming to the realization that it will cost them more time and money.

      What I am hoping is that these well-educated parents shift to advocating for reforms in the regular classroom to GATE-ify the whole.

      Because, if we are going to talk about harm, the fact that so much of our city population of well-educated parents (many of them working in the business of education) would pursue a carveout of the regular classroom for their kids instead of being more involved in demanding improvements in the regular classroom… well there is some harm… and some shameful harm, IMO.

      1. The Pugilist

        “Those well-educated parents know that the competition for choice college spots is extreme. They know that their kids are going to have a better shot at a prosperous life if they manage to get into a prestigious school. If the public schools would step up their game in advanced instruction, they would not need to spend as much time and money supplementing what their kids would otherwise get in the regular classroom. They had discovered this GATE opportunity and took full advantage of it… and there were a lot of parents in Davis doing the same, because Davis is over-represented in well-educated parents.”

        I don’t believe this is a very accurate depiction.  Remember GATE is something that happens in elementary school – how is that going to help by itself get kids into more prestigious schools – unless of course, GATE helps students do better in schools, which would be a good thing – no?

        1. iWitness

           

          Fact is, you have forgotten that GATE exists and flourishes in junior high, too, except at Emerson.  At Holmes the GATE students enter a core program of three courses taken in tandem with math that is organized by level but is not GATE.   In all, four of seven periods are not GATE.  For those three GATE periods, they are just as mixed as in the four where they are in the not-GATE classes and get to know students in all the formerly four elementary schools that offered GATE.  It is genius and so well handled by the administration there.  It’s going to be a shame to lose it  in three years if we don’t do something to support it.  And we are always assured that at the high school the gifted can enjoy romping through the panoply of AP and Honors classes — provided they show evidence of being able to handle more than two Honors or AP classes at once, thanks to the PTA, who are so threatened by the idea that any students can take more than two.  As they will have to in college.   Yeah, we don’t want them getting used to taking two classes a semester or quarter.  That’s real money to most of us, but more important, that’s real GATE for those who are ready for it.

        2. wdf1

          iWitness:  Fact is, you have forgotten that GATE exists and flourishes in junior high, too, except at Emerson.

          Emerson staff like to point out that they have a GATE program, just not the same kind of self-contained model as at the other junior high sites.

  17. DavisAnon

    It is akin to: “If I can’t have what I want, then no one should have what they want.” Is that really the lesson you want to teach the children in this town? Is that the best way to instruct our newest generation on how to deal with tough issues that they may face?

    With all due respect to Mr. Brucker, isn’t this exactly what many of those in anti-AIM contingent have done? Because their child wasn’t in the program, they wanted to ensure that no one else’s could be either?

    I support music programs in Davis wholeheartedly. In fact, when Mr. Brucker’s job was in jeopardy during the budget crisis, many AIM parents including myself, worked tirelessly to save the elementary and junior high strings program and his job. There is a very large contingent of AIM-identified students in the strings program. While obviously everyone is entitled their own opinions, it is troubling to many AIM parents to see Mr. Brucker’s outspoken opposition to the AIM program. I do not want to make this personal in any way, and I fully respect Greg’s right to speak on this issue. I thank him for his hard work teaching our children every day and showing them the many rich but intangible rewards that music and being a musician bring to our lives.

    This discussion is an example of how we continue to pit groups of students and programs  against each other. Why not let them peacefully coexist? The strings programs are far more costly than AIM, and my guess is they may both serve roughly the same number of students, but neither of these statistics can speak to the value that children and families find in each of these programs every single day. Both of these make learning worthwhile for our children, and both may be the reason our kids stay in school rather than becoming disengaged. Both give our children a much-needed social connection to school and a peer group where they can hopefully find a friend they can connect with.

    I would gladly fight for every program in our community that serves students well in a cost-effective manner (and have done so in the past), but unfortunately, every time I turn around, the AIM program that has been a lifeline for my family is under fire again. I don’t want to hurt anyone else’s child, so why do people in this community feel so justified in trying to hurt mine? Why can’t we just respect that other people have different needs than we do?

     

    1. Greg Brucker

      . While obviously everyone is entitled their own opinions, it is troubling to many AIM parents to see Mr. Brucker’s outspoken opposition to the AIM program

       

      DavisAnon,

      Thanks for your kind words and support. But no where have I ever come out or stated opposition to the GATE/AIM program, so please don’t misrepresent my thought and beliefs. I’m all for AIM and every program in our schools, seeing great value in all of them. I teach many AIM and non-AIM students and see them and their needs as all worthwhile. But this fight is not my fight on either side. I again see the value of all of our programs and have nothing but work to suport all of our children’s needs.

      I have publicly stayed out of the discussion about how AIM should work in our schools, as I see and understand the legitimate concerns on both ends.

      I have only spoken out against the hateful rhetoric of past and threatening rhetoric of current, such as the current display in this thread. Both sides have fallen into those traps.

      I respectfully ask you to please not conflate what I think about the GATE/AIM program with my speaking out against hateful rhetoric and threats made toward all of our students.

      Respectfully,

      Greg

       

       

      1. Barack Palin

        my speaking out against hateful rhetoric and threats made toward all of our students.

        Can you cite the “hateful rhetoric”, as you put it, and threats made toward all of our students?

         

  18. MrsW

    This discussion is an example of how we continue to pit groups of students and programs  against each other. Why not let them peacefully coexist?

    Integrated Public Schools are they only arrangement that has made a dent in the achievement gap.  It also created a society that breeds fewer terrorists than other Western cultures that have emphasized coexistence over interaction. I wish the AIM community had historically used, and would now use, some of their energy to build bridges over the divisions.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for