School Board Weekly Question 6: The AIM Program


School Board Stock

Every week until the election, we will have a question for the DJUSD School Board Candidates.  We have a word limit of roughly 350.

Please also see the Vanguard Candidate’s forum from Sunday, September 18.

Question 1: What do you consider the most serious or most pressing challenge faced by the school district and, if elected, how will you approach it?

Question 2: In what ways would you seek to make the district more competitive for recruiting new teachers and how would you attempt to get more diversity in the teaching applicant pool?

Question 3: Go to the District Dollars page:  Do the survey with the values you have and take a screen shot and send it to me.

Question 4: For the most part the classroom of today could be plopped into a classroom of 100 years ago. How can we build the classroom of tomorrow – discuss how to incorporate technology and innovative learning like STEM in your answer?

Question 5: How can the district bring restorative policies into discipline for students and conflict resolution for faculty, staff and the public?

Question 6: What do you view as the purpose of the AIM program – who should be in it and what size should it be?


Susan Lovenburg

As a trustee of the Davis School Board, I have expressed my interest in better focusing the AIM self-contained program on meeting the needs of truly gifted students, at the same time we are leading a movement to better differentiate instruction for all students.  It is my deeply held belief that we will only close the achievement/opportunity gap when we hold high expectations for every child in the Davis Joint Unified School District, and challenge each to be the very best they can be.

As we continue the AIM self-contained program, assessment protocols must be fair and transparent, and all students who qualify should be offered placement in the program.  Beyond that, I have no “right” size in mind, though I believe it is important to balance all district programs – Montessori, Da Vinci, Spanish Immersion, Dual Immersion, Neighborhood and AIM – so that each one remains a strong, viable learning option for students.

I welcome the Office of Civil Rights finding that the district’s current AIM assessment protocol does not discriminate against any group of students, at the same time I am not satisfied we have made all the progress that we can.   As we look to continually improve programs and practices, I depend upon the recommendation of professional educators to inform my decisions.  I am open to what works best to meet the community and board goals of closing the achievement/opportunity gap and providing outstanding programs for all students.

Jose Granda
Jose Granda

Jose Granda

My view can be summarized in opportunity and fairness to the students. AIM is there to provide opportunities to develop young minds and help students to achieve their full potential. There is no question a program like AIM is necessary to provide opportunities to talented students. Due to my work with NASA, I have had the opportunity to talk to several astronauts. These are people who from an early age showed special abilities and skills. Every single one of them told me their motivation started around the age of 10. If that is the case we are thinking correctly to have a program like AIM. I would suggest that instead of testing there will be a period let say six months to an academic year sort of like a Pre-AIM program in order to discover whether a child feels comfortable and can perform at an advanced level. This way every student can have an opportunity to try it and if they perform well go on. This method also will serve as the measure of interest and demand which ultimately determines the size of the program.

I am in agreement with my colleague Bob Poppenga in promoting the AIM program. If elected I will support it and expand it as much as possible. Each child deserves the opportunity to try it. My colleagues Susan Lovenburg and Alan Fernades will have a hard time justifying what they did with the AIM program. There is now a complaint before the Office of Civil rights about the admission to the AIM program. This needs to be resolved rather quickly.

I believe in equality and opportunity for everyone. A test which requires a 98% percentile is unfair to underrepresented and disabled students and has no place in the policy of a School Board We need to provide the opportunity to every child whose parents as decision makers in consultation with their teachers decide to avail themselves of an opportunity such as AIM.

Poppenga-updated-hsBob Poppenga

I believe in an effective and fair AIM program.  Such programs are important for a subset of children in order to meet their unique learning needs, just like other programs are important to meet the unique needs of other groups of children.  Frankly, I have been dismayed at the misinformation about our AIM program that has been used to justify dramatic changes to the program over the last several years.  The lack of transparency in and communication about the processes followed in making the changes should alarm any parent, irrespective of personal views about the program.

In my view, it is the children for whom AIM programs were originally designed who have been largely ignored.  I believe that one has to start with the intellectual and emotional characteristics of these children.  The California Association of the Gifted (CAG) has an evidence-based position paper describing these characteristics (   Examples include high levels of abstract thought, early development of idealism and a sense of justice, and high energy, alertness, and eagerness that might be misdiagnosed as a hyperactivity disorder.  If there is no agreement on which children can benefit from AIM programs, then it is impossible to move forward.  CAG goes on to state that “achievement tends to be higher and self-efficacy and self-esteem more healthy when parents and educators understand these characteristics and provide appropriate environments” for learning.

Next, appropriate tools need to be used to identify eligible children.  There is no single test available that can do this and particular care must be taken to use assessment tools that identify students with certain risk factors (e.g., English language learners or low socioeconomic status).  The District obviously failed in this regard since the number of Latino and African American students identified through last year’s testing plummeted.   The elimination (or strict control) of private testing is justified as long as there is solid evidence that the District can do the job.  Unfortunately, after the recent testing errors, such evidence is sorely lacking.  All identified children and their families wishing to participate in the AIM program should be placed.  A lottery to pick children for a limited number of slots ignores their unique learning needs.  Of course, if parents wish to opt out they have the right to do so.

I believe that the District moved too fast and changed too many variables to be able to understand the impacts that the changes will have over time.  Changes should have been more incremental (i.e., limit the use of private testing or pilot effectiveness of alternative identification tools first) to make sure that the program was being improved and not harmed.  As a corollary to the AIM debate, we need to make sure that we have appropriate educational options for all students, including high achieving students.  Too many children in our District don’t feel adequately challenged.  I believe that we should investigate the feasibility of an academically rigorous option, such as an International Baccalaureate (IB) program, that would be open to any student wishing to participate.  Many districts in the region already have IB programs.

An AIM program is one tool in the toolbox to help meet the diverse learning needs of our children.  Our District has a ways to go to ensure that an effective, fair, and student-focused program is in place.

Alan Fernandes
Alan Fernandes

Alan Fernandes

The purpose of the AIM Program has its origins in state law as a program for students that scored in the 98th percentile or above on standardized intellectual ability tests.  Since being established in the 1960s, districts have been given flexibility to customize a program that best suits the needs of the community.  (Source: CDE website)

Here in Davis, the AIM program’s purpose is contained in the master plan which provides that the purpose of the program is to provide a quality educational program for students with a specific learning style in order to develop their knowledge, skills, and abilities.  According to the current plan, the district’s AIM program is essentially intended to serve two categories of students:  (1) students with high potential in the areas of abstract thinking and reasoning ability as applied to school learning situations; and (2) students with the ability and desire for acceleration of certain course material. (Source: DJUSD Master Plan)

The size of the program should be equal to the number of students who match the learning styles referenced above.  I support the changes our Board made to the AIM program regarding the size of the program.  However, we must monitor these changes and be open to modifying the implementation to serve the best interests of all students.  The Board made a unanimous decision to change the assessment threshold of AIM-identified students, based on input from professors from the UCD School of Education, and other experts.

I had a different approach to the initial implementation of the new assessment requirements that would have allowed for three AIM classrooms, one class which would have been a blended class of AIM and non-AIM students, and would have focused on ensuring the students served more closely matched the diversity of our district.  Ultimately, the decision was made to reduce the class offerings to two.  Fortunately, all AIM-identified students were offered placement in the program and thus, the decision of the Board was appropriate for the first year of implementation.


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Disclaimer: the views expressed by guest writers are strictly those of the author and may not reflect the views of the Vanguard, its editor, or its editorial board.

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47 thoughts on “School Board Weekly Question 6: The AIM Program”

  1. JosephBiello

    Mr Fernendes  I really commended you for trying hard last spring to fix the problem that the district created in AIM, but the way you conclude your comments in this piece misrepresents what happened in an important way.

    To remind readers, that problem was simple – 3rd graders who met the testing threshold of 96 percentile received a letter telling them that they were to be placed in one of 3 AIM classrooms, Willett, North Davis or Pioneer.   At the information night, we were told the same thing – 3 classrooms,  “please just order your preference”.   Then the board decided that the numbers of students who requested placement – 66 – did not merit 3 classrooms and that one would be eliminated.

    The counter argument AIM parents gave to the board was (a) since you told us there would be 3 classrooms, just make 3 classrooms.  (b) since the criteria changed a lot from last year, simply open up the classrooms to other kids who didn’t get the 96 percentile, but would have liked to be there anyway  – you just had to find 9 more kids to be there (c) everyone acknowledges that testing isn’t perfect, so let’s be flexible this year.

    Sunder and Fernandes  tried to implement this solution –  I believe they see their role as representing the best interests of children, as those interests are expressed through the kids themselves and their parents.   HOWEVER, Lovenburg, Archer and Adams  would not even consider this solution and voted to eliminate the North Davis 4th Grade AIM class.    The most centrally located school in town had its AIM class eliminated.

    While they do not admit it explicitly, this 3 person board majority simply wants to see AIM gone from the district at all costs.  “Starve the beast” as they say.  Make the program seem so problematic that nobody will ever want to deal with it, and Lovenburg/Archer/Adams can be rid of it.

    After creating a process who’s rules changed in the middle of implementation, and then eliminating the most convenient classroom for the most children,  parents of AIM placed kids  decided to withdraw their kids from the AIM program.  Enough kids dropped out that there were spots for all the remaining kids.

    I’m sorry, this does not constitute “placing everyone who wanted to be placed”.  If you build a barrier and then make it higher and then people turn away from it, you don’t get to say “everyone who wanted to climb that barrier did so.

    Mr. Fernandes, you tried to do the right thing (as you allude to in your response above), but the right thing was not done by the board.   Don’t go back and claim that the board did its oversight job properly when so many affected families came out of that process confused and frustrated.  Don’t stand up for your board ally Ms. Lovenburg when you know her solution was simply to disregard her constituency.

    And then I ask Mr. Fernandes and Ms. Lovenburg,  why is it that in this current year the district had such disregard for the children that they botched the administration of the OLSAT test in TWELVE 3rd grade classrooms?     As overseers of the district, do the incumbents have any plans to hold someone accountable?

    A self contained AIM program is completely viable in Davis.  It only cost the district  a 40% employee  – an employee that has been replaced with a 100% employee who will be overseeing “differentiated teaching strategies”.  These strategies, while they may be admirable, are universally acknowledged as being extremely hard to implement successfully (please think about how hard it is to teach a classroom full of kids with wildly different ability levels while bringing them all up to their full potential).

    We can have AIM, Montessori, Spanish Immersion, Dual Spanish/English and other programs in this district.    A university town such as ours should be encouraging innovative strategies and recognizing that kids who have a wide variety of optimal learning strategies should be served with a wide variety of teaching strategies.

      1. JosephBiello

        Hi Ryan,  I don’t understand your comment?  Tracking?  I don’t know tracking.    I don’t think Spanish Immersion is tracking – I support that.  I support DaVinci.    I also support having technical training in the schools (and am strongly in favor of encouraging our society to consider more technical training instead of more university options).

        Ultimately, as an educator I believe that it is important that children are enamored with school.  I don’t believe that there is a one size fits all approach to this.   There are as many ways to find intellectual stimulation as there are ways to find one’s soul mate.

        I want you to know that this “AIM thing” was thrust upon me.  I had a kid who was bored in school and the prospect of having more challenges seemed beneficial.






        1. JosephBiello

          I was given the opportunity to have an enrichment program as a kid and it was awesome – FOR ME.   I know there are kids in the district who are bored in school and I just want the district to offer them opportunities that are awesome – FOR THEM.

          I’ll add that I’ve been teaching at the university level for 15 years.  As a young person, I taught math at the community college in their disabled student’s program.  There is nothing I love more than to watch kids enjoy what they do – to learn something that fascinates them.  There is nothing that breaks my heart more than to see kids who must go through the grind of school – be bored or do “make work” for no reason.

          I’m advocating for a school system that understands that when kids are bored in school, we are wasting everyone’s time.  I’m advocating for the notion that it is easier to teach kids when they have similar ability and skill levels.
          And, I’m trying to point out that the City of Davis should have a vision of itself which is GLOBAL not regional.

          And in the end, it doesn’t matter to my kids what DJUSD decides – they are through this process already.  It’s the kids coming through behind my kids who will not have the benefits mine do.


        2. ryankelly

          The old AIM program tracked 1/3 of our students into stand-alone classrooms, separated from the rest of their peers.  I don’t know why boredom is such an evil that needs to be avoided by creating a whole separate educational system so students can be constantly entertained.  Instead of solving the lack of differentiated instruction in 3rd grade classrooms in the District, parents used the GATE program to attempt to create a private school environment for their children.  This is called tracking – one group of students are tracked into a program and others remain behind, based on the results of a test.  Spanish Immersion is not tracking, nor is DaVinci.  If you believe that AIM should be just another similar program to these, then you cannot also limit admission by a test, or recommendation, or other factor.  It would have to take all children on a first come, first serve policy or through a lottery of all applicants.  This would not be a GATE program and true GATE identified children would need a separate educational setting to meet their needs.

        3. JosephBiello


          See, this is what happens – everyone talks about the “old GATE program” you know, the one that doesn’t exist anymore.   That’s one of the reasons that Ms. Lovenburg should not be on the board any longer – she is too connected with old disputes that have no basis in current reality.

          What’s happened is that by polarizing this AIM issue, there is no discussion of where it can benefit students.  The board did 2 things, remove outside testing  and then raise the threshold for admission.  Together these have devastating effects on a program that could have existed with simple tweaking.

          I think there is a fair discussion to be had about re-evaluating metrics for entering the program.  We have metrics for other services (such as reading and math assistance) to say that this program must exist without any metrics is a little extreme.

          My point about the other programs is that I’m not into “tracking” as an idea.  I’m interested in making sure kids like to be in school.


          You choose to express the idea  “remain behind” for the kids who don’t do AIM.   I think this betrays an error in people’s perception of education – i.e. that it is some sort of race and that if the public system gives an option to one child, they are hamstringing others.    As an educator, I argue that this is a completely false notion of education.   I can provide a much more enriching environment to my students if they are of a similar ability level – this is even more true for the students who are struggling.    I state this by fiat because I cannot go through proving this to you – but prove it to yourself by trying to teach a kid who can write well versus one who cannot the elements of the scientific method.  Talk to your teacher friends (I’ve talked to many who supported differentiation in the classroom until you start asking them about it and you realize that it doesn’t actually happen).


          Now, regarding this “boredom” idea.  I’m a big fan of boredom for kids.  Boredom can be channeled into creativity and self sufficiency.

          However, boredom when you are stuck within an institution creates resentment of that institution.   (Remember Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”?!!) .

          So as you see, there is room for honest discussion of how best to serve children who are bored in class… .I think there are a lot more of them than we’ve identified.  The 30% GATE identification is a thing of the past (way before I had kids in the system) – but there can be a better middle ground.


          You guys (i.e. Ryan and Ms. Lovenburg and Ms. Archer and Mr. Adams) are simply wrong – but you are also not moveable.  That’s a small problem on an internet forum, but it is a much greater problem when it comes from an elected body such as the school board.








      2. DavisAnon

        No, it sounds to me that Joe expects to be able to trust the district at its word.

        Last year, hundreds of these parents were lied to to and given the run around. It sounds like the incompetence and subterfuge has already started again this year. Very frustrating – these people are supposed to be serving the public.

          1. Don Shor

            Your relentless opposition to gifted education has been demonstrated on the Vanguard over many months, and continues today.

        1. ryankelly

          I am not opposed to gifted education.  That is a misrepresentation, Don.  I am opposed to 1/3 of our students tracked into AIM.  I am opposed to the tutoring and expense that families needed to provide to help their students keep up with the curriculum.  I am opposed to the failure to move students back into regular classrooms, even when it was clear that the student couldn’t keep up with the accelerated curriculum.  I am opposed to dividing the school community into smart and not so smart.  I am opposed to the AIM program failing truly gifted students by focusing on acceleration, rather than instruction that met these students unique needs.  AIM was not a program for gifted students.   Your relentless insults and demeaning comments in response to every my attempt to explain my view is a mystery.   On this subject you are not the neutral moderator, weighing both sides.  The GATE program that your student attended is not the AIM program of the last few years.  You fail to see or acknowledge the damage that it was doing to the community.  Change is difficult, but in a few years it will sort itself out, if allowed.

      3. JosephBiello

        @ryankelly:   In 3rd grade, there are pull out  programs for kids with reading problems.  There are reading specialists in schools and counselors (and there are book in the bag programs run by parents).  All of these programs make the lives of classrooms teachers since we recognize that certain students need different levels of support.

        Now there are models for supporting students who get through their work quickly – these are also pull out programs.  We don’t have that in the district – we have AIM.

        When you re-route a road, do you tear up the existing road first and say “sorry no options until the new road is built”?  Or do you say “let’s build the new road and when it’s functional, we will tear up the old road”?

        I steadfastly believe there are other choices – but they have not been implemented and there is no real desire to implement them (“differentiation” not being a reasonable choice, IMHO). The only plan is to get rid of AIM.





      4. Frankly

        Ryan is the voice of reasons here.   Those attacking him and his arguments, I am assuming, all have children that have been or would be advantaged in this creative way to carve a privileged higher-performing private school out of the more crappy (and boring) standard public school.   So those demanding an expanded self-contained/segregated AIM program are pursuing their own genetic self interest… sort of Darwinist… getting their offspring off to a better launch so they have bragging-rights about their academic achievement and hopefully can leverage it into junior landing a […] job where junior has a wing in his/her estate that mom and dad can stay in when they visit and/or retire.

        [moderator: comment edited]

        1. Marina Kalugin

          there is already Peregrine, which is growing by leaps and bounds.. and, unfortunately, the city isn’t getting the student head count funds for those students…

          In the 80s/90s  many parents would drive their children to private schools in Sac and elsewhere…some would send their offspring to Philips Exeter for boarding school…

          The most wealthy, or most concerned parents no matter what their income level, would push their children up …..

          Those of low income, would get scholarships…it was only truly difficult for the middle income, middle class to ensure they get what they need.

        2. Don Shor

          Those attacking him and his arguments, I am assuming, all have children that have been or would be advantaged in this creative way to carve a privileged higher-performing private school out of the more crappy (and boring) standard public school.

          I had one child in GATE and one not. The placement was appropriate for the one, not for the other. The GATE child was also in Special Ed. We found those programs equally important. GATE isn’t a “privilege,” it is a placement based on aptitude and need. The regular program was fine for my other child, who did very well.

          So those demanding an expanded self-contained/segregated AIM program are pursuing their own genetic self interest… sort of Darwinist… getting their offspring off to a better launch so they have bragging-rights about their academic achievement and hopefully can leverage it into junior landing a … job where junior has a wing in his/her estate that mom and dad can stay in when they visit and/or retire.

          I don’t know why you insist on saying these sorts of things.
          GATE parents are pursuing the best placement for their child. It’s so odd to me that people constantly disparage parents who are trying to find a classroom environment that challenges their child to her or his best level. I’ve always assumed that is what all parents do. It was an important placement for one of my children, not for the other. A bright kid who isn’t challenged is wasting time, not learning to his potential, and often becomes a behavioral problem — monopolizing more of the teacher’s time and reducing resources that could be better directed to others.
          Self-contained GATE is necessary for some kids.

        3. VoiceOfReasonInDavis

          Don Shor is right, as usual:

          “GATE parents are pursuing the best placement for their child. It’s so odd to me that people constantly disparage parents who are trying to find a classroom environment that challenges their child to her or his best level.”

          And whatever “Ryan” says, the AIM/GATE program that existed 3 or so years ago was very much designed to help kids of various levels–just like the program of decades past. In a substantial way, the program of 3 years ago is better because it is more diverse.


        4. quielo

          “where junior has a wing in his/her estate that mom and dad can stay in when they visit and/or retire.” Sounds better than visiting my kids at New Folsom and leaving money on their books.

        5. Frankly

          GATE parents are pursuing the best placement for their child.

          Well there you have it.  “GATE parents”.

          Seems to me we should not have any special parent identifiers and deal with all parents as just being parents with children that need an education.   All children are special needs.   Apparently though some are more special than others in the minds of their parents.

          1. Don Shor

            Actually, Frankly, all children are not special needs with respect to their best classroom placement. One of mine was, one wasn’t.

        6. JosephBiello

          @DonShor – there is no discussing with these guys.  They make assumptions about what I am trying to achieve without actually reading anything I wrote.  They do the same about you.

          Let me make clear that I have a kid in the AIM program.   I wish, for the district, that other children will have the same opportunities that my kid has.

          Don Shor, neither frankly nor RyanKelly seem to understand much about education and the use of “genetic self interest” really demonstrates that frankly is acting like a troll.

          I wouldn’t bother responding anymore.





    1. DavisAnon

      Joe has it right. Things look FUBAR in the district and there is no accountability. They just keep adding administrative FTE but no one seems to know what they’re doing. Rather than hiring competent employees to fix these problems, the district created a spokesperson position to “pretty up” their repeated screw ups.

      I’m voting for measure H and urge others to do so, too, but now is time for serious and constructive change in DJUSD.

      Nine years of Lovenburg have been very detrimental to education here. She has not tried to improve the Achievement Gap, but throws resources at her pet projects. She has nothing but disdain for parents who do not see things her way. She is not accountable when the district does not honor its promises. Enough is enough.

      1. wdf1

        The study that motivated the proposed changes to the GATE/AIM program had this observation that I think the board majority responded to:

        the study did find that there was a measurable dip in the academic performance of Hispanic/Latino students who remained in the regular classroom program after AIM-identified students moved into self contained classrooms during grades 4, 5 and 6 — a finding that all five school board trustees expressed concern about. source

        That suggests a widening of the achievement gap.

        Also, there are very few students in AIM who have parents with no college education — about 2%.  And this was before any of the recent changes to the program.  I’m inclined to think that in this district a large number of students without college-educated parents are Latino.

        If you get your way, what do you think happens next?

        1. DavisAnon

          The statement you quoted appears to fall into the category of an inflammatory but completely baseless assertions. Neither the Board nor the researchers have been able to show a single number to support that statement despite repeated requests for the evidence/statistics/data behind it. It’s not in the Board presentation nor in any of the papers or summaries submitted by the researchers that I or others have been able to obtain.

          [moderator: comment edited]

        2. wdf1

          And the low participation rates in AIM of students with no college education?  What’s supposed to happen there?

          That statistic is available if you ask for it from the district.

          1. Don Shor

            If the new board rescinds the previous actions (other than eliminating private testing) and reopens strands, they could also consider alternative methods for identifying students who might benefit from GATE. It seems that no combination of testing is going to yield a GATE cohort that directly reflects the demographic and educational-attainment makeup of the district. You almost have to introduce an element of subjectivity into it. I’ve mentioned the possibility of allowing students to apply or be nominated, and then screened, as one alternative. But that would require that you change the threshold, expand the size of the program back toward what it was, and accept that there is no objective statistical testing method that is perfect.

        3. wdf1

          Don Shor:   You almost have to introduce an element of subjectivity into it.

          Yep, and I have my doubts that anyone will fully trust any district person to be fair in subjectivity.  See below.

          Don Shor:  If the new board rescinds the previous actions (other than eliminating private testing) and reopens strands, they could also consider alternative methods for identifying students who might benefit from GATE.

          It seems that this district has had a very limited definition of giftedness, and this was before the current board passed its motions.

          Here’s what the National Association for Gifted Children defines as giftedness:

          Gifted individuals are those who demonstrate outstanding levels of aptitude (defined as an exceptional ability to reason and learn) or competence (documented performance or achievement in top 10% or rarer) in one or more domains. Domains include any structured area of activity with its own symbol system (e.g., mathematics, music, language) and/or set of sensorimotor skills (e.g., painting, dance, sports).  source

          Notice that in Davis we  seem only to care about math and language.  But if we were to include other domains — music, painting, sports — then the district would be obligated to offer those subjects in earlier grades.  Because how can you evaluate someone’s ability in music, painting or sports if they were never introduced to them by the 3rd grade as part of the school curricula?

          There are also additional characteristics of giftedness that the district acknowledges, but which are probably not going to be identified by standardized tests.

          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.  source

          How does one account for sensitivity to issues of morality and justice, having varied and multiple interests, demonstrating a sophisticated sense of humor, and being curious?

    2. Napoleon Pig IV

      Unlike Lovenburg and the Enterprise, who both engage in attempting to re-write history, Joseph has summarized recent history as it actually happened.

      The three-headed monster that controls the DJUSD school board can be stopped in this election by voting Lovenburg into retirement. With the loss of their leader, Archer and Adams will turn into a defeated, two-headed monsterlet and no longer be able to significantly threaten the future of our children.

      Vote NO on toxic sludge, NO on air pollution, and NO on Lovenburg.

  2. Marina Kalugin

    Dear Ms LV …. get a clue please…your methods have crashed this school district….and if anyone votes for you, it will be more years of the same.

    Please show me your GATE certification, and your ECE grad level courses in GATE and in gifted education.

    Please show me how your methods have worked?

    And, please show me a teacher who just loves having to teach to however many ability levels are in one oversized Davis “traditional” common core class room.

    PS.   You and your family may claim to be experts in getting the lower rung up to low average, but if that were true, then the achievement gap would be not be even wider since you “took charge” and showed up on the board.

    Finally, Ms LV has the backing of some who would be in jeopardy of losing their jobs if real competence was required of all teachers.

    And, also if anyone votes for Mr G, who I think is great, then that will take away from Bob and Alan and we will likely end up with the Ms SL, who I wish would just drop out and make our lives easier…

    Please listen to someone who has played this game sooooo many times before…

    A vote for Mr G will result in Ms LV elected.   Please do not do that either   😉

    PPS> Also, since the bulk of the majority of Davis students are not low average or below, why focus so much on teaching to low average?

    1. wdf1

      MK:  You and your family may claim to be experts in getting the lower rung up to low average, but if that were true, then the achievement gap would be not be even wider since you “took charge” and showed up on the board.

      MK:  Also, since the bulk of the majority of Davis students are not low average or below, why focus so much on teaching to low average?

      Can you explain how you embrace these two statements?  On the one hand you point out that the achievement gap has grown, seemingly as a criticism, and then on the other hand you seem to say, why should we bother with the achievement gap?

    2. ryankelly

      Dear Ms LV …. get a clue please

      Marina, I find this sentence extremely offensive and stopped reading your post at this point.  You have nothing to offer after that insult.

  3. Marina Kalugin

    sorry you are not understanding my rushed response…

    please keep reading it and see if you can get my point….

    I may respond after I get on the plane tomorrow…in the meantime, perhaps someone who may understand can weigh in…

    PS>   as early as the 80s, title I became more common in Davis…due to the 25% affordable influx….and there is a ton of funding for those children…

    I have had so much of my commentary scrubbed away,that I don’t know what stands or is gone…but

    Most of the lower income children are vaxxed, fluoridated, and on tons of drugs also….some in the womb, and others due to the poor GMO laden food pushed on the lower income….many are on a slew of ADD etc meds……

    Those are the real reasons for the achievement gap…No one wants to listen….

    Common core is geared to those below average to get them to trade school, or JC….

    That is not the majority in DJUSD.

    And, common core is the ONLY public school option besides GATE…therefore the average or above average get nothing….they are blocked out of GATE…

    1. wdf1

      MK:  Most of the lower income children are vaxxed, fluoridated, and on tons of drugs also….some in the womb, and others due to the poor GMO laden food pushed on the lower income….many are on a slew of ADD etc meds……

      I see.  So you’re suggesting that higher performing students skip the vaccines, fluoridation, medications, and GMO’s, and that’s the difference.

  4. DavisAnon

    Sorry, moderator. I’m guessing that any reference to Trump is banned? I didn’t realize. My bad – won’t happen again. (This is in reference to my moderator-edited comment above. I haven’t figured out how to place comments correctly from my phone.)

    [moderator] I’m just pulling references to the presidential election, and trying to be fair about it. Thanks.

  5. Marina Kalugin

    GATE parents?   wtf happened to AIM parents…lol….cya guys…

    vote for Bob and Alan, ya won’t be sorry….

    Dr. Granda, keep participating and then you will be in next time…that other lame women on that board may be up for renewal….

  6. Cindy_Pickett

    Just a couple thoughts:

    1. Many parents of AIM-identified children choose NOT to place their child in an AIM classroom. There could be a variety of reasons for this, but one that I’ve heard frequently is that their child is doing just fine in a regular classroom. I think we need to give parents more credit for knowing what’s best for their children.

    2. Although I have one child in the AIM program, I have another child whose needs are very different and for whom I’m considering getting a 504 plan. I advocate and work just as hard for BOTH children. The child with special needs isn’t more deserving than the child that needs to be challenged. They are both individuals who BOTH deserve to receive the best education possible. I resent (a little; but hey, it’s the VG, so not really) the blanket statement that the AIM program is used by parents to attempt to ensure the success of their genetically superior progeny (see Frankly above). Some of us are just trying to do right by our kids.

    3. I agree with Joe 100% that the School Board has basically torn down a program before instituting a suitable replacement. I’m on a train now from Oakland and the analogy that comes to mind is tearing down the old Bay Bridge before building the new one. Who does that?!?! I heard Susan talk about the new Differentiation Specialist (I think that’s the title) that was hired. Apparently, the “differentiation training” that teachers are getting so far is a few hours and not all teachers have completed it. Montessori training by comparison is an entire certification process with many months and even years of training in an established method. It doesn’t happen in a two-hour workshop. Differentiation if it’s going to happen needs to be taken seriously.

    1. Marina Kalugin

      when I told my friends who live and work in the Stanford area about what happened last year,  the response was “how odd for a university town”.

      The majority on the current board was not willing to accept this is a university town…

      And, decades ago when there was only one class for all of the town, and it was at Valley Oak, many decided it was not worth the hassle to commute, and if the children were okay, then fine.

      But, too many who are not challenged will not simply just do the dumbed down curriculum.


  7. Marina Kalugin

    and Bob knows…the teachers who were highly trained decades ago are all retired……

    most teachers are needing hours and hours to even figure out the common core, much less teach it..

    And, they are going to also be experts on the gifted as well as the highly challenged “inclusion” children…

    No wonder many teachers are not wanting to work in Davis…….and heading to way better districts…meaning better pay and better working conditions…

  8. ryankelly

    Well, I too believe that people here are not considering the views of a substantial part of the community toward the AIM program and evidence of the corruption of its admission process.  I believe that it is useless to try explain it and responses such as AIM being similar to other voluntary programs in the District indicate that writers are ignoring the flaws and lack an understanding of the purpose of the program. Throw in comments from antivax conspiracy theorists and the conversation deteriorates further from there.    I will just respond further with my vote in the same way I vote in response to other threats of overturning the hard work of those that have gone before to increase fairness and equity in public programs.

    1. quielo

      “increase fairness and equity in public programs” There is the disconnect. Some of us are interested in quality and excellence. Sounds like you prefer fast food for the consistency. You may be happier in SF where they have outlawed algebra as being anti-equity.

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