Gifted students

Dear Editor,In reference to Jorge Montero's letter ("Support for Talented Students," 1/6/11), I wholeheartedly agree that not enough resources are provided to our gifted and talented students here in DUSD, however, this is not unique to this district. Let's be realistic. Parents of students in Special Education have the federal law supporting them. If they feel their children's needs are not being adequately met, they hire lawyers or advocates to represent them in due process cases. Districts tend to give in to the demands of these advocates to limit the overall cost. If parents of gifted students were thus represented, I wonder if your dream Improving Talented Children's Education (ITCE) program would be implemented? But to give credit where it's due, DUSD does a respectable job on a limited GATE budget. My son is an eighth grader at West Middle School and is currently in a pilot program called Project Lead the Way run by Mr. Tansopalucks (or Mr. T as his students refer to him). These students are guaranteed admission into the engineering program at Cal Poly Pomona. My son is very enthusiastic about this technology course. Additionally, the GATE teachers at West have a multidisciplinary method of teaching these children that ensures they will retain the material for future use. No teaching to the test going on here! And even on this limited budget, my son has had the opportunity to visit various universities in the last three years chaperoned by the GATE teachers who consistently support us parents in providing the college-bound mindset in our kids. While I wish there were more funds for our exceptional children, I am realistic about our current economy and where our children stand on the education fund hierarchy of importance. I, for one, am thankful that DUSD is using its limited GATE funds wisely. --Maria Clark, Downey

********** Published: January 13, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 39