Public schools should serve all the public. I support gifted programs, bilingual programs, special-education programs. I also support private and religious schools where those schools meet the needs of students and parents better than the available public options.

I am old enough to remember and reject the redlining that occurred in housing, but I agree with columnist Danny Westneat that to call gifted programs redlining is inappropriate. I also agree with the letter writer that some students (whatever their background) may feel superior because they got into a gifted class, but that is all the more reason to improve recruitment methods to recognize that giftedness is not in any way determined by ethnicity.

My children attended public schools in Seattle and took advantage of Running Start, gifted programs and Advanced Placement classes. I have never voted against a school levy despite what it adds to my tax bill.

If a city such as Seattle can’t manage to educate all its children without creating the mass exodus from public schools that occurred from busing or by gentrification or the loss of young and minority staff from lack of affordable housing, then our future looks less than promising.

Helen Anderson, Seattle