The most important things I remember from GATE were that it was much stiller, and also contextual in a way that no other curriculum at school was.
The only way it could be stiller and more serious is by virtue of it being more private and invitational. I wondered, would it make sense to allow students to invite other students to participate on select days or even permanently. This seemed like one way for students to include others who were not otherwise involved in GATE curriculum.
GATE consisted of many student-directed projects, which was important to practice collecting information and presenting it to others, and there were lots of conversational appeals to news and politics. At the schools I went to, there were no more than 10 people to a class, and everyone in each GATE class was also the same grade level. I remember appreciating that we got to read the news and have serious discussions about Afghanistan at 8 or 9 years old, and I think it is challenging to figure out how a teacher can approach political topics without bias. You can't even figure out what is made up. This sort of thinking was appreciated in GATE in a way it was not in our ordinary curriculum. GATE was about asking questions and figuring important things out together. We performed a distillation that didn't happen in other classes, even science, which was typically more procedural and graded for factual answers.
"Pull out" is a big dispute, does it make sense that GATE kids go somewhere else. Well, I'm here to tell you that GATE kids are always going somewhere else. It's not going to happen any other way. Maybe GATE should be their block-class, but this does require having some sort of block scheduling for whatever age group you are talking about. Not all schools have the resources for this. In Nevada and California, teachers traded students an hour a day for math, so this is one way to handle it, but GATE was typically a particular teacher who directed more advanced activities for students of multiple grade levels. That alone means there is some liquidity, because the teacher gets same-day feedback of how different age groups approach topics.