Giving Compass’ Take:
• Gifted and talented programs in New York City schools did not achieve intended diversity outcomes, furthering the debate over the representation of students in these programs.
• Some believe that access to gifted and talented programs should start earlier in schools and become more accessible to students. How are education leaders deciding the next steps to achieve diversity goals? Why is increasing access to these programs critical for youth development and helpful for gaining social capital?
Fewer schools in an initiative designed to diversify gifted and talented programs met their targets for offering seats to certain underrepresented communities of students, new city data shows.
Numbers released Friday show that out of seven programs, just three — at P.S. 77 Lower Lab School, Tag Young Scholars, and Brooklyn School of Inquiry — met their goals for enrolling kindergarten or first-grade students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, are learning English for the first time, don’t have stable housing, or live in public housing.
Families learned Friday whether their children received an offer to the city’s gifted programs. In total, 3,719 families received offers, education officials said. A total 5,749 students submitted a gifted-and-talented application, about 1,000 fewer students than in 2018.Officials attributed that drop to just over 1,000 fewer eligible students entering grades 1 to 3 this school year.
Targets weren’t met at four other programs in the small diversity program, located at three schools, P.S. 10, P.S. 11, and P.S. 15, because they didn’t have enough applicants from the high-need groups, Cohen said. Three are for kindergarten, while one is for first grade.
Accessibility to gifted and talented programs has been a focal point in the debate over diversifying the city’s specialized high schools. Many families that oppose Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to scrap the exam that solely governs admissions to the schools argue that broader access to gifted and talented programs earlier in children’s education would help more black and Hispanic students gain admission. At present, these students represent just 10% of enrollment offers at the specialized high schools.
Others believe that any academic screen, especially one employed as early as Kindergarten, only compounds a sorting mechanism that works to lock in advantages that some affluent or savvy families bring to the complicated, competitive process.
Read the full article about gifted and talented programs by Reema Amin at Chalkbeat.
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