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Many test coordinators nationwide are responsible for state and local testing. This often includes local benchmarking and gifted and talented testing. Therefore, we bring you some insight into the gifted and talented selection in New York City (NYC), the country’s largest school district. NYC’s gifted and talented program for elementary schoolers will grow by roughly 1,000 seats, but will no longer use a test for preschoolers to determine admission. NYC’s gifted and talented program has been widely criticized for exacerbating racial and socioeconomic segregation. Here’s more about their program and plans:

  • 2,500 incoming Kindergarteners will be admitted to the gifted program next year, an increase of about 100 from this year.
  • Pre-K students will be admitted on the basis of teacher recommendations, and then will enter a lottery.
  • The gifted entrance exam that was the sole entrance requirement for 4-year-olds seeking a spot will not return.
  • The DOE will also add 1,000 slots for students to enter the gifted classes in the third grade in all 32 school districts.
  • The top 10% of second graders at each school based on grades will be eligible.
  • The announcement is about responding to debates about school segregation by expanding equity.
    • DOE officials argue that a third-grade admission system that selects kids with top grades from each school will result in a more racially and socioeconomically diverse cross-section of kids.
    • Supporters of the gifted programs argue that they’re a crucial resource for advanced kids, and that the racial disparities in the makeup of the program should be addressed by adding more seats in Black and Hispanic neighborhoods.
    • Critics have long argued that the programs are inherently discriminatory, and that selecting kids for “giftedness” in elementary school is a flawed enterprise bound to reinforce inequities.
  • Mayor de Blasio last November proposed scrapping separate gifted classes altogether and training teachers on how to provide extra enrichment to kids who need it within mixed-level classes.
  • The decision to increase seats reverses that proposal.

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