De Blasio said he wants nix the gifted and talented program in NYC, maybe put something broader in its place? The incoming mayor, Adams, has said he wants to save it, and (vaguely) also expand it to something broader.
The debate revolves around the fact that the large majority of G&T kindergarteners end up being white/asian kids, and whether that constitutes racism/segregation/misuse of resources.
Speaking as someone currently freaked out about why my kid isn’t learning in public school (see other thread), I am obviously a bit biased towards keeping programs for gifted kids.
I did just do this with my own kid. And skipped her a grade (against the general recommendations of you good people).
“Gifted and talented” is a kind of weird phrase to use on anyone. But in short I think maybe it’s bad to force kids to “learn” at a completely inappropriate level. Maybe they should be called “special ed” instead.
I think you could reasonably argue that we shouldn’t be teaching kindergarteners anything. But since we are forcing them to sit and do worksheets for hundreds of hours, imo we should make sure those worksheets mean something at all to them.
Another captain obvious point of that article-- if you want more Black/Hispanic kids in your program, then let in more Black/Hispanic kids. I’m sure there’s reasons that’s a bad compromise, but it certainly seems better than burning things to the ground.
Kids enroll in these programs not so much because they are challenging but because it’s a mark of distinction, “I’m smart and probably rich enough to afford an expensive college” that makes it easier to get into a good uni and job.
Take that away and you remove the signaling effect. Of course there are other ways to challenge kids who are rich enough to have time to study but doing this disrupts their worldview. How else am I supposed to tell Harvard I’m a special flower?
The fact that GT programs are highly segregated is a symptom and not the problem. Kids can’t study when the lights and water keep going off and if their parents struggle to put food on the table, if they are even there. You can fiddle as much as you want with the naming schemes for school classes but it’s not going to help poor kids take care of their basic life needs before they can even start thinking about reading Jane Eyre.
All of this pandering about GT is just a distraction from the city’s failure over the course of many generations due to the policies that produced the current socioeconomic disparities.