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Students write and draw positive affirmations on the P.S. 5 Port Morris Elementary School, Bronx County, New York, August 17, 2021 New York will drop its Gifted and Talented Student Program, which critics say favors white and Asian-American students, while disproportionately few black and Hispanic children are enrolled in the nation’s largest and perhaps most segregated school system.
New York City officials are phasing out the controversial Gifted and Talented program for elementary students, a sweeping change aimed at eliminating racial disparities in the nation’s largest school system.
Gifted Programs For Elementary Students
On Friday, authorities said the entrance exam, which defines students as “gifted”, will be cancelled. Under the old status quo, about 2,500 kindergartens a year scored high enough on the electoral exam to qualify for a spot while continuing to spend their primary school years in different grades and schools.
Gifted & Talented — Kirk Day School
This test was temporarily canceled last year due to the pandemic. The last group of students in the program will continue to attend G&T classes in their current form for the next five years.
“The era of the 4-year test-based trial is over,” Mayor de Blasio said Friday on The Brian Lehrer Show at WNYC, adding that the new program will “bring … tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few.”
Under the new system, all students will receive “accelerated learning” with real-world projects on topics such as robotics and community organization starting in kindergarten, officials said.
Then, in third grade, students will be tested in each subject area to see if they would benefit from continuing the accelerated projects. Officials did not specify how third-graders would be tested.
Rethinking What Gifted Education Means, And Whom It Should Serve
All of the city’s 4,000 kindergarten teachers will receive accelerated learning training, officials said. The City will also direct additional resources to areas that have historically had less gifted programs. The seven district teams will assist schools with some of the challenges of implementing the new system, including placing students with significantly different academic needs in the same classrooms.
The overhaul of the program for the gifted comes after years of debate and criticism – much of it has focused on the fact that white and Asian students make up about 80% of the gifted class, despite making up about a third of kindergartens. Critics argue that the old system does not measure academic prospects, but the ability of parents to prepare young children for a standardized test. Critics say this contributed to the racial segregation of the city’s schools.
Today we announced an accelerated plan for tens of thousands of children, not just a select few. Greater New York continues to work for fairness and excellence, ensuring every student in our schools has the opportunity to succeed,” Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor), October 8, 2021
“This is a change that school integration and desegregation people have been looking for for years, and it makes sense as a good educational practice,” said Tony Smith, parent of three public school students and organizer of the Civil Liberties Alliance in New York.
Gifted Programs Worsen Inequality. Here’s What Happens When Schools Try To Get Rid Of Them
Some schools and districts have already made unilateral changes to their gifted curriculums before posting them around the city. P.S. 9 in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, in 2020 moved to eliminate their special path for the gifted to increase racial equality.
“In a neighborhood that is struggling with the effects of gentrification, you see a disproportionate amount of wealthier white and Asian students in our [program] for the gifted and talented, and then there is a disproportionate black and brown student in other classes.” — District 13 Superintendent Kamar said that Samuels, who oversees P.S. 9.
The transition to phasing out programs “could have a huge impact not only on school integration, but on the schools themselves,” Samuels added.
G&T supporters say it’s a lifeline for kids with unique academic abilities who don’t get the attention they deserve in traditional classrooms.
Importance Of Gifted Educational Programs
“It is a mistake to phase out this program,” said Grace Meng (D-Queens). “Reforming the process would be the more difficult choice, and rather than making any adjustments, the City is taking the easy way out by implementing a massive program cancellation.”
From the beginning of his administration, De Blasio promised to reform the program for the gifted. Friday’s announcement came less than three months after his deadline.
When asked Friday why he waited so long to make the announcement, the mayor blamed his former chancellors Richard Caranza and Carmen Farinha.
“The first chancellor who gave me a blueprint for reforming the gifted and talented was Meisha Ross Porter,” de Blasio said, referring to his current director. “And you know what? Thanks to her work, we will reach 10 times more children every year with accelerated learning. This is exactly the kind of plan I’ve been waiting for.”
Teaching The Gifted Student In General Education
A school diversity advisory panel appointed by Hizzoner issued recommendations to cancel some gifted programs in 2019, and De Blasio has been considering proposals for more than two years. Caranza was critical of some of the gifted classes and was reportedly unhappy with Heatoner’s slow efforts to reform them.
Officials said there could be additional changes before the end of the year as they gather feedback from parents. The final plan will be announced in November.
Brooklyn County President Eric Adams, the Democratic mayoral candidate, has campaigned on promises to introduce a test for gifted 4-year-olds and expand the number of gifted classes throughout the city. Adams, the clear front-runner in the November general election, received support from PLACE NYC, a group of parents who have vocally supported the gifted test and individual accelerated lessons.
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America’s Gifted Education Programs Have A Race Problem. Can It Be Fixed?
As a contract school, we understand that our families have children with a wide variety of learning needs, including those who need to learn and those who have been recognized as doubly exceptional. Advisory services are available through Education Support Services (ESS) to help teachers and parents in the classroom develop curriculum modifications to challenge academically gifted students through a variety of approaches, including but not limited to:
Generally, kindergarten students through third grade receive extended instruction and opportunities for multi-level tasks. Students in grades four through six can also take an alternate and accelerated curriculum, especially in reading, math, and spelling.
The KDS program is designed to enable the student to learn more complex material at different speeds and levels of thinking.
Differentiated learning allows teachers to tailor teaching methods and/or materials to each student’s learning abilities. In some cases, this includes changes in learning strategies, materials, or expectations in such a way as to actually change the design of the educational task. Thus, these modifications are observed in
Outrage Greets New York City’s Plans To Nix Gifted And Talented Program For Kids
GISP implements the class teacher in the general educational environment. With a personalized curriculum, the KDS Gifted program addresses the unique needs of each student in an accelerated and/or challenging academic program, offering a foundation for achieving social and emotional growth.
In addition, students and their families have the opportunity to participate in a range of extracurricular activities in the KDS classroom. These include laboratories and teaching academies through the Gifted Council, a children’s college offered through St. Louis community colleges, and the MEGSSS project. Students are also encouraged to participate in several extracurricular programs including Bricks 4 Kidz, IMACS, and S.T.E.A.M. The St. Louis Gifted Education Association (S.A.G.E.) hosts a monthly support group for gifted parents at KDS on a wide range of trending topics.
“Children are gifted when their abilities greatly exceed the norm for their age. Giftedness may manifest itself in one or more areas such as; intellectual, creative, artistic, leadership, or in a specific academic field such as language arts, mathematics, or science.
Accelerate: A strategy to move faster or lower than usual in the chosen curriculum (for example, a fifth grader attends math in the sixth grade).
How Gifted Programs For Children Are Becoming More Equitable — Quartz
Seal: A teaching method that allows teachers to adjust the curriculum for students.
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