In today's Daily News, an article explores the way in which Tweed completely botched gifted and talented admissions this year, by centralizing the process and basing admissions entirely on the results of high stakes tests – with the effect that less than half as many students qualified this year, and far fewer children of color ended up being admitted.
While Bloomberg promised to create more programs in “historically underserved districts’, in these districts, many fewer of these classes were the result, with some primarily minority districts having no gifted classes at all, and racial and economic disparities widening.
A NY Times article from yesterday has even more details, pointing out that in six districts there is not a single gifted class this year: Districts 7,8,9 in the Bronx, and 16, 19 and 23 in
It’s a pretty good article except for the following misstatement:
“Problems with the new admissions policy surfaced in June, when an analysis by The New York Times showed that children from the city’s poorest districts were offered a smaller percentage of gifted slots than in the previous year, while children in the city’s wealthiest districts captured a greater share.”
Actually last November, Deborah Meier commented on our blog how any admissions policy based on test scores alone with lead to inequitable outcomes. After all, the National Academy of Sciences has pointed out that high stakes testing for such purposes can be viewed as inherently racially discriminatory. Following
’s announcement of the results, in early April, Patrick Sullivan pointed out how the policy had clearly led to fewer kids accepted into gifted classes in the poorer districts: Tweed
“The low number of children qualifying in lower income districts suggests the DOE has not met its goal of expanding the reach of G&T programs…. This is the fourth or fifth year the Bloomberg administration has changed the admission process. Its efforts would clearly be better spent working on building programs and outreach in historically underserved communities.”
Finally, Eduwonkette offered a detailed analysis in mid-April, With New Gifted and Talented Rules, Who Wins and Loses?, showing the huge gap between the wealthy districts and those with more free-lunch students.
Problems with the new admissions policy surfaced in June due to NY Times reporting? Hardly.
How many policies of this administration have led to more racial disparities widening, rather than narrowing?
Here are just a few examples: We have far fewer students of color in our gifted classes now, there have been fewer admitted to our selective, specialized high schools, and our teaching force has become significantly whiter over the course of the last six years.