The End of Gifted Programs?

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New York City may change its initial admission to select tracks.

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TODAY: New York City has taken steps toward ending parts of its brightest and brightest program. And we see a community torn apart by attempts to engage with racism.


In his final three months as mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio unveiled plans to overhaul the gifted and gifted education in public elementary schools. The current crop of enrolled students will be the last group of the program.

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The overly selective program has long been criticized for feeding racial segregation in the nation’s largest school system.

Although about 70 percent of the city’s nearly one million public school students are black and Latino, about 75 percent of the nearly 16,000 students in gifted elementary school classrooms are white or Asian American.

Kindergarten students used to take a screening test for enrollment. Parents often paid tutors to prepare their children, but the city’s advisory board refused to renew the exam last year.

De Blasio’s plan would end kindergarten trials permanently. “The era of judging 4-year-olds on the basis of a single test is over,” he said in a statement.

Instead, de Blasio proposes to retrain teachers to accommodate kindergarten students who need accelerated learning, which can cost tens of millions of dollars.

In lieu of a gifted and gifted track, City will evaluate all emerging third graders, using teacher feedback, to determine whether they require high-level instruction in specific subject areas.

Some families and elected officials – often in wealthy and predominantly white neighborhoods – strongly support keeping aspects of the current gift system. So does Eric Adams, likely the next mayor.

Gifted and gifted classes are an important step toward enrollment in competitive middle and high schools. And many parents, including Black and Latino, have sought out programs as a way to set their children up for success.

In other NYC news: The city is giving each public school kindergartener $100 in a college savings account. By the time the kids graduated, they could have about $3,000. Might not be enough for books, don’t care about tuition, but Researchers have suggested He even a small amounts The chances of a child to get higher education can increase significantly.

National level: In a push for racial equality, philadelphia repairing it Magnet School Admission Process. In July, Boston The city changed its admissions policies for special exam schools, opening the way for more black and Latino students. And earlier this year, california as proposed “de-tracking“Math classes, another attempt to help underrepresented students.


In June 2020, following the death of George Floyd, a superintendent wrote a letter to his district, hundreds of other school leaders across the country.

“When I Say ‘Black Lives Matter,’ I Don’t Mean To Degrade Another Race,” Andrea Kane Letter written to parents of 7,700 students In Queen Anne’s County, Md. “This is an acceptance of the unequal brutality and openly racism that is only experienced by black people in America, including me.”

Ken, the district’s first black superintendent, knew the movement was divisive.

But she felt she would have been reckless if she did not address the images she saw on television and social media by her students. and in about three years on the job, he had collected evidence of systemic and open racism, and worked to build racial equality.

Initially, messages of gratitude filled his inbox.

People were suffering for years,” Tori Brown, a Black Queen Annes County native who is an instructional assistant in the school system, told my colleague Erica Green. “We never had anyone to speak to.”

Then, Ken said, “everything just exploded.”

Over the past year, parents and elected officials have fought over the “critical race theory,” an academic framework that recognizes racism as rooted in the law and other modern institutions.

For about 2 percent of black superintendents, the debates have felt personal and touching. And for majority-white, conservative communities, such as Queen Anne’s County, the debate can be incendiary.

Following Ken’s email, the parents immediately organized against him.

“Our kids will never be motivated by anyone’s political opinion in school and our kids should never feel that their fair skin color makes them guilty of slavery or racism!” Read a post in a Facebook group of parents calling themselves the “Kent Island Patriots.”

Community members took sides. When teachers came to Kane’s rescue, online harassment ensued for weeks.

“That’s when I see what’s happening around the country,” fifth grade teacher Gina Crook told Erica. “I think: ‘We wrote the script.'”

Ken suffered as well. She lost her sleep, she looked over his shoulder. In late 2020, candidates backed by the Patriots took control of the five-member school board. This spring, after a series of tense board meetings, Kane announced she would be leaving the district.

“I knew there was a long game,” Kane told Erica, “one I didn’t want to play and couldn’t win.”


  • The school year is off to a relatively positive start: Most students are learning in classes full-time.

  • Parents are inserting carbon dioxide monitors into classrooms to check ventilation.

  • more students Washington DC, Ability participate in virtual learning.

  • some districts are redirecting federal pandemic aid, which had some expense parameters, towards new football fields, load rooms and outdoor running tracks.

  • about a third of third graders in North Carolina did not fully meet the standards to proceed In the next class, a steep decline from before the pandemic.

  • Last week, Pfizer asked the FDA to authorize its COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5 to 11. Expect a decision as early as Halloween.

  • at one speed, Washington DC, will reward eight vaccinated adolescents a $25,000 College Scholarship, an incentive to get a shot.

  • Florida Authorized sanctions on eight districts that defied Gov. Ron DeSantis and implemented masked mandates. Districts could face cuts equivalent to the salaries of their school board members.

And a good read: One study found that more than 120,000 American children have lost their parents or caregivers to Covid. This May Times story follows two teenagers who are living as orphans.


  • NS University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Tuesday classes canceled to give students a “wellness day” after reports of a suicidal and attempted suicide in the residence hall over the weekend.

  • california Passed Laws That Would Make It Easier for Students Enrolling in Community Colleges Transfer to four-year state universities.

  • Enrollment in state universities Pennsylvania dropped lowest level in decades.

  • In the first case, two parents were convicted on Friday varsity Blues college entrance test. Dozens of parents, and others, have already pleaded guilty.

  • Texas one step closer to limiting transgender students By playing on sports teams that are consistent with their gender identity.

  • controversial Virginia The governor’s race rests on school policy.

  • california will do ethnic studies A requirement for high school students starting in 2029.

  • californiapublic schools and universities must provide free menstrual products Starting from the next school year.

  • a high school student in louisiana A teacher faces a felony after being punched repeatedly. A TikTok challenge may have inspired the attack.

  • A good read: My colleague Jason DeParle talks about the exorbitant cost of child care Greensboro, NC


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