NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

New York City Continues to Struggle with Gifted and Talented Program Criteria
August 19, 2011, 2:04 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags: , ,

In 2006, NYC’s gifted and talented program admissions criteria and testing methods were standardized in order to simplify the testing process city-wide. While this program change seemed to make good administrative sense at the time, in the years that have followed, many questions have arisen regarding the admissions criteria for the NYC city-wide gifted and talented program.

In 2008, the admittance of NYC children in poorer school districts and primarily minor school systems in the city were significantly lower than in other parts of the city’s gifted and talented program. Many schools had some students qualify, but not enough to support a full NYC gifted and talented program.

In 2010, admittance rates in many of these poorer and minority school districts dropped even further, with several schools seeing no students make it into the score range necessary for admittance to the New York City G&T program. As a result, the New York City gifted and talented department of education has decided to review testing procedures and to search for new ones that will level the playing field for students throughout the city.

To get OLSAT test sample questions or to be added to my gifted and talented newsletter list email me at Don’t forget, you can get 50 free practice questions on

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The real reason why the NYC DOE has decided to “review testing procedures and to search for new ones” is simply because their contract with Pearson to use the OLSAT and BSRA expired this past testing season (2011). The only way to level the playing field is to spend an amount of money that the DOE is unwilling to spend, so my bet is there will be little if any change in the testing procedures in the upcoming school year–the DOE will simply renew the contract with Pearson and potentially upgrade one of the two currently used standardized measures.

Comment by kendall

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