NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

NYC Teachers are Not Happy About Ratings Released by Dept of Ed
February 27, 2012, 12:42 pm
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As you’ve heard by now, the New York City Department of Education released teacher ratings for over 18,000 teachers. No, they weren’t evaluated on the OLSAT test results but for students performance on math and English exams. Click here and type in your school name in the little box to find out how the teachers at your school performed.

Teachers across the board seem to be concerned about the impact this may not only have on their individual careers but on the students they teach on a daily basis.  Let’s face it, would you want your work performance review (even if it was great!) posted in the most widely daily circulated publication in America? Most people, probably not.

Most teachers don’t seem to have an issue with the evaluation of test scores as part of the equation of performance but there are so many other factors that come into play when it comes to teacher performance.  We really need the best and brightest teaching our children and having these evaluations made to the public may steer some future teachers into another career from away from the classroom. Is this the message we want to send to our future teachers?

In a recent article from the NY Times, my daughter’s 2nd grade G&T teacher, Ms. Alison Epstein,  at PS 33 Chelsea Prep gifted and talented program was quoted as saying: “Unfortunately, the schools have become incredibly data-driven, which at times detracts from the overall curriculum. The pressure for teachers and children to perform for tests that do not really show how intelligent a student is, or how amazing a teacher might be, is substantial.”

I totally agree with Ms. Epstein’s statement that the evaluation of the entire curriculum should be the basis of the evaluation of the impact this will have on students performance – even outside the test scores. I don’t see testing going to the wayside in the near or long term but there needs to be a multi-prong approach when it comes to tracking and evaluating the progress of both our precious children and their amazing teachers.

You can read the FAQs for the teacher data reports from the NY Times.

No OLSAT Test, It’s chess at 3!
February 21, 2012, 10:08 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: , ,

It’s time to take a break from the OLSAT test and BSRA practice as we now head into the waiting period for the NYC gifted and talented test results which are expected to be released in mid-April!  Sites like where you get get 50 free practice questions for gifted and talented testing can help prep a child for testing but what about other mental exercises for our talented tots?  That’s where Chess at 3 comes in. Yes, 3 years old! Tyler who is a master chess instructor here in New York City launches his new program geared toward 3 to 7 year old children that effectively teaches the most mind boggling games out there – chess! Below is a video of Tyler showing his program to little ones who just absorb the stories like sponges as they catch on to chess like it’s a walk in the park. You can also visit Tyler’s new site after you watch the video below. If you’d like to be added to my newsletter or need more sample questions, email me at

NYC Gifted and Talented Parents Session Next Week!
February 9, 2012, 9:24 am
Filed under: testing mom | Tags: , ,

In case you didn’t hear, best-selling author, testing authority and co-founder of (the site with 50 free practice questions), Karen Quinn will be have a live Q&A session for parents in New York City next Wednesday, Feb. 15 at 6:30pm in downtown Manhattan. This will be a MUST ATTEND session for any NYC parents out there who are going through the testing and school selection process for both public gifted and talented and private schools in New York City. Here are a few of the many questions that will be answered during this 2 hour session! You can register here but you better hurry, I heard it’s almost sold out!

Topic:  Be in “the know” – a sneak peek behind the testing kimono! Testing authorities reveal answers not known to the general public. Discover what the Dept of Ed and private schools won’t tell you!

  • The OLSAT test is over, now what? What should you do now that your little one has taken the test?
  • What are the many options for private schools and G&T schools in NYC?
  • What questions should you be asking during school tours for both G&T and private schools? Where to find secret school ratings given by parents and teachers at each of the New York City public schools.
  • How do you go about seeing your child’s OLSAT test results and what should you look for during the test review?
  • What about school rankings for NYC gifted and talented  programs?
  • Private school results are out next week  – what if we are wait listed at our first choice school? Private school contracts are due before we know about gifted program admissions – how do we handle this?
  • Looking at private school admissions for 2012-13, what should we do this spring?
  • And many more.
  • Live audience Q&A!