NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


99th Percentile Gifted and Talented Scores Sky Rocket

Can scoring in the 99th percentile on the OLSAT test no longer guarantee your child a spot in the NYC G&T program? In this last round of NYC gifted and talented testing, 11 percent of OLSAT test-takers scored in the Top 1 percent; meaning 1,603 children scored in the 99th percentile out of the 14,239 test-takers. DNA info reports this is a nearly 50 percent increase in the number of eligible kindergarteners over last year. The number of children scoring in the Top 1% has steadily been rising over the years, but with 11% of children tested in the Top 1%, this year is a new high.

For a child to be eligible for any of the five NYC G&T programs, they must score in the 97th to 99th percentile on the OLSAT and BSRA test combined. Although, nexts year the Naglieri (NNAT) will take the place of the Bracken (BSRA test). In those five NYC G&T programs, there are fewer than 400 seats available for the incoming kindergarten class. Testing into the G&T program is available for Kindergarten to 3rd grade, but the number of children accepted into the program decreases with every grade increase. So testing your child later than Kindergarten is an automatic disadvantage in the system.

Further exasperating the size problem are the siblings within the system, with a spot reserved for the sibling of a child already in the G&T program, provided that sibling has eligible scores. An article at Inside Schools provided the sibling break down in the 5 different NYC gifted and talented rograms. At STEM in Queens, 4 seats are reserved for siblings and 12 seats are set-aside for siblings at Brooklyn School of Inquiry. NEST+M already has 15 out of the 100 seats saved, and for The Anderson School, 16 seats out of the 50 are destined for qualified siblings. That is 12% of the incoming spots for the NYC G&T program taken, in addition to more children qualifying for those spots. The shortage of spots in the NYC gifted program affected school visits as well, with The Anderson School only opening tours for parents of children who scored in the 99th percentile. Even with this limiting of spots, the school could not accommodate all the parents that wanted to visit.

Despite an outcry from the parents of gifted children to expand the G&T program in New York City, the Department of Education has no current plan for expansion. However, the DOE will replace the Bracken School Readiness Assessment with the more challenging Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test. This new exam places the stress on cognitive ability with identifying patterns and sequences, instead of simply identifying shapes and colors. The DOE will change how they weigh the tests as well, with the OLSAT 8 currently being weighed at 75% with Bracken at 25%. The test is changing, the weighing of the tests is changing, and the number of children testing into eligibility is increasing, decreasing the spots available. So what is a parent to do?

Practice and Prepare for the test to ensure your child is in the Top 1%, so they can even have a chance at getting into the right G&T School for them. To get 100 free practice questions for the G&T exam, to start preparing your child now, go to TestingMom.com.

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Bye Bye BSRA – Bracken and Hello NNAT Naglieri for NYC G&T testing

In case you didn’t hear, the NY Times recently reported on the changes for the New York City gifted and talented testing for next year. Our talented tots will now be required to take the NNAT-2 (short for Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test). The NNAT takes 30 minutes to complete the 39 multiple choice questions. The Naglieri Non-Verbal Ability Test consist of:

  • Pattern Completion
  • Reasoning by Analogy
  • Serial Reasoning
  • Spatial Visualization

As you can tell, this will be much more difficult for our 4 year olds to answer correctly versus the questions on the BSRA (Bracken). We’ll see if number of children who qualify for the G&T program next year actually goes down due to this change.

Luckily, sites like TestingMom.com have tons of practices questions for NNAT prep.

The New York Times article also mentioned the number of children who qualified for gifted and talented this year. Nearly 5,000 children qualified for gifted and talented kindergarten seats in New York City public schools in the fall, 22 percent more than last year and more than double the number four years ago. Are the kids in New York City just getting smarter or are they all drinking G&T test prep juice for breakfast, lunch and dinner?

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Gifted and Talented Test Results Released This week!

NYC parents sat on the edge of their seats as they opened emails from the department of ed. to find out if their talented tot scored high enough on the OLSAT test to qualify for the much sought after gifted and talented program in New York City.  Depending on which side of the 90th percentile your child ranked will depend on the next steps and as the reality hits that your child might just be average. For the bulk of parents, the 89th percentile  and below, it’s wait until next year to see if their child can score higher to get into the gifted and talented program for 2013-14 school year. Although, rumors are flying around that the department of ed is possibly changing the criteria for admission (including the test) for next year. We’ll have to wait and see!

The issue with the OLSAT test results and scores coming out this week is well, it’s spring break! Many parents are out of town and may not even know the test scores are announced until after they return from their family trips from Florida, Hawaii, California or the Jersey shore. Gifted and Talented school tours start on Monday and it’s total panic mode for the parents who have contacted me. Sure, I get it – I’ve been there and I’m glad I’m not there again – it’s total stress and panic mode.

I have to admit, that PS 33 Chelsea Prep has their G&T tour schedule flexible enough for all the parents to attend. Here’s what they are offering for tour times this week at P.S 33 Chelsea Prep Gifted and Talented:

  • Monday, April 16       @ 9:15am
  • Tuesday, April 17       FULL
  • Wednesday, April 18  @ 6:15pm
  • Thursday, April 19      @ 6:15pm
  • Friday, April 20           @ 9:15am

The other most sought after school in district 2, Lower Lab P.S. 77 on the UES, is quite another story. Originally this week they were only having ONE school tour for parents on Wednesday night to accommodate only 400 parents. Tough luck if you were out of town for spring break or had to work that night. I suppose they assume people who would consider Lower Lab work a 9 to 5 office job with a nice boss? Not really sure of the rationale on that one. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Lower Lab did come to their senses and add another parents tour night on Thursday, April 19. I feel a little better knowing that parents who don’t have a cushy 9 to 5 job and need to make appropriate scheduling plans can do so. Here’s what was on Lower Lab’s web site earlier today:

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