Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: Bracken School Readiness Assessment, Bracken test, naglieri test, NYC Gifted and Talented, NYC Gifted and Talented Program
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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