NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


Top tips for NYC gifted and talented schools

It’s that time of year again for children to make the annual pilgrimage to the take the OLSAT and NNAT2 tests for vie for a coveted spot in the NYC gifted and talented program for next school year. Here are a couple of tips for NYC parents to remember after their talented tot takes the test in January.

Top tips for NYC gifted and talented schools:

  • Make sure you visit every G&T school your child is eligible to attend after scores are released in April 2016. Some schools have very good reputations but keep in mind there are quite a few hidden gems in the city. Make sure you discover for yourself if a school would be a good fit for your child or not after visiting the school in person. Don’t rely on second hand information to base your final decision on what’s the best fit for YOUR child.
  • There is a misconception that citywide G&T programs like NEST and Anderson are better than their district wide counterparts. This isn’t necessarily true since all G&T programs and curriculum vary dramatically so make sure you do your homework to find out the ins-and-outs of the schools your child is eligible for either district wide or citywide.  The major plus about citywide programs is those schools go through 8th grade or all the way through 12th grade, depending on the school. That means no middle school or high school admissions process (believe me, that’s a big plus!). Once your child is in a program they are there to stay unless you decide to remove your child for whatever reason like moving or you’re tired of trying to keep up with the mountains of homework your child brings home every day.

There’s also a great article on DNA Info with even more tips for parents deciding about G&T programs for their children.



Parents beware! Mistake in NYC G&T handbooks
November 18, 2015, 6:00 pm
Filed under: nnat test, NYC Gifted and Talented Program, OLSAT Test | Tags: ,

It seems like the NYC G&T department made some serious errors in the 115,000 G&T handbooks given out that were translated into nine languages according to the article in AM New York. You’re lucky if you received the handbook in English since there were no errors in the questions and answers for the guides that were handed out. It seems the DOE didn’t bother to have someone take a few minutes of their time to proofread the copies that were in the non-English written materials. It seems that the DOE officials were scrambling to fix the error of their ways by scrambling around to try to correct the screw-up. This caused them to extend the deadline to register for the OLSAT test and NNAT-2 test (free practice questions on Testing Mom) that are the entrance exams required for a 4-year-old to get a seat in a top-notch kindergarten for free.  It seems these types of errors are completely preventable but I suppose no one at the DOE was thoughtful enough to think of the ramifications of not having these important materials proofread by a professional before printing. I will give the DOE credit for the cover of the NYC G&T handbook this year. I think the artwork is very well done. Too bad they didn’t put the same time and energy in making sure the practice questions they provided were up to par.

 

 

doe handbook

 



Is your child gifted or just bright?

There are many signs of a gifted child and some possible signs include: excellent memory, great sense of humor, morally sensitive, perfectionist, questions authority and good at jigsaw puzzles.

Well, the folks at Testing Mom (home of the 100 free practice questions) came out with a new and entertaining way to find out if your child is gifted or bright. Take the  5 question quiz to find out if you child is gifted or just bright.

Here’s a list of the most popular questions parents ask about the NYC Gifted and Talented program.

  1. What are some signs of giftedness?
  2. Should you do test prep for the OLSAT test and NNAT2 test?
  3. What does testing 4-year-olds tell us about their giftedness?
  4. What does a G&T curriculum look like in NYC schools?
  5. What are some pluses of gifted programs?
  6. What are some minuses for gifted programs?
  7. When will you find out about getting a seat?
  8. Where can you get more info on the test?

You can find the answers to all these questions (and more!) on a great article on DNA Info written by Amy Zimmer.



Push to expand NYC gifted and talented programs

Over the past few years it’s become evident the lack of racial diversity in the NYC gifted and talented programs across the city. The biggest gaps are most evident in lower-income, minority neighborhoods. Not only that, the two boroughs of the Bronx and Staten Island neither have a citywide program within their borough. For the students living in the Bronx of Staten Island and scoring a 99th percentile on the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests doesn’t guarantee a city-wide seat. And if these students do somehow get into a citywide gifted and talented program like NEST or Anderson it would take in some cases almost 2 hours of commute time each way with public transportation. The gifted and talented problem of supply and demand has been evident over the past several years with over 1,900 pre-K kids qualifying for a citywide seat and only 250-300 kindergarten seats being available.

The DOE promises to open more programs across the city, especially in areas that have few district wide gifted and talented programs. The DOE determines what areas get a new gifted program based upon the amount of kids who take the test in that district. Unfortunately, it’s a vicious cycle since many students don’t take the test since the parents don’t know about the test or don’t bother for whatever reason. There are plenty of students in both the Bronx and Staten Island to justify the opening of a new citywide program in each of those boroughs but it’s a tough sell since space is limited and educating local residents about this program.

The NYC G&T program does offer excellent educational opportunities but only for those who are aware of the program. Hopefully outreach to the local communities will make some sort of impact but as with anything that has to do with the DOE it will take years to see change.