NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


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.


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