NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


NYC dept of ed urging renewal of Pearson contract for exams

Well, it looks like the NYC dept of ed is urging the renewal of the Pearson contract for $13.4M. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Pearson is the creator of standardized testing as we know it today and has a solid hold on the testing market across the nation within the public school system. According to the Wall Street Journal, this $13.4 would be a 6 year deal with the NYC dept of education.  This particular contract focuses on the entrance exams into the NYC specialized high schools like Stuyvesant High School, Bronx Science, Brooklyn tech and a few more. These specialized high schools are code-word for gifted and talented but I suppose it stings less to parents and students if their child isn’t admitted into one of these top high schools in the city. The admission process for these specialized high school doesn’t come without it’s critics, whom have reason to be critical since the admission process for these programs is based solely on the test with zero regarding to student performance in middle school. By the time a student reaches high school there’s a proven track record of their work from elementary through middle school. Although the test should be considered as part of the admissions process it doesn’t seem fair to the student or the high school that entry be based solely upon the test to receive a coveted seats at any of these prestegious high schools (especially Stuyvesant and Bronx Science).  Schools like Stuyvesant have a predominately Asian and white student body which isn’t a true reflection of the diversity of New York City. Even though many claim the diversity is seen through socio-economic status since many students at these top high schools do qualify for the free lunch programs.

Although this doesn’t have a direct impact on the NYC gifted and talented testing, keep in mind that Pearson (coincidentally, wink-wink!) is the publisher of the NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test that are given to pre-K to 2nd grades for entry into the very popular gifted and talented program.  We’ll see what happens with the NYC G&T test contract is up and if Pearson renews again. If you want to take a look at some of the practice questions you can get free ones at Testing Mom.


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