NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

More and more gifted programs join diversity effort
September 21, 2018, 5:24 pm
Filed under: NYC Gifted and Talented Program | Tags: ,

New York City Gifted and Talented Programs embrace diversity efforts

Over the past two years gifted programs in NYC have adopted changes into their admissions processes to promote a more diverse student population. Some schools, like P.S. 11 in Chelsea, now open 30% of its gifted and talented seats for the coveted program for lower-income, homeless, or reduced lunch students for their program. TAG citywide program reserves 40% of its seats for lower-income students. This makes citywide programs even more competitive now that so many seats are going to be reserved for these students thus cutting out a large percentage of students who would otherwise get a seat and now will not.

The reason behind the diversity push is due to the current demographic makeup of the gifted and talented programs. Hispanics and black students only make up 27% of students in the gifted and talented programs while the entire student popultion comprises over 70% of students across all five boroughs.


The gifted programs that start in kindergarten are considered the gateway for children get into a top middle school and eventually into a specialized high school like Stuyvesant or Bronx Science. That’s one of the reasons pay hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars for their child to get prepared for these tests.

One of the major concerns is that many children in the lower income areas of the city don’t participate in the gifted and talented testing while students in the more affluent areas do participate at an exponentially higher rate. It’s not that parents in the lower income don’t want their kids in these programs, most of these parents have no idea these programs even exist. The NYC dept. of ed. has tried outreach programs although there seems to be little impact on increasing the participation rate for these kids to take the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests. This could be attributed to many of these parents may not speak and/or read English which is a hindrance in learning about the program the DOE has to offere. Hopefully this school year we’ll see higher participation rate of students taking the G&T test in the lower-income areas of the city.