NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing

New NYC Dept of Ed Chancellor is anti gifted testing

Well, we knew this one was coming. The new Chancellor for NYC schools says that only the privileged are in the gifted and talented program across the city. Let’s tell that to the first generation American-Chinese parent who is living on a measly salary she gets while working at the fish market in China town. No, it’s not about privileged, it’s about priorities for parenting! Time and time again studies have shown that regardless of race or socio-economic status if the parent is involved in their child’s education that child will be successful in school.  The top high schools in the city, Stuyvesant and Bronx Science, both have 30% of their student populations qualify for free lunch (translation: they are poor). The sad fact is that the vast majority of those students are Asian descent. This doesn’t fit the narrative for the new Chancellor so therefore he conveniently leaves that fact out of anything he says that doesn’t support his political agenda. The easiest solution to this issue is to have all universal pre-K students take the G&T test unless the parent opts-out of the test. This way parents who don’t know about the program don’t have to worry about not being included in the testing. It’s about educating the parents about the program and sometimes the best thing is to just do the testing.  There should also be the ranking within each district for entry into the program. For example, if the highest score in a district is 94 percentile than use that score as the ceiling for the qualification point for the program and work your way down from there. This type of attribution could entice parents to move to certain districts that in the past they would have never considered.

And what if the G&T test went away? What about the tens of thousands of kids already in the program? How is the DOE going to cope with that madness? And also the sibling preference when parents would then send their child to their local school, which is most likely already overcrowded. There are too many foreseen and unforeseen consequences of yanking this program and the Chancellor should really think through these scenarios before mouthing off saying that it has to do with privilege when in actuality it has to do with parent involvement.

The Chancellor also never speaks a word about the contract the DOE has with Pearson, the publisher of the NYC G&T test for the OLSAT and NNAT-2.  That’s a multi-year and multi-million dollar contract the test-prep empire has with the DOE and not one I’d suspect they’d want to give up so easily.

Helping a shy child take OLSAT test
November 23, 2017, 4:38 pm
Filed under: OLSAT Test, testing mom | Tags:

A few tips on helping a shy child taking the OLSAT test

In most cases you probably will not be able to go with your son or daughter into a testing room It’s very rare that you would be able to actually go in. There’s a lot that you could do ahead of time to help your child get ready and be a little bit more comfortable going into the testing room. First of all, you want to give your child experience way before the OLSAT test talking to people who are safe strangers who are going to be similar to the tester that your child is going to meet with, someone they don’t really know but someone who is safe. You can do that, let your child pay for something at a store and talk to the person behind the counter, or let your child order for herself at a restaurant and talk to the waiter or waitress. Any time you can give your child an opportunity to talk to somebody who is not you, but is a stranger who is safe, let your child do that.

You can also talk to your child ahead of time and explain to them what’s going to happen. “You’re going to be meeting with a special teacher who is very nice, just like your teacher, Mrs. so and so.” Connect the experience to something your child has done well at already. You can say, “She’s just like your nice teacher, Mrs. so and so and she wants to know what four year olds know. You just answer her questions. It’ll be fun, just like going to school is.” Helping them feel comfortable with what’s to come, that’s something you can do.

You might take her or him to a tutor and have them work with your child as well. In that case they’ll just have experience with what the tester is going to be like, another safe stranger. You can read the transcript from shyness expert Dr. Roberto Carducci, and he gives lots of hints and tips about what you could do with a very shy child to help them open up and feel more comfortable on test day.