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.



Debunking myths of the NYC Gifted and Talented Program

Well folks, the DOE is debunking all the rumors and innuendos floating around the city about the NYC Gifted and Talented Program. We’re here to set the record straight by debunking myths of the NYC Gifted and Talented Program.

  • There are two type of G&T programs in NYC. TRUE!
    • District G&T programs give an admissions priority to applicants who live in their district. These programs are located within district elementary schools. Citywide G&T programs give no admissions priority based on district of residence and all students in these schools attend the G&T program.
  • Students must take both the OLSAT and NNAT-2 tests to participate in the NYC gifted program. TRUE!
    • If your child attends public kindergarten through second grade, they will take the G&T Test at school during the school day. If your child attends pre-K or non-public school, they can take the G&T Test on one of several weekend dates. Submit the RFT online and early for the best chance to get your preferred test date and location.
  • Students must score a 90th percentile combined score on the NNAT-2 test and OLSAT test to get a G&T application. TRUE!
    • A student who scores 90 or higher can apply for District G&T programs. A student who scores 97 or higher can apply for District and Citywide G&T programs. Make sure you check out free practice questions from programs like Testing Mom! 
  • There is NO guarantee that a student will get a G&T offer letter, regardless of their score. TRUE!
    • G&T programs are so high in demand and usually there are more eligible students than there are seats available. Even at a 99th percentile there are no guarantees.
  • G&T programs give an admissions priority to students with siblings currently enrolled in their programs. TRUE!
    • If your child applies to a G&T program at a school that their sibling attends, they have greater priority to attend that program than applicants without siblings at the school.
  • Only current pre-K through second grade students can participate in the admissions process for the Gifted and Talented Program TRUE!

 



Non-profit HOPEorgNYC helps prepare kids for gifted and talented test
October 7, 2016, 10:37 am
Filed under: testing mom | Tags: , , ,

The non-profit HOPEorgNYC helps prepare kids for the gifted and talented test in New York City.  Jill Goldstein, founder of @HOPEorgNYC, founded the non-profit in 2015 due to the lack of participation of students in lower-income areas of NYC who take the NYC gifted and talented test for children entering kindergarten through 3rd grade. The mission of this group is to lessen the divide within the gifted and talented program in New York City.  HOPE meets with students every Saturday morning from September through January to help them prepare for the upcoming NNAT and OLSAT tests.

Over the years, it has been evident that the NYC gifted and talented program skews to more Caucasian and Asian students vs. African American and Latino students. The population of gifted and talented students based upon race is disproportionate to the racial population of the city. According to the NY Times, this racial segregation within the schools begins as early as pre-K and then really manifests itself going into kindergarten with the gifted and talented program.

HOPE plans to even out the playing field within district 10 in the Bronx where the program meets at the local library every Saturday to help local students prepare for the test. Their goal is two fold: help the kids succeed on the the G&T test and to do well in school.

Here are students who have benefited from the wonderful work HOPE is doing in the Bronx. The kids thank TestingMom.com for giving them test prep materials and for sponsoring the HOPE team.

 



NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview
October 3, 2016, 11:48 am
Filed under: tests | Tags: , ,

NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Overview

Here’s a great overview from our friends at TestingMom.com (home of the 100 free practice questions for gifted and talented and private school admissions to help your child prep for these tests with tons of sample questions.)

If you are reading this, then you are a parent or a grandparent in NYC who is trying to find the best possible school for your little one. There are so many options in New York – private schools, gifted and talented programs, general education – it can sometimes feel overwhelming, especially if your child is just 4-years-old!

In NYC, you have 3 possibilities when it comes to a free gifted & talented education for your young child. Children take different tests to qualify for these programs:

Citywide Gifted and Talented Programs

Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score. The question to your right is a practice question for the Pattern Completion subtest for the NNAT®2 test.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank for the NNAT2 test. Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students. A child must score at the 97th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs. In the last few years (due to space limitations), only children who score in the 99th percentile have gotten into these programs. The only exception to this is siblings of current students who are admitted with 97th percentile or above.

District Gifted and Talented Programs

Children will take the Verbal Portion only of the Otis Lennon School Ability Test® (OLSAT® test), which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score (Following Directions, Aural Reasoning, Arithmetic Reasoning for Levels A, B, C or K – 2nd grade), and the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), a non-verbal test, which counts for 50% of the child’s composite score – a child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

Your child will be given a nationally normed percentile rank for the OLSAT test and a percentile rank score for the NNAT2 test. Then, these two scores will be combined into a single percentile score that will be normed against other NYC students. A child must score at the 90th percentile or above to be eligible for these programs.

For the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test® (NNAT®2 test), all of the questions are “puzzles” involving shapes and figures that require visual-spatial reasoning to solve.

 



NYC dept of ed urging renewal of Pearson contract for exams
August 25, 2016, 3:17 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags: , , ,

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.



NYC Gifted and Talented Test Results
April 22, 2016, 10:54 am
Filed under: tests | Tags: ,

Last Friday, parents in Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, Bronx and Manhattan received the NYC Gifted and Talented test results for their young children who took the exam this past January and February. Overall, the scores are in line with what we’ve seen in the past. Almost 36,000 kids pre-K to 2nd grade took the test this year and 30% of them made a qualifying score for the gifted program. According to the DOE, this up 5 percentage points from the previous year where only 25% received a qualified score.

Not happy with your child’s test score? Well, sorry folks. The DOE doesn’t allow any appeals once the test results are released. If there were issues at the testing site then it’s up to the parent to report those within 48 hours of when their child took the test. If you’re a parent who still wants to complaint and whine to the DOE about your child’s test score you can contact you may contact the Office of Assessment at 212-374-6646 or at servicecenter@schools.nyc.gov with questions about assessments. Or go visit them in person at 55 Chambers Street in Manhattan.

According to the DOE, there is a “comprehensive quality assurance process before the scores are released in which three independent entities confirm accuracy of the results”. Not sure what that means considering there is no further explanation of this quality assurance process. Who are these three independent entities?  Is one of them Pearson, the test publisher, who made horrendous scoring errors a few years ago that were only discovered after hundreds of parents questioned their child’s score?

 

nyc gifted talented test results

NYC Gifted and Talented Test Results for OLSAT and NNAT-2



Is the NNAT2 test going away?
February 6, 2015, 3:58 pm
Filed under: tests | Tags: , ,

So, is the NNAT test going away? Rumors have been flying around all five boroughs asking this question about next year’s test for entry into the NYC gifted and talented program. When they introduced the NNAT2 test a few years ago the purpose was to make it harder to prep for the test although it seems that even more kids score in the 99th percentile on the NNAT2 test versus the OLSAT test. Pearson, the publisher of both the OLSAT test and NNAT test, screwed up the scoring a couple of years ago that left parents in a panic when they found out their talented tot didn’t make the cut (or so they initially thought). Luckily, thousands of parents were notified after their initial shock that there was a scoring error and their child was at least eligible for a seat into the G&T program. Although, there is no guarantee of getting a seat even with the highest score of the 99th percentile. The dept of ed has continuously tried to make it more difficult for the parent “preppers” but the parents always seem to find a way out how to prepare for these tests.  After all, there is so much riding on the results of these tests  that any parent with half a brain wouldn’t send their kids into these testing situations and leave it all up to chance. I know I wouldn’t. How about you?

Want to know the types of questions they ask these kids? Well, you can find out on Testing Mom along with tons of other questions for other tests out there.