NYC Gifted and Talented Program and Testing


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

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

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

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.



Is the NNAT2 test going away?

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.



Parents Often Confounded by NNAT Practice Test
February 14, 2013, 4:19 pm
Filed under: naglieri test, nnat test | Tags: ,

As you know, parents often confounded by NNAT practice test find the questions on this particular test difficult even for themselves, let alone their 4 year old talented tot!

The NNAT test, which is a non-verbal intelligence test designed to measure spatial reasoning and pattern recognition abilities in test takers, among other non-verbal skills, is believed to be a more accurate measure of intelligence in children because it takes a language neutral approach. Although the test is generally considered among the most fair assessment exams, many parents in New York City – where the NNAT is used extensively for entrance to public and private school gifted and talented programs – are confounded by the exam when they look over NNAT practice test questions with their children.

Each year, as parents across the city help their children get ready for taking the exam, practice test resources are sought out. Many organizations in the city and online are available to help parents locate and appropriately use NNAT-2 practice questions with their children. When reviewing exam questions, parents are consistently amazed at the difficulty of some of the questions that appear on the NNAT2 practice tests, making it that much more important that children get the chance to become familiar with the test question formats and thinking in the right terms to perform well on the NNAT practice test and the formal exam.



NYC Gifted and Talented Testing Starts Today

As many of you know, NYC gifted and talented testing starts today! (Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013).  It’s hard to believe that another year of the New York City gifted testing has arrived.  This year, the BSRA test (aka Bracken School Readiness Assessment) has been replaced with the much more difficult NNAT-2 test that uses progressive matrices when the child is testing. The NNAT test (Naglieri Non-verbal abilities test) was designed  for a culturally neutral evaluation of a child’s nonverbal reasoning and general problem-solving ability, regardless of the primary language, culture or socioeconomic status.

We’ll see if this change to the Naglieri test has an impact on the number of students qualifying for a coveted seat in the New York City gifted and talented program.