Special Classes Help Gifted in Ghettos

OUTSIDE, there is a burned‐out tenement, a symbol of a devastated inner‐city neighborhood. Inside, a teacher is working on algebra problems with a class of gifted children, preparing them for entrance to specialized high schools.

Of the 16,800 pupils in District 7, 400 are in special progress classes. The district is about 68 percent Hispanic, 31 percent black and 1 percent “other,” meaning white and Oriental.

Madeline Golia, the coordinator of the district’s program for gifted and talented pups, said that admission to the special progress classes is based on several “flexible” standards. These include performance on the citywide reading test, mathematical ability, teacher evaluation, emotional adjustment and personal screening.

Selection Method Changed

This represents a change from the days when intelligence tests were used to determine eligibility for classes for the gifted, and when pupils who scored only one I.Q. point below the “gifted” score — 130 — were not admitted. I.Q. tests no longer are administered in New York City schools.

The District 7 standard, Mrs. Golia said, is that the pupil read one year and six months above grade level and be at grade level in math. Over‐all, only 40 percent of pupils in the city’s schools read at or above grade level. There are no citywide math tests.

This article points out quite a bit.

  1. Specialized High School test prep was given to students IN school. It wasn’t an added outside program like today’s “DREAM” program
  2. We had norm-referenced G&T before SPE which caused the predictable diversity issues. SP changed this to a local-normed admission process. This gives evidence to what I’ve always held. That Bloomberg/Klein knew that switching to a national norm-referenced exam would decimate Black participation in G&T
  3. SP had 400 students in a 16K district
  4. Students back then were performing at similar to lower on criterion-referenced exams ( something we already know, but some challenge )