Why Gifted and Talented Schools are the Wrong Approach: To diversify schools, reimagine G&T: A bill to expand segregated programs moves in exactly the wrong direction

But we’ve already tried this, and it didn’t work. Back in 2009, Mayor Bloomberg tried to expand gifted programs and switched from multiple measures to a single test score for gifted admission. The result was actually more segregation, and reduced access for black and Latino students: The percentage of black and Latino students entering such programs in kindergarten was cut in half, from 46% of program entrants to just 22%, while the percentage of white and Asian students climbed from 53% to over 70%.

Exam High Schools and Academic Achievement: Evidence from New York City

Publicly funded exam schools educate many of the world’s most talented students. These schools typically contain higher achieving peers, more rigorous instruction, and additional resources compared to regular public schools. This paper uses a sharp discontinuity in the admissions process at three prominent exam schools in New York City to provide the first causal estimate of the impact of attending an exam school in the United States on longer term academic outcomes. Attending an exam school increases the rigor of high school courses taken and the probability that a student graduates with an advanced high school degree.

In a wide-ranging interview, Carranza takes issue with admissions to New York City’s gifted programs

Chancellor Richard Carranza in a wide-ranging interview with Chalkbeat.

“There is no body of knowledge that I know of that has pointed to the fact that you can give a test to a 4-year-old or a 5-year-old and determine if they’re gifted,” he said. “Those tests — and it’s pretty clear — are more a measure of the privilege of a child’s home than true giftedness.”


2 Ideals at Issue

Many teachers and principals are convinced that there should be ability grouping for the good of the most able and the least able students. But often these same educators are uneasy over the racial isolation that often results. This has put some programs for bright students on shaky ground.

Classes for gifted children are being abolished, for example, at P.S. 152, down the block from Brooklyn College, because even though the school’s enrollment is becoming increasingly black and Puerto Rican, the gifted classes are disproportionately white.

Gifted Grade Schoolers To Get Special Instruction

This is where NYC’s infamous Gifted & Talented program all started.

The city school system will get its first program for teaching gifted elementary ‐school children this fall, following a vote to set up the program by’ the central Board of Education last night.

A grant of $60,000 from the Vincent Astor Foundation will finance two experimental “early ‐learner” classes, in Brooklyn and Manhattan, for especially bright children aged from 4 to 6 years.


And 2 years later…

The two existing experimental classrooms for 4‐to‐6‐year‐old pupils are situated in Public School 116 at 210 East 33d Street in Manhattan and P.S.