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%.
Furthermore, the city should improve its strategy for serving students once they are in a gifted program. G&T program proponents often refer to them as a form of special education — but this ignores that research on special education overwhelmingly points to the benefits of placing students of all types in regular classrooms as much as possible.
The city’s approach to serving students with disabilities reflects these best practices: Many schools across the city offer integrated co-teaching programs where students with disabilities are educated alongside their general education peers with special education support.