On Tuesday, the School Diversity Advisory Group suggested that the city eliminate all gifted programs in its schools to combat segregation.
What We Know:
- The controversial plan is meant to prevent racial and economic division in schools, ABC 7 reported.
- New York has a predominately white and Asian population in many of its specialized high schools. For example, only seven black students were admitted into the prestigious Styvueseant High School last March. Access to specialized schooling and gifted programs is disproportionate across the board.
- City and State NY reported that 66.5% of the NY public school system student body is black and Hispanic. Fewer gifted programs are offered in this system where the population is primarily composed of students of color.
- This proposed plan includes eliminating any admissions process based on exams, attendance and grades and establishes new academic programs to replace the existing ones for high-achieving students.
The panel released a full report outlining their proposal. The document states, “today they [gifted programs] have become proxies for separating students who can and should have opportunities to learn together.”
Diversity Group Chair, Maya Wiley, explained the move in a statement saying, “A culture that thinks that if you call something gifted and talented, it means your kid is better, that’s what we’re trying to move away from.”
This is a rather controversial proposal and there have been mixed reactions to the plan.
This is God awful and will ruin so many lives. Gifted programs give poor kids stuck at failing schools a chance at succeeding. I was stuck in a horrible public school until I tested into a gifted program and my world changed. https://t.co/SZ06pqNxxP
— Ana Rosa Quintana (@ana_r_quintana) August 27, 2019
THREAD: Desegregation must be a priority and I look forward to reviewing this report in full. But, while I support moving away from relying on a single test for admissions to elite schools, I don’t believe eliminating gifted and talented programs outright is the solution. (1/2)
— NYC Council Speaker Corey Johnson (@NYCSpeakerCoJo) August 27, 2019
Wait what? Your solution to educational inequality is to stop providing the enrichment programs for gifted students, rather than EXPANDING them to the underperforming schools? I’m assuming there were no actual educators in the room where that panel was meeting???
— Not The One You Thought (@ELAdepartmentAR) August 26, 2019
- Mayor Bill de Blasio has commented briefly on the suggestion saying, “How do you strike that balance? We want kids to learn together in diversity, we want to break down barriers, we also want to make sure we have academic strength.”
City officials will continue to discuss this proposal in the coming months. We will provide updates as needed.