New York City Mayor Eric Adams along with Schools Chancellor David C. Banks announced the opening of expanded Gifted and Talented applications for kindergarten and third grade, which will open May 31.
Utilizing grades in the four core school subject areas – English language arts, mathematics, science and social studies – the top 10 percent of second graders will be nominated to apply for the Gifted and Talented program in third grade.
Students in pre-K will be nominated to apply for the kindergarten Gifted and Talented Program by pre-K leadership and staff on a basis of curiosity and approach to learning, as well as guidance that reminds teachers that children who demonstrate gifted behaviors often come from diverse backgrounds and have different abilities — in alignment with the National Association for Gifted Children in advance of the nomination process.
“By expanding our Gifted & Talented program to all New York City districts, we are giving every young person an opportunity to grow, to learn, to explore their talents and imagination, and we are making sure no child is left behind,” said Mayor Adams in a statement on May 24. “Working with families, teachers, and community leaders, we were able to make this expansion happen, and now students from every school district will be able to access a Gifted & Talented program.”
Chancellor Banks also chimed in to express his excitement about the program’s expansion, and gratitude to the administrators and educators that are working to make it possible.
“Family and community engagement is critical to the success of our students and of this program,” said Chancellor Banks. “Thank you to our superintendents, community leaders, and families for working together with us to ensure there is access to the Gifted & Talented program in every community. We are also grateful to our pre-K teachers for undertaking this enormous effort to ensure that each and every student is screened for this opportunity.”
However, some believe that increasing Gifted and Talented programs is not the correct way to ensure that all students have access to high-quality curriculum and education.
The Chinese American Citizens Alliance of Greater New York (CACAGNY) believes that the solution actually lies within eliminating the charter school cap so that all students of all races have the opportunity to engage with high-quality education.
The charter school cap is the number of charter schools (460) allowed to operate in NYC during the 2021-2022 school year. Charter school supporters believe that prohibiting the construction or opening of more charters is arbitrary and harmful for students who want equitable access to quality education through public schools.
“Given the immense popularity of charter schools in New York City, especially for Black, Hispanic, and now increasingly, Asian families, as evidenced by their huge waiting lists, one would think that lifting the cap by elected officials should be a no-brainer,” an email from CACAGNY sent out on May 24 read. “These schools deliver results that are comparable to, and often better than, that of the G&T programs and top selective “screened” schools that our parents try so hard to get their children into, but which the City wrecked because they have “too many Asians.” (The new G&T program promised for next year will not be the high-quality G&T you hoped for!)”