Mayor pushes back against PEP vote cancelling Gifted and Talented testing contract | amNewYork

Mayor pushes back against PEP vote cancelling Gifted and Talented testing contract

Bill de Blasio Mets Steve Cohen
Mayor Bill de Blasio.

Mayor Bill de Blasio rebuffed a decision from the city’s Panel for Educational Policy denying a contract extension with Pearson, the testing company used to administer the city’s controversial Gifted and Talented exam. 

“You will have an opportunity to apply for those programs, we’ll work on the right methodology and we’ll announce it soon,” de Blasio told reporters on Thursday. “But families can hear directly from me, yes you will be applying for the opportunity for your kids to be in the gifted and talented program and we’ll get an update to folks soon.”

PEP panelists bumped up the vote for late Wednesday night after the mayor announced this Spring would be the last year the exam would be administered in an effort to diversify classrooms. Panelists voted to terminate the contract by a one-vote margin, Chalkbeat reported. 

It is unclear now what City Hall will do in order to allow the city’s four-year olds to take the hotly contested exam. 

Earlier this month, de Blasio announced the entrance exam would be scrapped after the spring and replaced with new ways to serve talented students. Critics of the exam argue that it contributes to segregation within New York City public schools and is more of an indication of privilege than of aptitude. 

“The Gifted and Talented test is the definition of a high stakes test, a single test that determines so much,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Jan. 14. “This approach to testing is not something I believe in, it’s not something the chancellor believes in and it has caused a lot of frustration for so many families… we need a much better approach to serving kids with a lot of capacity.”



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