NEW YORK – The city will use evaluations conducted by pre-K providers to determine if rising kindergartners are eligible to apply for the gifted and talented program, and then will award seats to those eligible students via a lottery.
What You Need To Know
- The city will use evaluations conducted by pre-K providers to determine if rising kindergartners are eligible to apply for the gifted and talented program
- They will award seats to those eligible students via a lottery
- The change comes after the Panel for Educational Policy voted down a contract to administer a more formal exam
The change comes after the Panel for Educational Policy voted down a contract to administer a more formal exam to those students at a stunning, marathon meeting last month.
Families will be able to express their interest in gifted and talented programs beginning March 8, the Education Department said, and from there, their child’s pre-K program or school will conduct an evaluation to determine if the child is eligible to apply.
If a child is eligible, they will be notified sometime in mid-May. Their family will then apply for a specific seat and be entered into a lottery with other eligible students. Offers will be sent out to families in the summer.
If a student isn’t currently in a pre-K, the Education Department says they can still apply for a pre-K seat now, and if they do, the child’s new pre-K would conduct a remote interview with that student instead of an evaluation.
If a family opts not to attend pre-K at all but wants to apply, the Education Department will conduct a remote interview with the student.
This change will only affect applications this year, the DOE says, with City Hall still intending to more fully re-think gifted and talented education over the next several months.
Mayor de Blasio had previously said he wanted to stop using the exam – created by test company Pearson and administered in-person to students applying to kindergarten, but that he needed to do so again this year as a new plan was developed.
But even as he asked the panel to approve one final contract with Pearson, he had acknowledged the problems with the test, and his Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza told the panel it had no pedagogical basis. Critics also argue the exam has meant few Black and Hispanic students had access to the program.
Ultimately, a majority of the panel’s members said they simply couldn’t support using the test even one more year, throwing the application process into disarray.