What happens if Gifted and Talented goes away for good?

What happens if Gifted and Talented goes away for good?

G&T goodbye? Or not?

Many parents are wondering what the heck happens if G&T goes away for good? What about those parents who have one child in the gifted program and have a 2 or 3 year old at home who will now have to go to a separate school. Talk about the ultimate in morning drama trying to schlep two young children to two different schools (and in some cases to two different boroughs)! What happens if it’s a single parent who doesn’t have the resources to hire a nanny, private driver or Uber every day to do the back and forth from school.

I’ve been reading about another cluster of an idea from the DOE which is allowing parents to choose from their local school by their home or they can choose a school by their work. How about we think about that one for 30 seconds and what a complete and utter disaster that would be. First, over 8 million people work in Manhattan on a given day and schools in Manhattan are already overcrowded. What about people who get someone to lie for them about their work address? Oh, I’m sure that would NEVER happen with New Yorkers. Don’t you agree? The possibilities are endless of how parents would attempt to game the system to benefit their child. But hey, who can blame a mom or dad who wants the best education for their child. I suppose this is possibly a make-shift charter school run by the DOE? Like all ideas from the DOE I’m sure they are done with the best intentions (wink, wink!). If implemented, this would be the biggest mistake the DOE could make with the exception of doing away with the NYC Gifted and Talented program altogether.

There is one school in Brooklyn that decided to do away with their gifted and talented program next year. We’ll see how that plays out over time. The school said they are taking matters into their own hands and moving to abolish the program to provide “enrichment” for all students. I still have yet to hear what they are defining as “enrichment”. This is such a broad term and defined by everyone differently.  If it’s up to each G&T school to determine its fate then it’s safe to say that almost all of the programs will stay in place because of three reasons:

  1. Schools that have G&T programs score significantly higher on ELA and math common core testing done in the spring. This helps the overall score for the school since the scores are combined with the general ed students. The DOE doesn’t separate the G&T students scores vs. the general ed students scores.
  2. Gifted and talented students, for the most part, have parents who have more disposable income to donate to the PTA at the school. This helps with the overall success of the school if there’s a strong PTA with money to spend.
  3. Schools with gifted and talented programs do provide popularity to parents who may be considering private school. The G&T program offers a viable alternative to paying $55,000/year for kindergarten at a NYC private school.  If the G&T program goes away then thousands of NYC parents will seriously consider private school or moving to the suburbs.

It’s been way too quiet from the NYC Dept. of Ed. on any changes to the NYC gifted and talented program which tells me they may be up to their not-so-old tricks. We shall see.  There’s a great article in the USA Today that outlines all the drama in NYC as it pertains to this popular yet controversial program.

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