Change is a good thing, right?


Change is a good thing, right?

Changes to NYC Gifted and Talented qualification process

NYC Department of Ed. announced a hybrid lottery / questionnaire/assessment system to replace the Gifted and Talented test that has been given in the past for entry into the NYC Gifted and Talented.  

What is known so far

Of course, the press articles about this change are contradictory.  Parents are anxiously awaiting for clarification from the DOE on the specifics of how this will work.  Here’s what what is known so far:

  1. March 8, 2021 – parents can express interest in the gifted and talented program for your child. Bottom line, start sucking up to your child’s pre-K teacher so they will recommend your child. I’ve had parents ask me if they should give gift cards or cash to their child’s pre-K teacher to get a recommendation. Of course, that’s highly inappropriate and I wouldn’t recommend it. Although, I’m sure some teachers would appreciate the funds.
  2. Following that, your child’s preschool will (and this is where the articles contradict, see below) a) conduct an evaluation or b) complete a questionnaire (an assessment vs. a questionnaire isn’t clear) to determine your child’s fitness for the accelerated program.  
  3. If your child is deemed eligible to apply, you will be notified in mid-May.
  4. Your family will then apply for a specific seat and will be entered into a lottery with other eligible students.

These changes will ONLY impact gifted and talented asses beginning Fall of 2021.  In the meantime, Mayor de Blasio says they will rethink the G&T program for future years over the next few months.  The new mayor (elected in 2021) will ultimately decide what happens to the gifted and talented program. Current frontrunner for NYC Mayor, Andrew Yang, is a big proponent of the gifted programs in NYC and realizes its importance for families to stay in the city due to the popularity.  

Here are some articles about what was just announced about the upcoming changes.  

Many Details Still Not Known

Will the child’s preschool assess the child based on an instrument provided to them OR will the preschool answer questions via a questionnaire/checklist about the child’s abilities?

What kindergarten readiness skills will be assessed or asked about?  Will they be cognitive (thinking), academic (reading, math, writing) or “soft” skills (listening, following directions, etc.) or some combination of these?

What about students in K – 2nd grade – can they apply for G&T?

If your child qualifies for the lottery, how many schools will you be able to apply to?  Will you be able to list your preferences in order?  Or will you only be able to apply for “a specific seat” in one school?  

Many other details have not yet been announced.  

What does my child need to know or be able to do to qualify for the G&T lottery?  This has not been announced yet.  However, most likely the assessment or the questionnaire would cover kindergarten readiness skills.  Kindergarten readiness skills include any of the following:

  • Verbal Reasoning (thinking around verbal skills – aural reasoning, verbal analogies, verbal classification)
  • Quantitative and Nonverbal Reasoning (thinking around math – shapes, patterns, figural classification, figural or mathematical analogies)
  • Early Literacy (pre-reading, letter sounds, sight words)
  • Early Math (counting, early addition and subtraction, relativity, size/comparisons/left/right)
  • Early Knowledge/Skills – colors, numbers, letters, early reading behaviors, print behaviors, math behaviors, social skills, gross and fine motor skills, school readiness behaviors such as language, listening, following directions, cooperating, focusing, staying on task, turn taking, and more)

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