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A Gift for Testing
October 31st, 2007

Schools Chancellor Joel Klein may have finally found the right formula for admitting elementary school kids to gifted and talented programs, the Daily News says. In his latest attempt to bring fairness to a system that characterizes some kids as gifted and others as not, Klein http://www.nysun.com/article/65464 said the department will guarantee admission to the coveted programs to all kids who score in the top 5 percent on a standardized test. This, according to the News should end inequities in a system where some districts had more gifted programs than others and where influential parents regularly pulled strings to get their little geniuses into the special classes.

But others have concerns. The consensus on the changes is that they will make the programs more equitable in theory but will likely result in far fewer students being offered seats in gifted programs, especially in the districts that have a lively G+T culture, writes insideschools.org. On the other hand, the blog continues, all seem to agree that expanding access for poor students and kids in districts with only a handful or even no programs is a good thing.

My fear is that this policy will lead to even more segregated schools and classrooms — the last thing we need, Leonie Haimson wrote on NYC Public School Parents.

The blog continues with comments by Ellen Bilovsky, a public school parent who questions the whole premise of the classes: The saddest thing to me about gifted programs is the fact that virtually every child could benefit from the advantages that these programs offer.

By on October 31, 2007, 10:06 am
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