Dear Commons Community,
New York City’s Independent Budget Office has a brief report entitled, Were Black and Hispanic Kindergarteners Under-Represented and Racially Segregated in Gifted & Talented Programs in 2018-2019? It presents stark numbers that illustrate the disparity in access to these programs among major groups in the City. The chart above says it all. Here is an excerpt from the study.
“There were 81 schools that offered Gifted & Talented instruction in the 2018-2019 school year, including five schools that were part of the citywide Gifted & Talented program and provided only Gifted & Talented instruction to eligible students (those with the highest scores). For the purposes of this analysis, each of the 78 schools offering Gifted & Talented instruction in kindergarten is referred to as a program. IBO used classroom-level data for the kindergarten class of 2018-2019 to look at the extent of under-representation of Black and Hispanic students across all Gifted & Talented programs compared with the citywide kindergarten class. We also looked at the demographic composition of individual Gifted & Talented programs to see if there was evidence of segregation by race.
“The under-representation of Black and Hispanic students in Gifted & Talented programs in New York City public schools has been well documented. Admission to the programs had been based on a competitive test, but for next school year the Department of Education will use a lottery to select kindergarten students from among those recommended by their pre-k teachers or whose parents signed their children up for interviews. The education department has also said it will not use entrance exams for 4-year-olds in the future. A recently filed lawsuit charges the city’s admission processes for Gifted & Talented programs and selective schools worsens racial inequality in the school system…
…Overall, half of the Gifted & Talented programs (39 of 78) did not include any Black students, and another 12 programs had only one Black student. Likewise, 16 programs did not have any Hispanic students and another 22 programs included a single Hispanic student. By comparison, only 18 programs had one or no Asian students and only 14 programs had one or no white students…”
Something has to be done!