After much debate and noise, it’s here whether parents and students like it or not.
City Hall released applications today for the gifted and talented classes following major public fights and brouhaha between New York City Mayor Eric Adams and Schools Chancellor David Banks vs. parents of public school children.
Applications opened up this Monday and the city is, allegedly, getting the word out as quickly as they can. When asked to comment on the significance of today, the Department of Education directed the AmNews to a release from the previous week where the ground rules for the application process were established.
For kindergarten nominations, pre-K program leadership and staff were provided guidance—including curiosity and approaches to learning, as well as guidance that reminds teachers that children who demonstrate gifted behaviors often come from diverse backgrounds and have different abilities—“in alignment with the National Association for Gifted Children in advance of the nomination process,” read part of the rules. All educators were provided with coaching to answer any questions about the nomination tool and assessment criteria.
Using grades in the four core subject areas—English language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies—the top 10% of second graders at each school will be invited to apply for the third grade Gifted & Talented program. This method ensures that district programs are representative of the district’s population and that the DOE is using multiple measures to determine eligibility.
The top 3% of performing second graders are encouraged to apply.
“Family and community engagement is critical to the success of our students and of this program,” stated Banks.
When the AmNews contacted the United Federation for Teachers and the Alliance for Quality Education, UFT press people said there were no plans to comment and the AQE provided radio silence.
The UFT, however, did focus on class size.
On the same day of the opening of applications the union championed legislature (A.10498/S.9460) with backing from Education Chair John Liu, Assembly Education Committee Chair Michael Benedetto, and Member of the Assembly Education Committee Manny De Los Santos, that would lower class sizes to 20 students in early grades and 25 in high school.
“According to the most recent data from New York State, out of 675 school districts, 663 have smaller class sizes than New York City,” stated UFT President Michael Mulgrew. “The passage and enactment of this legislation—which prioritizes the city’s poorest schools, phases in over five years, and provides exemptions when necessary for overcrowded buildings—would be a landmark achievement for this city’s children by the political leadership of our city and state.”