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    #249233 - 10/08/21 05:59 AM New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2637
    Loc: MA
    New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented Program. Students who are currently enrolled in gifted and talented classes will not be affected. But the highly selective and racially segregated program will be replaced for incoming students.
    By Eliza Shapiro
    New York Times
    October 8, 2021

    Quote:
    Mayor Bill de Blasio will overhaul New York Cityís highly selective, racially segregated gifted and talented education classes, a sea change for the nationís largest public school system that may amount to the mayorís most significant act in the waning months of his tenure.

    The elementary school gifted and talented program that New York has known for the last several decades will no longer exist for incoming kindergarten students next fall, and within a few years, it will be eliminated completely, city officials told The New York Times.
    Students who are currently enrolled in gifted classes will become the final cohort in the existing system, which will be replaced by a program that offers accelerated learning to all students in the later years of elementary school.

    The gradual elimination of the existing program will remove a major component of what many consider to be the cityís two-tiered education system, in which one relatively small, largely white and Asian American group of students gain access to the highest-performing schools, while many Black and Latino children remain in schools that are struggling.

    New York, home to one of the most racially segregated school systems in the country, is more reliant on selective school admissions than any other large system in America.

    The move represents one of Mr. de Blasioís most dramatic actions to combat segregation in city schools, though it also puts New York more in line with how other cities are approaching their own segregated gifted classes. About 75 percent of the roughly 16,000 students in gifted elementary school classes in New York are white or Asian American. Those groups make up about 25 percent of the overall school system.


    This is terrible news. A new mayor will be elected in November, and he (likely Eric Adams) should be urged to reverse this decision.

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    #249235 - 10/08/21 11:40 AM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    philly103 Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/02/17
    Posts: 95
    If anyone wants to read the report that preceded this decision:

    https://docs.wixstatic.com/ugd/1c478c_f14e1d13df45444c883bbf6590129bd7.pdf

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    #249236 - 10/08/21 12:05 PM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    Kai Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/17/09
    Posts: 647
    I got a master's degree in gifted education a few years ago. I went into it thinking that self contained classrooms were the way to go, and I came away from it having decided that the vast majority of gifted programming is elitist and should be completely reworked. This was not ideology that was being pushed within the program--just the opposite actually.

    I think that some combination of total school cluster grouping, seminar style classes that students can opt into (where standards are maintained, and there is no penalty for switching out), and flexibility in placement could go a long way towards providing meaningful academic experiences for all students. In addition, all teachers should be trained in gifted education techniques, since they would actually benefit a much wider swath of students than just those labeled as "gifted."

    I know this won't be a popular opinion on here, but there it is.

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    #249237 - 10/08/21 01:04 PM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Me five years ago would have been surprised to say this, but I increasingly share this view, particularly for older grades. What we need in schools is flexibility for all students, with acceleration (even radical acceleration) and cross-grade grouping offered to advanced students.

    I would like to see seamless integration between public high schools and universities to support universal dual enrolment for advanced students - in any domain, as early as the student wishes. And for PG students, why canít we have virtual magnet classes, so that our extreme outliers can connect and grow together, while also giving them the experience of an in person cohort? Technology now makes possible so much greater accommodation than could ever have been achieved when we were in school.

    Itís not just the gifted who would benefit from this kind of broad redesign. It would allow for far less heterogeneous class groupings in terms of achievement, and allow teachers to develop deep specialties for the students they serve.

    One of the factors I stay particularly attuned to with my DS is not placing undue pressure on him to excel universally. Even exceedingly bright children should be allowed to have relative weaknesses and to learn to pace themselves. In my experience, gifted programs place an unduly low ceiling on their opportunities. When a child is running 3-4 years+ ahead of curriculum, even gifted magnets donít allow them to find those relative weaknesses and strive.

    This may be heterodox on this forum, but I believe the substantive learning itself is secondary to the agency and excitement children feel in discovery. That hunger for the rush of learning is an unbeatable high. Iím not convinced that conforming to a slightly advanced standard - often in an affluent, whitewashed environment - is the best way to bring knowledge to the world.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249240 - 10/09/21 12:19 AM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    MumOfThree Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/07/11
    Posts: 1694
    Loc: Australia
    Acceleration, particularly uneven subject acceleration, makes far more sense than gifted only schools in a standard age/grade format. But [SPAM] it's hard to negotiate.

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    #249242 - 10/09/21 06:13 AM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Is it ever!!! It would take intentional design to make it an accessible norm, and it probably a significant shift in educational philosophy.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249251 - 10/10/21 10:03 AM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Online   content
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3984
    So much about serving the needs of the tails (at either end, let alone when both tails are present in the same individual) is about least-worst solutions.

    In my ideal educational world (which might not be yours, of course!), I would de-couple academic instructional levels from age, and from the levels of the other subjects, scaffolding for essential cross-domain skills when necessary to provide access to the ZPD in areas of strength, and targeting areas of weakness for intensive remediation.

    But then, that's why we homeschool.

    I am aware that the level of respect for individual learning and developmental needs I envision is extremely difficult to implement practically and with fidelity in our current industrialized education model, which, after all, was built for the middle 68% (and in a different era). Patches have been legislated for the lower 16%, with variable levels of success. (Some slow progress has been made on the left tail, in terms of aspects of equity and inclusion.) The right hand 16% continues to struggle for acknowledgement as a part of the natural diversity of the human population--with the same equity, diversity and inclusion rights as any other subgroup--rather than assignment to a privileged, resource-hoarding social class.

    And the additional challenge, of course, is that there -is- overlap, not insubstantial, in who actually ends up with access to instructional programming appropriate to the upper 16.

    There are many dimensions to equity in education; when resources are limited, any method of selection will result in some type of inequity. We choose only which type we will tolerate. The true tragedy is that our systems have allowed this severity of resource scarcity to persist for generations.
    _________________________
    ...pronounced like the long vowel and first letter of the alphabet...

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    #249255 - 10/12/21 05:45 AM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Aeh, your ideal world corresponds closely to mine.

    In the absence of a well considered policy shift, like the ones you and I describe, I fear the elimination of NYCís gifted program will start a larger trend of reducing access to resources for gifted students, with the burden falling disproportionately on racialized and low SES students. Realistically, phasing out these programs will not be done in a considered way that respects the learning needs of right tail students.

    In my home province, the GT program has long been gutted and constrained to at-grade-level enrichment. Those who correspond with me privately will know that my DSí education has - and will continue to be - a patchwork of homeschooling, after schooling, flexible private schools and, Iím thinking, reliance on AP classes should we consider public schools later. Itís a sad state of affairs that it requires so much advocacy and effort to achieve something akin to a challenge for him.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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    #249258 - 10/12/21 08:26 PM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    Val Offline
    Member

    Registered: 09/01/07
    Posts: 3296
    Loc: California
    Actually, I think that we as a nation are talking about the problem in the wrong way. Itís not that we need gifted programs. Itís that we need better schools. European schools donít have gifted programs (I donít know about Asia, South America, and other parts of the world, but suspect that many nations are closer to the model in Europe than to our model). But European schools have a meaningful, deep curriculum. Students there read short stories as early as age 7 and answer long-form questions about them. They eventually move to novels and write essays. They do math problems that take time and are taught to think through the problems. They have music and art class and recess and time to eat lunch. After primary school, the students are sorted into tracks that lead apprenticeships, jobs, or university.

    In contrast, we ask our children to read passages and answer multiple choice questions. We give them endless worksheets with the same type of math problem because we want them to memorize an algorithm. And we clutch our pearls at the mention of ďtrackingĒ because we claim that it isnít ďequitableĒ and have a fantasy that ďeverybody can go to college.Ē So careers like firefighting, carpentry, and electrician require an associate or a bachelorís degree. And yet, the quality of our buildings is shoddy, and nowhere near as good as it is overseas in many countries where wiring and plumbing is done by people who were PAID to learn those trades. Meanwhile, our young people become debt serfs. But our system is superior because they go to college and this is somehow more equitable for our (broke) students.

    We obsess over instructional minutes and bubble tests to the point where we cut recess, lunch, and classes like health, art, and music. We even cut out part of Wednesday so that the teachers can have a meeting. And the textbooks. Donít get me started in the textbooks.

    No, the problem is that we present children with superficial ideas and pretend that a gifted program will solve the problem. It might make it less bad for the fortunate few, but it doesnít compensate for the inherent badness of the system.

    And this is why we have to import so much of our skilled workforce. Especially the really skilled stuff that requires writing code, doing mathematics, and writing research papers.

    Okay, rant off.

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    #249260 - 10/13/21 04:14 AM Re: New York City to Phase Out Its Gifted and Talented [Re: Bostonian]
    aquinas Offline
    Member

    Registered: 11/02/12
    Posts: 2513
    Originally Posted By: Val
    No, the problem is that we present children with superficial ideas and pretend that a gifted program will solve the problem. It might make it less bad for the fortunate few, but it doesnít compensate for the inherent badness of the system.


    This. Well said.
    _________________________
    What is to give light must endure burning.

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