But will they also change the name from Gifted and Talented Programs to Kids Who Won the Entrance Lottery, that’s the real question.
In another bow to political correctness, New York City’s process for admitting young children into its gifted and talented programs will change this year.
For this year only, the families of toddlers interested in gifted programs will be enrolled in a random lottery in May — but only after their children are recommended for the programs by their preschool teachers. Students who are not enrolled in prekindergarten can apply for a virtual interview with an education specialist to determine eligibility.
The eligibility test has been on the chopping block for years. It’s been widely criticized by experts, including many proponents of gifted education, who have said a single exam given to young children is not an appropriate way to determine intellectual giftedness. The exam is typically given in January for classes that begin that fall.
But how else do you determine such a thing without including outside factors by the evaluators? Teachers will bring their prejudices to the process, as will administrators and anyone else. How will preschool teachers evaluate children for extraordinary academic skills, and are they even qualified to do so?
Black and Latino students make up nearly 70 percent of the district, but they represent only about a quarter of the children in gifted programs. The latest assault on gifted and talented programs is another way to address unequal racial outcomes.
Who knows what the city will do if too many of one kind of kid wins the lottery. Maybe they’ll just keep redoing the lottery until they get the results they want.