State Watch

New York City panel recommends ending gifted programs for students

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A panel appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) has proposed doing away with “gifted and talented” programs in an effort to desegregate the nation’s largest public school system.

New York schools geared toward students given the gifted and talented label are filled mostly with white and Asian children, while the rest of the public school system is predominantly black and Hispanic, the report released Tuesday states.

{mosads}”Extensive evidence in this report suggests the existing use of screens and Gifted and Talented programs is unfair, unjust and not necessarily research-based,” the panel of education and diversity experts appointed by de Blasio wrote. “As a result, these programs segregate students by race, class, abilities and language and perpetuate stereotypes about student potential and achievement.”

The report recommends replacing the gifted and talented screening system with “pro-integrative programs used in many school districts across the country to affirmatively attract students of all backgrounds and make sure that all students are challenged.”

The proposed plan would include all elementary school gifted programs, screened middle schools and some high schools, though The New York Times noted that the plan does not have jurisdiction over eight elite high schools in the city.

The report states that “as we move away from unjust Gifted and Talented programs and school screens, it is imperative to resource the creation and development of new research-based programs that serve all children.”

De Blasio, who is running for the Democratic presidential nomination and has focused on addressing inequality as mayor of New York City, has the authority to adopt some or all of the proposals in the report without input from the State Legislature or City Council.

Appearing on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” on Tuesday, he said he still had to evaluate the report, noting that it was just released.

The Hill has reached out to de Blasio’s office about how it plans to handle the recommendations.

Tags Bill de Blasio

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