No One is Gifted

The Story

The obsession with achieving racial balance in the school system has driven much of Mayor de Blasio’s education agenda. Politically unable to undo the test-based admission system to the city’s specialized high schools, he now wants to get rid of gifted and talented programs, which advocates call a form of racial tracking. In the quest to arrive at the uncertain goal of a racially balanced student body, the mayor’s School Diversity Advisory Group is willing to deny the brightest kids a more challenging education—and does not appear to be looking after the best interest of New York City students at large.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Success: The best test scores in the state come from Success Academy, whose student body is almost all black or Latino. Read more.

  2. Talent: The practice of testing four-year-olds for “giftedness” is unnecessary; schools should be allowed to evaluate students more fluidly throughout the elementary years. Read more.

  3. Exodus: Even the mayor’s task force acknowledges that eliminating test-based tracking of students would cause many white and Asian families to leave the system. Read more.

“Gifted and talented programs are not an impediment to diversity, but a vital on-ramp to better educational opportunities like specialized high schools.”

Council Member Robert Cornegy

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Limits to Diversity By Richard E. Morgan (Summer 1996)

“Cases such as Richmond v. Croson in 1989 and Adarand v. Pena in 1995 have established that the only interest sufficiently compelling to justify preferences is remedying an established pattern of past discrimination by the institution in question.”

Scheduling Note


Photo: iStock

In observance of the Labor Day holiday, The Beat will resume on Wednesday, September 4.

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