De Blasio announces end of Gifted and Talent Program, says test will still take place this spring
Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the end of the Gifted and Talented Program as it currently exists.
Both the mayor and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza says there are a lot of talented students who don’t get into the program every year, and they also deserve to reap the benefits of the extra attention and specialized programming.
De Blasio says basing a child’s intelligence and potential on one test is not fair.
He says the annual exam will go ahead as planned this spring for the final time.
The mayor stressed that the pandemic has forced the city to develop better individualized learning plans using more technology so they’ll be in a better place to offer all students special learning opportunities next year, not just for one group selected with one test.
He says the digital divide is being bridged with 450,000 devices already being delivered to children during the pandemic and 50,000 on the way.
De Blasio says that 247 schools are already back to five-day-a-week in-person learning for all students. He says 860 schools are on their way.
“This approach to testing is not something I believe in,” de Blasio says. “It’s not something the chancellor believes in. It’s something that’s caused a lot of frustration for so many families.”
The mayor says parents and other stakeholders will be asked to work with the city over the summer to come up with a better option for identifying exceptional students than the current test.
The new plan is expected to be announced in September.