Wednesday, April 9

BREAKING NEWS: DOE announces it will guarantee G&T seats to kids scoring at the 90th percentile

Confirming rumors floating earlier this week, the DOE has just announced that it will guarantee seats in gifted and talented programs in their entry grades to all children scoring at the 90th percentile or higher on the BSRA and OLSAT. The new G&T policy approved by the Panel for Education Policy earlier this year required children to score at the 95th percentile; the PEP will approve the change at a special meeting tomorrow morning, according to a DOE press release. Eligible children will receive preference at their older siblings' school.

Letters go home around April 18, giving parents of eligible students a few weeks to rank programs and assess their chances of admission to citywide programs before their preference forms are due May 9.

According to the press release, the DOE is anticipating offering 2,300 seats for the entry grades for the fall, almost as many as currently exist in those grades. The press release also says that the proposed change will almost double the number of students who qualify for gifted programs. I think it's safe to assume that the DOE decided it wanted to avoid the outcry from families who would have been shut out and from schools that would have lost their gifted programs.

At the same time, it's clear from the DOE's press release that even with this change, some districts might not have enough eligible students to field a gifted program. The PEP tomorrow is expected to approve a reduction in the number of students required for a program, from 10 to eight. Still, the DOE notes that "families that live in districts without sufficient numbers of qualified students will be asked to rank programs in nearby districts."

The change is good news for districts 3 and 22, where schools have been concerned about the prospect of having their gifted programs cut. But it introduces an interesting situation for other districts, such as District 2, where significant numbers of students are expected to qualify but where existing gifted programs are few and far between. This policy revision could hasten a culture change in those districts.


Anonymous said...

Any insight on how this change may or may not affect the designation of the 97th percentile as the bottom threshold for the citywide G&T's?

Anonymous said...

Thank you for getting this news iyt so quickly! Will you be doing follow up?

Philissa said...

5:32 -- Yes! Check back first thing in the morning!

5:11 -- The 97th percentile cutoff doesn't appear to be changing. But if you take a look at Insideschools' article on G&T letters going home, you'll see that seats in the citywide programs will be awarded by score. So I think you can assume that the citywide programs will likely fill up with 99th percentilers and siblings of currently enrolled students who scored at the 97th and 98th percentile.

Philissa said...

We've done better than tomorrow morning, 5:32 -- we have an article up now!

Anonymous said...

currently many of the kids in the citywide schools scored somewhere in the 80s and nowhere near this impossible 97 percentile.

my source for this information is the parents of the children in these programs.

All students willing to work hard and able to handle 2 hours of homework a night deserve a G&T spot.
The program name should be "Accelerated Learning"

Anonymous said...

Thanks for reporting the change. There indeed was an outcry from parents in Districts 21 and 22 in Brooklyn who have successful and enriching gifted programs that would have been dessimated. The G&T are as much a special class as those students with special needs and if the Chancellor wants to retain these types of students in the public school system he needs to attend to their needs. if not there will be an exodus to religious or private schools.

Crimson Wife said...

The mess in the NYC G&T programs and the ridiculous competition for private school slots is a major reason why my DH accepted a position in one of his firm's branch offices rather than its Manhattan headquarters.

The bureaucrats need to know that the situation is deterring families from living in the city.

Patrick Sullivan said...


Insideschools has reported April 18th as the notification date a few times. At the vote last week on the change in cutoff, DOE told me the "end of the month". The applications are still expected to be postmarked by May 9th.


Anonymous said...

The whole thing is traumatic because I need to check out the G & T schools if my son gets into them. I am not just going to send him to them just because they are G & T because he does have a decent selection, not the best but ok (I did a tour of one G & T class I did not like at all), So I need time to at least tour the g & t programs. I hope all the G & T programs are ready to give tours for that short time.