Monday, April 28

G&T admissions: your take


Through their anxiety — a few parents said the experience of testing and waiting ... and waiting may land them in therapy — many parents left sane, thoughtful comments on this weekend's post about G&T admissions. Here's a sampling:

From parents whose perspective returned not too long after receiving (or not receiving) their envelopes:

Congratulations to all of these kids on such an outstanding job. I do not believe the test was made child-friendly. The test administrator was a stranger, and I do not believe that the questions would be repeated more than once. (think about that.) I believe it was a difficult test, so if your child passes, they really gave it their best and if not in the 90%, that child is still bright just to sit there to attempt that test. Good luck parents!!
Resolved myself to thinking that we aren't in and made my peace with it. It's a beautiful day and I'm going to go and spend time with my beautiful, intelligent daughter and enjoy her for who she is not what she scores on a test.
And from parents who rightly have a whole new set of anxieties, despite their children's high scores:
I am only willing to consider one of the G&T schools in our district but would really prefer one of the citywide schools. I don't know how realistic our chances are for getting into a citywide school since (as ridiculous as it sounds) my DD only scored in the 98%tile.

I am in district 25, my daughter is entering kindergarten and scored in the 98th percentile. I want to make a united front on the fact that there are no new "K" programs in our district. ... Let's get as many people on board with this and make an aggressive, united move to change this system which is failing our children.
From parents with radical notions about the DOE:
Don't get me wrong - as the parent of a public schooler as well as a teacher in district three, I am no fan of the DOE. But in this case, they are clearly looking to improve schools for the greatest number of children, rather than the select few. ... Here's a radical notion, what if, regardless of a child's score all of us as parents made a commitment to improving our local schools? Now that would be radical.....

I wouldn't be bashing DOE all that much. They are under tremendous pressure to do something, and I think the fact that the testing is open now to the whole city as opposed to those who were willing to spend enormous amount of money on private psychologists who tested for Anderson and Hunter is a great leap forward. It wasn't exactly a smooth operation, and there will be always tons of people who are very unhappy. I think the thought process and the intentions of Board of Ed were good.
And from parent Chris Johnson, who understands how hard it is to keep up with what's going on at the DOE:
I am in Egypt and just spoke with my wife and our daughter apparently is 90%+ - she will fax me the letter. NOTE: Thank you InsideSchools for providing us parents with such a useful forum. I am sending another contribution and encourage others to do the same. (InsideSchools is a non-profit organization that needs every contribution, no matter how small.)
If you, like Chris, want to help Insideschools be able to continue to provide this kind of forum, here's how to make a tax-deductible donation. Thank you!

41 comments:

Ginger said...

This is -- and continues to be -- a horrific experience until we land my daughter in a school we are happy with.

I feel grateful for this InsideSchools community & the communication that staff like Philissa impart to us & for the advocacy of Advocates for Children.

I think it would ease the pain of tis process to give $ to IS or AFC!

Anonymous said...

My husband and I really appreciated your informative site for the update on the recent G&T testing process.
We never received G&T testing location notification, and we were very confused having seen DOE's postponing test result return date on its site.

Insideschools.org and its forum have been a blessing to us, (helped me to maintain my sanity during this chaotic process.) We also used to get some information about the schools that our daughter was given as options. We'd wanted to make a small contribution to show our support, but I honestly did not feel quite comfortable to enter my credit card info on the page that an alert message for unsecured images pops up constantly... Does your organization have a PayPal account to which we can send our contribution? If not, we will mail a check. Thank you very much for your hard work!

Anonymous said...

I find these blogs and comments extremely helpful So I have a question. From what I understand, percentiles are based on a comparison with same age groups divided in three month intervals. Our child's birthdate was incorrectly recorded as three months earlier than it actually is thus the actual score might be a point or two higher (and it will make a difference) Who is the best person to contact (and how, e-mail and/or phone) to get both the information correct and the score recalculated? Obviously, this is time sensitive

Anonymous said...

Thank you to insidescools.org for providing this forum for parents (I just made a donation for the 1st time).

Not only is the information that the organization provides on schools and updates on the DOE extremely helpful - it is also great to know that there are other parents who are just as anxious about securing a good education for their child.

Please continue to share updates on the G&T program.

Anonymous said...

I am new to the process, my son will be entering K in Spetember. I am shocked to see the limited number of seats available to G&T kids and the complete lack of anything outside Manhattan. Despite my son's excellent scores, we may be left in the cold. I guess we were a little naive heading into things.
I am just glad we found this website, albeit a little late. Thanks.

Philissa said...

Thanks, Ginger and anons. 5:52 p.m.: We don't currently use paypal for our donations, but the donation system we do use is quite secure. Still, if you'd rather send a check, we take those too!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have information abut G&T programs for district 14? Our kid scored a 92 but we didn't get any options to even rank. Insideschools says no g/t programs in d14, DOE website says one, other rumors of new programs. How can you rank a program that hasn't been announced? Help!

Ed said...

One more thing: Anderson will offer a tour to parents whose kids scored 97 or more for kindergarden.

News is here - no news on when it is:

http://echalk.ps334anderson.org/home.aspx

Anonymous said...

In response to the question about district 14, my son's report lists PS 132 as the option for District 14, and someone else here said that they're starting a new
G & T program at 132. However, I'm still anxiously waiting for my older child's results. Is there any truth to the discouraging rumor that if you haven't heard by now there's no hope you're child made the cut??? Does anyone know for sure?

Anonymous said...

Re: district 14 - my son's report lists PS 132 as the choice for district 14, and I've heard on this site that that is where the only dist. 14 program will be. I'm still waiting for my older child's result and am getting very anxious. Can anyone tell me if there is any truth to the rumor that if you haven't heard by now there's no hope?? Is there anyone out there who still hasn't heard??

Anonymous said...

thanks for the 132 information, gl with the missing result - this whole thing is insane....

Anonymous said...

Plenty of info on Anderson and Nest(including websites), but not much on TAG...If possible, pls more info on TAG.

Philissa said...

9:21 a.m. -- Check back on Insideschools later today -- we'll be putting up a new profile of TAG.

Anonymous said...

If I haven't gotten a letter yet for 1st grade, does that likely mean my kid didn't make the cut off? And if not, how long should I wait before I call to find out why I haven't gotten any letter?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all the info please keep it coming.

Do we know if nest will do a new tour?

Also is the doe is going to take kids into citywides by district as well, Like meet a quota of some kind. I know it will be by score but I want to know if they will look at district as well.

Anonymous said...

I just spoke with a lady at the DOE since I received results for one of my kids last Thurs and am still waiting for my other kid's results. She said to hang on until Thurs and call them if I still haven't received results Thurs. She said they do not have the results in their office and will need to decide what to do for people who never received results. She says the rumor that your child didn't get in if you haven't heard is untrue and just a rumor. Maybe there's still hope for those who haven't heard.

Anonymous said...

In re: NEST tours, I spoke to Admission's office yesterday and they are not conducting any tours.

Alexandra said...

My daughter scored a 96% on the test and now the DOE is telling us there are no programs in our district to accommodate her. Is there anything that can be done about this?!? I am distraught that so many gifted children are not being placed into G&T programs as was "guaranteed" by them. Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

Re: Tours
NEST+m: talked to parent coordinator, and there is no tour scheduled. Nor the chance to come into the school just to see. She said tour would be available AFTER admission. Well.....

Anderson: Now registration form is up on their site. Registered, and already got confirmation e-mail for the tour. I'm impressed about their administration.

TAG: called parent coordinator and left him a message on Monday. No call back just yet...

This whole process is quite stressful!!

Anonymous said...

I must give credit to the G&T for their handling of my bizarre situation. My daughter's score came back BLANK (her Bracken was 99% but her OLSAT was a mishmash of numbers that made no sense). The person I am dealing with there has been only solicitous, diligent and more than helpful. I am probably the only parent in NYC still waiting for a score! but the G&T office has been much much better than I would have expected.

Anonymous said...

Here is an update for those eligible for citywide programs who had them listed multiple times on the application form. We received a federal express this afternoon from the DOE stating they had a "printing" error, and should have only listed each citywide option (i.e., NEST, TAG, Andersen) ONCE. They gave us a new application form.

Now does anybody know if any students other than the 99%iles and eligible siblings have a shot at citywide schools? Our 98% son, in other words? Is there a 50/50 boy-girl breakdown for the citywide classes?

Anonymous said...

In my daughter's school a much lower percentage of Asian children in kindergarten made the cutoff this year than in previous years. In fact fewer Asian students made it even though their enrollment numbers are way up. It turns out that everyone who did not make it was in that position because of a low verbal score. The parents want to know how the verbal score was calculated and they suspect the scores were biased to keep the students in the local school. Have other parents similar concerns?

Anonymous said...

Are there any stats on how pre-k kids did on G/T tests in Queens? There were many pre-k kids who took the tests & I just wanted to know how many qualified for a g/t program --in Districts where there aren't any Kindergarten ones. Why put them through the stress - not the mention the expense by the DOE for scoring?

Anonymous said...

i called NEST today and they will have a tour.....they said that the info will be posted on thier website and that their will be an online application to look for it in the upcoming weeks.

Daisy (DIstrict 20) hopeful for NEST

frustrated said...

There will be a story in tomorrow's Daily News written by the reporter I have been in contact with several times. I don't know if it will make a difference, but it goes to show that if we make enough noise we can see that somebody is listening. This story should not be a reason to give up the fight. The fact remains that the DOE completely mis-led us on their website and are failing our gifted children.

Anonymous said...

You guys are killing me. For most families the OLSAT/BRSA gave the expected results. There are a few individual kids who failed the OLSAT while got high scores on tests like SB or ERB. But that is expected, no? The OLSAT requires a much higher level of maturity of a child than the warm and fuzzy SB/ERB. SOme kids are just not there, yet. Just retest again and see how it works out. In the meanwhile make your local school a better place.

All these speculations about what your kid's chances are to get into school xyz with a score abc. Just rank the schools and send in your form. No matter how you rank them only your kid's score will be the final decision factor if your kid makes it or not into a certain school. Sure, being a sibling helps, but that is a good thing because it improves quality of life for the affected families tremendously.

frustrated said...

Queens we are being heard. Daily News published our article and NY1 called my husband frustrated today. We have possible appointment with Senator Padavan tommorow. I will not accept DOE's comment that next year will be different nor will I accept that hundreds of people misread their website's. Principal's in DIstrict 25/26 have room in their schools for K programs and they were also suprised that program was not expanded to K.

slangteacher said...

No one seems to be discussing Joel Klein's promise:

"All students scoring at the 90th percentile or above at the entry grades will be guaranteed a seat,” Chancellor Klein said.

The Chancellor has also proposed revising the new policy to allow for gifted and talented programs in every district where at least eight students qualify, maximizing access for families. The original plan required 10 eligible students per district to qualify for a program.


http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/mediarelations/NewsandSpeeches/2007-2008/20080409_gat.htm

In District 15 and plenty of others there are currently more eligible students than open seats.

No one seems to be holding his hand to the fire on this one.

jennem said...

"Entry Grades" is the key word.

In NYC, the "entry grade" is K in some districts, 1 in others.

K is NOT an obligation here. Children do not have to attend K at all but can wait and go directly to 1st at age 6.

I'm not saying it's right, but trying to get Klein on semantics won't work because grade 1 is a legitimate entry grade in NYC.

slangteacher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
slangteacher said...

In District 15 there are 125 seats available to grade K kids. 164 kids were eligible that scored in the 90 to 95% range. 45 kids scored 97% or above, assuming/pretending all of them get into the city wide programs, they are still 39 seats short. Add back any part of the 97% kids and District 15 goes even further off the mark. I have not done the numbers for any of the other districts but I'm sure you will find similar results. Maybe we could get Joel Kline on an episode of Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?

Anonymous said...

slangteacher, maybe you need to go on that show yourself. I think you're misreading the chart on district statistics.

In district 15, only 104 students qualified total, 60 of those scored 95%+ and 45 of those 60 scored 97%+ - if you've got 125 seats you're more than covered.

Anonymous said...

It's far too early to assume the DOE have their calculations wrong. They certainly have an 'attrition model' where not all students who qualify for seats will take them. They also may have back up plans about where they could open other classes.

I know of several qualifiers who are going to private schools and others have already moved out of the city despite the fact they took the test. You can also assume most of the Hunter kids did well enough to make the 90th percentile, (though not all) and those spaces won't be used either. The best model to look at, I think, is how the DOE handles high school applications. A computer uses the rankings and scores to fill seats. I have no idea how they handle a conflict (too few seats and identical scores). Anyhow, these ideas are based upon discussions with folks at the DOE and educated guesses

Anonymous said...

The OLSAT/BRS has amanged to weed out some of the brightest, more interesting children we know. The process has been hellish to boot. We are sending our own dc to local zoned public but are now wondering if the DOE is so totally screwed up it impacts everything else and not just G&T. I suspect we could end up in private school in the long run.

Anonymous said...

The benefits of 'special education' for gifted children have been well documented. It's not about 'weeding out' it is about providing an appropriate learning environment for children that learn at a pace far beyond their age peers. They would be frustrated in a regular class because although a good teacher is able to differentiate for ability, it is not always possible to accelerate as gifted children need. Gifted children often have special emotional needs as well.

Anonymous said...

Phillissa,

My child is eligble for the 3 citywide schools, and only the 3 citywide schools, because we live in Queens. On the Anderson tour yesterday, we were informed that if we put Anderson down as our first choice and then decided to keep our child in our local school, which is a strong possibility given the commute, Anderson would not be able to fill that spot with another child! This seems outrageous to me. Is it true?

Thank you for any clarification you can offer on this point.

Anonymous said...

Why on earth would you put Anderson first if you plan to remain at your zoned school? Don't rank schools you don't want to matriculate at!! This process is complex enough already and, yes, the lack of waiting lists is an additional thorny issue. Both of my kids went to Anderson from an outer borough at great expense of time and money commuting in to the UWS. It was worth every penny and every minute, for the teachers, the peer group, the overall pro-intellectual tone and - almost more than anything else - for the advantage of having UWS middle school choices including Anderson. You can't go wrong. It may be inconvenient but if you can swing the travel you are a fool to say no.

Anonymous said...

same question again: did anyone out there whose child scored 99 receive a direct phone call from anderson? very curious please. thanks.

Anonymous said...

If you rank a school and don't go there, you will seriously impact the lives of others. Some child will be bumped to their second choice (assuming they have a viable options, which they may not) and others may move to be close to their second choice school. Families may have to move or forgo a G&T program altogether based on someone else changing their mind. If they decide to enroll in a nearby private school instead of a G&T (a possible scenario) then they are paying a massive amount each year.

Do what is best for your child and your family. That might mean an hour+ commute each way each and every school day, it might mean keeping them at a good school closer to home. And if your child didn't score 99%, then Anderson is a slim possibility anyway this year.

Anonymous said...

If Anderson phoned anyone I'll eat my hat. Maybe if the little one was a sibling and the parent sought out the administration trumpeting the littlie's 99 they might have said something reassuring...but an unsolicited phone call? That smells very fishy. The Anderson folk are smart enough not to step out of line with the DOE process. Since DOE has decided they are in charge and Anderson's past admissions system is scrapped, all communication will come from DOE. I would not believe anyone who told me otherwise.

Anonymous said...

thank you to 11.35 for answering my question about the veracity of the rumor that anderson called families of 99 scorers directly. i asked because i doubted it but wondered.... if not one other person on here received a phone call it's likely false - plus doubtful for the reasons you cited as well. now, to figure out why someone would lie about this...is there a psychologist in the house :)

thanks also to philissa and everyone on this forum....it helps not to feel alone with all of this...