Wednesday, April 30

G&T update: An extended deadline and a furor in shut-out districts


In case you haven't seen, we've put up a fairly comprehensive FAQ about G&T scores over on the G&T homepage. One important piece of information: the DOE has extended the application deadline for eligible students to May 14.

The extension gives families who originally received applications with mistakes a chance to think about their revised applications, which the DOE spent a pretty penny overnighting to them earlier this week. Of course, the five-day extension also means it may take applicants a little while longer in "early June" to find out where they've been placed.

The Post and the Daily News today have stories about families in Staten Island and parts of Queens and the Bronx who feel cheated: their rising kindergarteners met the cutoff for G&T eligibility but their districts have no programs to accommodate them. Instead, they'll have to test again next year for entrance to G&T programs that start in 1st grade. These parents' frustration is totally understandable, but I do want to point out that the DOE made it clear through the whole process that entry grades to G&T programs would not change for next year. As always, the DOE could communicate with parents better, but on this count it made a sincere effort, sending reminder letters to families in those districts after they received their score reports, and maintained a straight story. Of course, even a straight story from the DOE doesn't make things too much easier for parents who feel shut out.

One final note: We know all of the G&T program options in many districts. But if you qualified in districts 4, 7-12, 16-21, 23-24, or 26-31, please tell us what schools will be hosting G&T programs next year!

UPDATE: Thanks for sending in the lists for districts 11, 20, 24, 26, and 28. We're still looking for 4, 8-10, 12, 17-19, 27, and 29-31.

118 comments:

Anonymous said...

Philissa-

As there were radical changes to the G & T process this year, will there be a public review (meeting or written submissions) to evaluate what worked and didn't?

I was extremely surprised my daughter didn't make it as was her teacher and I am pretty angry that this one shot is for her.

I can't even get away from it when I go to work. On my way in my building two moms were debating the differences between G & T & Gen Ed classes.

I would like to let go, but my child still has no acceptable options for next year!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Phylissa for this and all the timely information on this oh-so-hot topic. My question: the revised applications that you say were sent out, were they sent to everyone, or just people with errors (multiple listings of citywides, wrong phone numbers, etc)? There is talk of a "green" application form? Should I be expecting this if there was nothing wrong (that I can see) on my original white one? tia.

Anonymous said...

District 28: ps101, ps117, ps144, ps174

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thorough reporting on a complex and sensitive subject. I'm not sure why you haven't mentioned District 14. It is definite that it will have a g/t program. It is not only one of my child's options on her form, but it's been confirmed by g/t division and the school hosting the program--PS 132.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I am completely frustrated. We live in District 10 and my son is scheduled to go to PS 24 (Riverdale) and scored a 99% on the G&T test -- I'll be completely shocked if he were to gain a seat in any of the citywide schools. How could he? It's nearly a mathematical impossibility. And there are no other program options for him next year.

Luckily, we did not talk to him about what he was testing for (and certainly not his score) and the possibilities a favorable score would mean. We will test again for 1st grade, but I am saddened to think of the opportunity he, and obviously hundreds of his peers, will miss out on next year. They are being short-changed.

2r2002 said...

District 26 G&T schools are PS 18,PS 188, PS 115 and PS 202.

Philissa said...

11:43 a.m. -- I didn't list District 14 because I only listed districts I DIDN'T know about. The program at PS 132 is on our list of schools with programs (and that list will make its way to the "basic information" section of Insideschools by next week.

2r2002 said...

I am happy to inform that both of my twin daughters got through G&T for the First grade. The concern being "will they be in same school?"

Anonymous said...

Philissa,

I'm still confused about the green applications. Are they wrong-colored citywide applications, or are they to correct applications that contained errors.

We received a while application for our child who scored 99%. Our phone number was wrong, but otherwise everything looked to be in order. We already sent it back.

Should I now be concerned that we don't have a green application? (I can't get through to anyone at the DOE, so thought maybe you'd know.

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Overall, I commend the DOE for expanding the G&T program. The Department is trying new initiatives and some work and some don't as well. One of my concerns with the lowering of the admission standards is whether the program can really be classified as "gifted" anymore. More pressing is how this will affect schools over the years. Last year, only the very brightest were given slots in first grade, now all the bright kids are given slots...What will happen to the vast majority of classes and schools that are non G&T, when the bright kids all leave for “G&T” classes, many that are not in their zoned school. My older daughter, now in 5th grade, has always been part of the Queens pull-out G&T program. In all of her classes, there were several very bright kids. I have to wonder what her classes would have looked like, if she and the other “gifted” students had not been there????

Philissa said...

2r2002: If your twins have the same score and you list the schools on your application in the same order, I would think they would wind up in the same place. If their scores are not the same, the situation is trickier, of course.

12:02 p.m.-- I didn't know the revised applications were green. But I think new applications were only sent to people whose school choices were incorrect. If the only thing wrong on your application was your phone number, and you've already submitted it, I wouldn't worry at all.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the information. I knew that my Queens child (entering K) would have to score 97% in order for him to qualify this year. He scored a 95. What I did not know was that this does not guarantee him a spot next year for 1st grade and he'll have to retest. We are District 24 and the schools are PS153, PS91 and PS16. We're hoping for PS153 next year

Anonymous said...

District 28: PS 101, PS 144, PS 174 and PS 117

Anonymous said...

Any information about how the DOE will chose applicants with the same % rank? For example, how will non-sibling applicants in the 99th percentile be distinguished from one another?

Anonymous said...

Hi. I'm unhappy to report that I still don't have results for one of my kids! I've called and e-mailed and am waiting to hear. Is there anyone out there who hasn't heard yet??? I feel like I'm the only one and I wonder if my kid's results were lost. I don't know what's going on. My other child's results came almost a week ago. I'm really afraid we won't be left with much time to decide.

Anonymous said...

Philissa, thank you for your answer (and for everything you've been doing to make this confusing process easier)!

Anonymous said...

our phone number was incorrect, too. it was for a different borough. everything else was correct. my son's score was 92 in district 2. strange.

Anonymous said...

(Disclaimer: I do support sibling initiatives). My question is: for kindergarten students, does anyone have an idea of what the impact of sibling priority means. Are there any numbers so we can get a rough estimate of really how many seats in citywide programs are available?

And thanks to insideschools.org and Philissa. I'd be lost without your website and insight.

Anonymous said...

Philissa, I do appreciate the information you've been culling and offering but I have to disagree with you on one point. The DOE has not, as you claim, made it clear throughout the whole process that districts without a kindergarten entry to G&T would remain without. In fact, in a media release available on their website dated October 29 there are several statements that imply they will add programs in districts without. Here's the URL:

http://schools.nyc.gov/Offices/mediarelations/NewsandSpeeches/2007-2008/20071029_gifted.htm

I quote:

"All Students Who Meet Standard Would Be Guaranteed a Seat in a Gifted and Talented Program"

"Each student who meets the standard would be guaranteed a seat in a program for gifted students. "

"The DOE would adjust the number of available gifted and talented seats to meet the levels of eligibility and demand in each district, opening new programs where necessary. Every district would offer at least one program with a minimum of 10 students."

There is nothing mentioned about entry grades staying the same.

Granted in many subsequent documents from the DOE it was indeed apparent, if one read thoroughly and carefully, that indeed no K programs would be added in those districts where the entry grade was 1.

But Why? Why should some districts have K entry and others not? Especially in a system that supposedly is trying to create universal access to the benefits of such programs. We're happy with our zoned school and we're confident our 99% scoring daughter will do well there if she doesn't get a seat at a city wide program but we're saddened that she'll likely need to change schools after a year of building friendships and other social ties.

By the way, for some of us in district 10 the confusion was compounded by an error on this insideschools website which indicates that G&T programs start in K at P.S. 24.

Anonymous said...

A lot of speculation going on right now on how seats will be allocated within a percentile. Most who are speaking to DOE reps are hearing that it will be a lottery within band. Is there any chance of finding out if there will be any attempt of gender balancing at any point? thanks

Anonymous said...

We are District 30 in Queens and my daughter qualifies for G&T for K, but as is the case for many others there are no K options in our district, so she will have to retest next year. I don't want to put her through the test again, or me through it again, and there is always the chance she will have a bad day and miss the cut-off. More important, G&T students in Manhattan and Brooklyn admitted to kindergarten programs do not have to retest for first grade--a clear inequity!

Anonymous said...

12:34. The DOE is not going to use the percentile in order to rank the kids. They have scaled composite scores from the BRSA and OLSAT. The percentile rank is just just for your information and the piece of data that determines if your child is qualified or not. From now on the DOE is going to use a number that it did not disclose in the letters sent out.

Anonymous said...

I am responding to the person from 12:37. I too have NOT yet received my child's score. I have gotten the run around for days. Was told to wait until April 30th and then call.

So I called G&T today and got Grace on the phone (212-374-7693). She informed me that there are still some scores going out and that some were sent yesterday and that they hope to have all of them out by this Friday. She said they were late going out for a variety of reasons, but did not give the reasons.

I had all but given up hope, but now my frustration level is rising since if my child did score high enough, I have less time to figure things out as I still have the same deadline as the people who received their scores last week.

Philissa said...

1:22 -- You're right, that initial press release was misleading. I guess I'd forgotten about it because, as you said, the preservation of current entry grades was explicit in every other communication (definitely, for example, at the town hall meetings announced in the press release, which started only a week later). If families were misled, I don't think the blame is entirely the DOE's (although often it is).

Re: PS 24 -- I'm sorry we had some misinformation! One benefit of the standardization of G&T citywide (whatever its drawbacks) is that it will be possible for us to be accurate much more than when programs change year to year from district to district and school to school. As you surely know from trying to keep a handle on the few schools you're considering, maintaining up-to-date information about more than 1,500 schools is a gargantuan task, especially for a small staff. That's why we depend on users to let us know when we're out of date -- we love getting corrections!

Anonymous said...

For 1:50 -- How do you know the methodology the DOE will use to assign seats within a percentile? Could you please explain how you know this, or are you just speculating?

Anonymous said...

In reference to District 24. PS 153 is no longer on the G & T list. Just a FYI...

Anonymous said...

Philissa, I have twins, one of whom qualified for the Citywide G&Ts and the other who qualified for the District G&Ts. Are we better off just listing the District G&Ts only -- even for the one that qualified for the Citywide G&Ts? The only Citywide G&T we'd consider is Anderson and even though my child scored a 99, given Anderson's popularity and the likely abundance of 99's it's unclear whether we'd have a shot at the school. That said, the only District G&T we'd consider is also in high demand but would we benefit from the sibling policy? My children's scores are a few points apart. I would be interested in more clarity surrounding how the DOE selects the children for these classes. Is it purely on the basis of the highest scores or does the DOE want to balance out the number of boys and girls as well as take ethnicity into consideration? I seem to recall, for instance, that the classes at Anderson have an equal number of boys as of girls. Your input is greatly appreciated!

Philissa said...

2:44 p.m. -- Thanks for the info!

2:53 p.m.--Unless you want to take the chance of having one kid at Anderson and one at your district program, I wouldn't list Anderson -- there's no need to list a school you wouldn't want to go to!

The DOE has said it will be placing kids by scores and scores alone. It's not going to be taking gender, ethnicity, economics, or geography into account. Anderson has been balanced in the past because it has had discretion over its entering class. No more, under this new system.

Anonymous said...

Still no letter for result. called DOE but not response. Do I have to give up or go to office?

Anonymous said...

Philissa, don't know if my follow-up question to your quick response (much appreciated!) took, but here it is again: we like Anderson very much but if Twin 1 doesn't make it would she have a worse chance of getting into our desired District G&T simply because we listed it as our second instead of first choice? And how does that affect Twin 2's chances of getting into that District G&T? Would the sibling policy still apply and to the same degree?

Anonymous said...

Philissa,

Thank you for all the information. I know DOE will be matching students to schools. My Son is in K but not in G& T (he got accepted last year at a school in Manhattan but we ended up moving to Brooklyn in August and his current school's classes, ps 312 were filled) He again made progarm this year and of course I ranked 312 first. Will he be given any preference because it is 1, his zoned school and 2, he already attends it. I would ahte for him to have to change schools. This could be quite traumatic for a 6 year old.

nicole said...

My daughter is 4 years old, she reads and writes all her lower/uppercase letters, numbers 1-99, knows all the colors and shapes since 3 years old.... but don't know how to read a book yet. Her teacher ask me if my daughter pass the test, she was shocked that my daughter didn't pass. She's telling me how great and smart she's in class.... Now, I'm starting to think the test is unfair and unreasonable. How much does DOE expect a 4 year old, read a book? write a sentence, or journal? If that's the case, I shouldn't even have her try out for the test.

Philissa said...

4 p.m. -- My understanding of how the process works is that if a 99th percentiler places Anderson first and doesn't get in, she will get into her top-rated district program (assuming of course that there are not so many other 99th percentilers who ranked it first, which I think is unlikely).

I have never heard of any policy to keep twins together -- the sibling policy doesn't apply unless one sibling is already enrolled.

4:07 p.m. -- The DOE has said it will take into account nothing except score and preference, so you won't get any special credit for already being enrolled at PS 312. List it first -- and if you don't get in, you will always have the choice to stay at 312 in the gen ed program.

Patrick Sullivan said...

Philissa,

Regarding D4, only 138 children took the test with 8 passing. I believe that the 8 will be accommodated in a class at TAG which is physically located in East Harlem (D4).

Unfortunately, the situation in D4 is evidence that the effort to make G&T more accessible has not succeeded.

Patrick

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for so much helpful information. Could you please seek confirmation from the DOE about this rumor of using a lottery within the 99% qualifiers to assign seats at Anderson, TAG and Nest?

Anonymous said...

In response to Patrick Sullivan's post that the 8 children in D4 who scored above a 97% "will be accomodated at TAG"...does that mean that a 99%er or 98%er who chooses TAG will not get in over a 97%er that lives in D4 because they do not live in that district? This seems contrary to all other information we have received, i.e., that the lottery is based on scores only and does not give weight to districts or geography. Please explain.

Anonymous said...

Your info has been so helpful.
It is very hard for me to believe that my son, who scored a 99, may not receive his 1st choice of citywide.
Again, is there any more info on a breakdown of how many scored a 99?
Our district does not have good g&t
programs and would like to create other options if he doesnt get our citywide choice.

Anonymous said...

Without this site I would be lost and confused about everything that is going on with the whole G&T process. Thank for keeping us updated. Reading the blogs I have found that many children got 98 and 99 on the exam. Knowing this I am losing hope that my daughter will be picked. My daughter got a 97 and since we live in the Bronx we had no other choices but the citywide schools. If DOE plans on only using scores and preferences as their determining factor, what chance does a child who scored a 97have?

Anonymous said...

The corrected applications seemed to only have been sent to the parents that got the letters with the same choices repeated. They urge you to mail the corrected application even if you mailed the "original, incorrect application is white and should NOT be used"
They gave a bunch of phone numbers;
212 374-5219
212 374 2448
212 374 5972
212 374 5480
212 374 7693

Good luck
Daisy

Anonymous said...

Could you please ask the DOE, to give you a breakdown of how many kids entering Kindegarten scored int the 99th percentile and how many are in the 98th broken down by district?(an asterick on the district that has not gifted and talented program). IF there are 900+ kids over the 97th percentile and only 200 seats at the citywide, and they are ranking by highest score, it would be extremely helpful to know this breakdown.

Scenario #1 500 kids were in the 99th percentile out of the 500, there are 50 that do not have a G&T school in their district.
.....I would only apply to the citywide school if I were in the 99ththe , but not if I were in the 98th percentile.

Scenario #2, there are only 100kids in the 99th percentile and 600in the 98, then there is a chance....for the 98th.....and I would apply if I am in the 98th.....THis is info that would really help out.

In addition, it would be useful to know withing the 99th and 98th how are they giving one 99the priority over the other?. IF we can get a breakdown of the scores and how it is calcualted......that woudl be helpful too.

THanks so much for getting this info for us..

Anonymous said...

TO Nicole:

My five year who was tested said there was no reading on the exam.

She could point to parts of her face since she was 10 months old, and understood and followed directions in both english and spanish. When I explained things to her I always said, she does not say anything but you can see that she is soooo logical. She is thinking. She hardly said 10 words until she was 3. Then from one day to another, she starting talking like crazy.

She just turned 5 and knows all her letters and most of her numbers (not up to 100). Her writing is sometimes backwards. She can identify some sight words so I would say she is starting to learn how to read.

All this is to say that she would not appear to be gifted as compared to other kids who by age 5 can read at a 1st grade level or who have memorized the shapes, color, relationships, letters, numbers.

She is very logical. For the test prep, I did picture analogies with her because I thought the test would be testing that kind of thinking skill. We made it a game and it was fun to make up relationships and quess the anwers. Example: Books are to library as money is to piggy bank. Milk is to icecream as Peanut is to Peanut butter.

I really had no idea what she would score. But I did know that she woudl do well in school, becuase she loves to learn. I believe with all the your little one has learned, she will do great as well.

My little one scored in the 98th percentile.
I really believe the test is 75%about thinking skills, not memorization or aptitude in one skill or two.

Before the score came in

Anonymous said...

Philissa - in the instructions there IS info on siblings applying together. You are supposed to fill out sibling section and rank their school choices identically.

Anonymous said...

There is also a rumor that within the percentile, when they come to your child, if there are no remaining seats in your first choice, your child drops to the bottom of the percentile band. I already returned my ranked choices, so I would be very upset if this new information is true. I would have strategized differently. I thought the whole idea was that there would be no "gaming" the system this year.

Anonymous said...

nicole: the DOE does not expect your child to read etc. It expects your child to score on the OLSAT/BRSA test in the 97 percentile and above. What that means in real life, i.e. what skills your kid needs to bring to the table to achieve that is impossible to say. I think it requires a certain level of intelligence and maturity.

Anonymous said...

9:02 -- it's all rumors. Nothing more. The DOE said how it is going to assign seats and that's it. Why the need to game the system anyway? Even if you think there was a way to do so just refuse to do it.

frustrated said...

Phylissa a

I will resptfully disagree with you regarding the DOE. They were not clear with their intentions of not adding new programs. If they were, then on 4-9-08 they would not have added to their website "All children who qualify will be guaranteed a seat" They also would not have said that "if your district does not have a program, you can apply to neighboring districts"
I am not going to site the entire DOE website her, but I have print outs of the original website, as well as the revised website which is filled with contradictions and misrepresentations. The fact still remains that there are hundreds of children, spanning nearly every district that are without G&T programs, but Brooklyn has over 40. There are many of us parents who are very well educated and all of us could not have read the DOE website wrong. Bottom line, the DOE is failing hundreds of children and they have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars testing children for a program that will not exist.

Anonymous said...

Philissa, thank you for all your work on our behalf. We will be donating to insideschools!

Can you clarify one thing for me, please?

When you said, at 4:27,
"My understanding of how the process works is that if a 99th percentiler places Anderson first and doesn't get in, she will get into her top-rated district program (assuming of course that there are not so many other 99th percentilers who ranked it first, which I think is unlikely)."

Does this mean that a "low" 99%ile will receive preference at NEST if s/he ranked it first over a "high" 99%ile who ranked Anderson first but didn't get into Anderson?

Anonymous said...

Phillisa, Thanks again for your excellent reporting. I have a question for DOE, or anyone who may know: My child scored 99%. There's going to be a new g/t program in her school for the district. The school's excellent, she loves it, etc. I was going to rank it #1. What if they don't get the minimum number of interested applicants? I know the school hasn't received the guidelines from DOE and hasn't scheduled orientations yet, but is thrilled with getting the g/t program and I'm sure the principal will handle incorporating the program in her school. Still, what happens if they don't get 10 applicants? Will my child get her second choice?

Also, has the DOE considered helping children/parents in Queens or Staten Island by placing them in G/T programs where districts don't get the required minimum of 10 applicants? That way it's a win/win...

Anonymous said...

Why doesn't the DOE have up to date G&T program info on their website? Why not have an FAQ available for parents embroiled in the confusing process? Why no transparency about how the limited number of seats will be assigned. Poor inside schools - we seem to be asking them to provide information that the DOE should have anticipated parents wanting.

Anonymous said...

The door to programs such as this open so rarely in NYC schools. For those entering kindergarten who do not live in Manhattan or Brooklyn this is a problem, especially at the local school level.

If PS 81 and PS 24 in District 10, in Riverdale, are both overenrolled for fall and are scrambling to find alternative space for kindergarten students and there's a good number of children in the neighborhood who scored 90% or higher, I feel like this would be a great time to consolidate those students and start something at the kindergarten level and invite those who scored similarly in other areas of Bronx to join them. But, maybe that's just too unbureaucratic of a thought.

My real thought is: are we going to encounter similar problems at middle school and high school level? I think so.

Anonymous said...

In the current K class, Anderson has a strong bias towards the older kids (January, February March birthdays) and girls. We'll see how the current testing affects the incoming class. I think it is excellent that the DOE took over admissions and expanded the testing.

Anonymous said...

Philissa: How does the DOE defined a "ranked score" per page four, student, placement bullet point one, on the following DOE PPT?

http://schools.nyc.gov/NR/rdonlyres/4452826B-EB97-44A2-9BC9-C6CDFCFC9788/0/GAT_deck_final_recommendation.pdf

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Philissa,

I NEED your help.
I have a 99% tiler and we are living in the district without G&T K program.
So city wide is our only chance and I don't want screw this up.

DO you know how DOE's computer assign students?
Mu question is:
If I put Anderson for our first choice (many many parents seems to like Anderson :-) and if she doesn't get in to Anderson, she'll be automatically placed in 2nd or 3rd choice school?
Lets say, if NEST is our 2nd choice, would she be placed in NEST? or somebody who scored slightly lower, but made NEST a 1 st choice to be placed in the program?
(I'm not sure how to put this right way, but do you get what I mean? I want to know whether the preference order I put could have negative impact on my daughter's chance to be placed in the program. If that's the case, though we like Anderson, putting NEST on the 1st choice would make more sense -- probability-wise)

If you can find out how many kids are making more than 99%, that'll ease my worry a bit ;-)

Many many thanks.

Anonymous said...

District 30 - PS 150 (established TAG class) and PS 85 (new program).

Question: Do you need to list all citywide schools or just the ones you are willing to attend? I know you need to list all district schools in order to be placed into a district school but what about citywide? Thanks for the forum.

Anonymous said...

We registered our child at P.S. 24 in Riverdale more than a month ago. Luckily, we're very happy with the school and will be completely comfortable if (probably when) she ends up there. She's eligible to apply to the citywide schools. If, by some crazy stroke of luck, she is accepted to one of the citywide programs, does you know if you are obligated to attend that school? Does an "offer" for Anderson, TAG or NEST have any effect on the fact that a child is already registered at a school? Thanks so much. This site and blog are a wonderful service. Invaluable, really.

Anonymous said...

My daughter fell in the 97%. Is it even worth it to apply city wide? We have G/t district schools, but I think, overall, those schools are less strong than the current school she is in, where there is a g/t program, but we are out of district, so don't qualify (she started there this year in the Pre K). With that, if there are so many 99 and 98%ers that 97% kids don't have a shot at the city-wide programs, what are folks thoughts about the pros and cons of entering a g/t district school that is not so great, vs. staying in the general ed program in a stronger school?

Anonymous said...

High scoring Riverdale kids have traditionally gained places at Anderson under the prior admissions criteria. There were 5 in one of my kids' K class although my other kid was the only one in her class. It's very difficult to know how the increased competition will affect this year's class makeup by borough, sex, socioeconomic status or ethnicity. However, your ranking will not have an effect like the one you suggest. This system works just like the specialized high school test and "the match" for medical residency programs - except that now the schools have no say. You are placed in the highest ranking school on your list that has space when your test score 'number' comes up. The algorithm matches the highest scoring student with his highest ranked choice, then moves on to the next highest scoring child and so on. When the computer reaches a child who has ranked a school #1 that is now filled with higher scoring kids, the algorithm matches the child with the next school he has ranked and so on down the food chain as-it-were. All you need to do is rank the schools in the real order of your preference. You will get the school you've ranked highest that still has a seat available after all students who scored higher are seated. You cannot control anything else about this process so make your rank list align with your actual preferences. If the DOE releases statistics about how many kids are in each percentile you still won't know what those families' preferences are anyway. You'll just drive yourself nuts with guesses that will not necessarily predict outcome at all. And, last but not least, today's local papers make it clear that the PS 24/81 wait-list story was false. All zoned kids will be seated. 'Nuff said.

Anonymous said...

My child qualified for the G&T program. He is entering kindergarten in the fall. Will be have to be re-tested before he enters 1st grade?

Anonymous said...

I am hearing over and over that within a percentile, names will be chose at random. Your child's "score" is actually just the percentile which comes from the normed composite (look at the report and it says "Total Gifted and Talented Score X%"

Is this true? Will all 99s be given a fair shot at the citywides?

Anonymous said...

To the Riverdale Mom,

This year the DOE has said that there will be no waitlists. So if you apply and are granted a citywide spot, and elect not to go, you will have deprived another child of the chance to go. I strongly urge you not to do this if you are truly happy with your zoned school. Some of us are not so lucky to be in a good zone.

Anonymous said...

There is no way of knowing how many 99%s there are or how many of those will choose to apply to citywides. What we do know is that Anderson takes 50. Presumably both Nest and TAG do the same. That's 150. Could there be 150 99%s? It's possible In that case, choosing randomly would make sense (since even the distinction between 99 and 96 on this test or the ERBs or the Stanford-Binet is not statistically significant). How would that not be 'a fair shot'? What's fair in this situation is difficult to pin down but in a lottery or random selection all kids in the pool are treated the same - that is, fairly.

I'd love to see how any parent would design a system for choosing 150 kids out of 978 qualified applicants that would seem 'fair' to anyone other than those lucky 150 families. The appropriate action is for the DOE to establish more schools in the Hunter/Anderson mold in order to seat the number of students that they (the DOE) says are qualified.

The punch line is...guess what's different about these schools. They don't have to adhere to the DOE curriculum!!

webmaster said...

I have yet to receive my child's OLSAT results and I am so frustrated. I have called a number of times and received a different story each time. What is the deal? Anyone know?

Anonymous said...

My guess is that if 50,000 took the test the number of people in the top 1% (99%) is 500 since that is what is 1% of 50,000.

My other guess is that a lot of people who got 99% will put one of the city wide schools as number 1 because they will think that maybe they will do the commute or whatever and want the option open if they choose to give it up.

THE MOST iNterEsting thing I found about looking at all the reported Districts that I see at the insideschools.org report is that, if I am reading the chart right that the PRE-K'ers do better then the KINdergardeners who take the test. The percentage of qualifiers for entry grade of K is always a higher percentage of qualifiers then for the 1st grade entry. THAT is interesting. If you look at the chart and if I am reading it right, the first column is "# test takers for entry grade", second column "# test takers for non entry first grade", third column, "# qualifiers entry" 4th column "# qualifiers in non entry first grade".

If you figure out the percentage of how many make it 90 and above for the entry grade of K and the percentage of how many make 90 or above for 1st grade entry grade, where there is both, it is always a higher percentage of qualifiers for kindergarden entry grade.

For example in the famous District 2, 31% of entry K grade children who took the test got 90 and above while 22% of entry grade 1st made 90 and above.

Hmm what does that mean, does that mean the younger ones are more likely tol do better on the test? Or does it mean the test is scored not proportionally properly between the pre-K'ers and the K'ers who take the test. It definitely shows something though!!!!!!!!! As it is it does mean it is more likely your child has a chance of scoring 90 and above when taking the test in Pre-K then if taking it as a Kindergardener.

Anonymous said...

To 8:13pm: While the lottery idea has the appearance of being "fair" in that it purportedly treats all 99s equally, the fact is there is no transparency in this process. The DOE has already misled us about how it would place kids, telling us in the letters that went out that it would be by score. Now we see that is only HALF true. My kid got a perfect score on the OLSAT and 2 wrong on BRSA. It certainly does not feel fair to me that she will be treated equally as someone who is also in the 99% who got 8 or 9 questions wrong on the OLSAT. We don't live in D2 or D3, which have very solid district G&T programs, so there's a lot at stake for us. It's incredibly frustrating to see the DOE making the rules up as they go along, with absolutely no accountability to the people they claim to "serve."

Anonymous said...

Phylissa - there is a rumor that DOE is using raw scores as the basis of ranking kids and giving choices. My understanding was that it was based on percentile score (and within each percentile score, a lottery - i.e., 99's are in a hat, the first 99 is pulled and matched with first choice on that child's ranked list that has spece, then another 99 is pulled, etc.). Can you please confirm?

Anonymous said...

10:25 - Maybe it means that the intial screen more than a year earlier already caught a number of G&T kids that are reflected in the column titled # of students currently enrolled in K G&T... the cream of the crop was already skimmed away from the # of test takers for non entry first grade.

Or maybe it means there are a lot of potentially bright kids are atrophying in gen-ed kindergarten.

There are many many possible speculations and without a lot more information it's going to be impossible for anyone in the general public who is interested to do anything more than speculate.

Anonymous said...

Well still the testing isn't fair really, something is a miss. It is not really doing what it is supposed I think. What it is supposed to do? We all think it is supposed to test, especially when testing at 4 years old before any "traditional" schooling, a natural somehow maybe a genetic intelligence. And the goal of the DOE is to get more people from lower income neighborhoods the chance to get into these programs since all pre-schoolers will be taking the test in public school and also anyone else can request for free to take this test. My son did score in the gifted so this is not a personal thing at all or there is some personal insight a bit.

Here is thing it was said that around 50,000 took the test and about 4900 got 90% and above. Well that is about right, that is 10%. Since that is how the test is scored nationwide then it should work out the same here in NYC. But if you notice in District 2 and 3 they got like 30% who scored 90% and above and many of the lower income neighborhoods get like 5% of the children who took the test scoring 90% and above, which as you can see shows a big difference.

Also what I notice from some articles I read is that before this change that some of the lower income neighborhoods had more people who got into the G & T last year then this year.
Also I read in the NY1 article ( http://www.ny1.com/ny1/content/index.jsp?stid=4&aid=80384 ) that even though 4 times as many people tested this year that only 300 more qualified. Last year 13,000 tested.

So basically I think this way might work a bit more to get lower income families in but not as much as it should. There needs to be something different to get more lower income neighborhoods kids into better schools. The best being having every Public School be great, which is where all the concentration should be.

For instance my kid tested into the gifted here in District 15 which already has some great schools and out of all the gifted programs in this district, I prefer both the Brooklyn New School and The Children's School (which have no G & T classes) over every District 15 G & T choice!!!!! My son is on the waiting list for both.

So see, to me just a great Public School is what can be the real winner as far as education goes.

Anonymous said...

In response to the parent who still hasn't gotten her results - no, you're not alone. I'm still waiting as well. I got one of my kid's results 4/24 and have yet to receive my other child's results. His results are apparently lost and it's looking like they'll have to generate another report. So far, they've been very pleasant to deal with but very hard to get a hold of. Anyway, thank God they extended the deadline. I'm hopeful I'll get my hands on my kid's results next week!

Also, in response to the parent who asked abt. going to a lesser school with G&T vs. staying put at a really good school - we're in that position too, and I'm planning to try and find out more before making any decision. That's currently kind of hard to do since I don't know even know how one of my kids did yet! But generally people say if you're happy where you are and your kids are happy and learning a lot, why mess with a good thing? I personally think it depends on the child and what they need and just weighing pros and cons. I personally don't think G&T programs are always the best choice no matter what.

Anonymous said...

How could Joel Klein say that "All Students Who Meet Standard Would Be Guaranteed a Seat in a Gifted and Talented Program" when that is far, far from the truth?

Anonymous said...

Philissa,

Can you please post if you have any information at all about missing OLSAT results? When I didn't receive my dc's results last Thursday, I assumed she didn't make the cutoff. Now, not having any results at all, I'm still hoping for the best.

Thanks!

Keilah_Adinah said...

My daughter currently attends a school out of her district. I would like to keep her in that school and place her in that schools G and T program in that school.
Does anyone know who I can contact within the DOE to make this happen?

Philissa said...

Hi, everyone — Just wanted to let you know that I am working on verifying and clearing up some of the things discussed in these comments. But it's not that much easier for me to get straight answers from the DOE than it is for you — so keep sharing the answers you do get, and I will let you know as soon as I know more!

Philissa

Anonymous said...

The Director of our preschool confirmed with the DOE that there will be a random lottery within each percentile band. When they get to your child, they will match them with the highest available spot on your ranked list. All 99s, 98s, 97s, etc. will treated equally, and there are no rankings by composite or scaled score.

Anonymous said...

4:49pm -- but the 99 percentile kids still go first, right? I wish they would put all 97 and up kids into one big hat and draw from that randomly (after sibs are placed, of course). That way the process would be fair and square and we are not tempted to see a 97 as a so much worse score than a 99.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all your work, Philissa!b

Anonymous said...

11:44am -- You know what I think will improve the chances for every kid to get a decent education? Do not avoid the local zoned school! If we wouldn't do that and get the parental involvement to a decent level together with the fact that most better off kids enjoyed a much more enriched first few years we could improve those schools tremendously. I am convinced that the less motivated kids will take advantage of this especially if we start with 5 and 6 year old kids. It would help the teachers and admin staff at those schools, too.

Anonymous said...

6:22am: excuse me? Your perfect scoring kid should have an advantage over the kids that got a little less perfect scores? Don't you think you are abusing the purpose of the entire test with that thinking? The kids are not competing with each other for the best spots. The test just qualifies the children and once qualified all kids should have equal chances and treated the same.

You make it sound that you kind of won the lottery and the price should be first dibs on the best schools out there. Unbelievable how the test results are being used by some.

Anonymous said...

a mother at our daughter's school told me anderson called her last week after her daughter scored 99%. this is the first i've heard about phone calls from any citywide school to any applicant. did anyone else receive a phone call from a citywide?

Anonymous said...

There are 50 seats at Anderson (2 classes) 125 at Nest (5! classes) and 50 at TAG (2 classes) for a total of 225 seats. A rough estimate of 99% would be 200-300. Looking at 97, 98 and 99 statistically speaking the further you get from the mean (50) the less likely the score in some sort of complex logoritmic function, so the last three percentile ranks should not be divided evenly. More 97s than 98s and more 98s than 99s.

Anyhow, of that 200-300, some will prefer neighborhood schools, some private, and others will find other options. Most importantly, rank the schools in the order of preference which you would actually attend. If you decline an offer, you could harm someone elses chance of gaining a seat.

Anonymous said...

Question re. G&T vs. local magnet school: our daughter scored 97 on the G&T test and we are now scrambling to visit all her eligible schools. Meanwhile, a great local non G&T magnet school has now offered her a spot in their program. If we accept the spot, does she automatically become ineligible for the G&T programs? Additionally, why the heck aren't the all the schools involved with the program required to offer tours?!?!? It is beyond reason to expect parents to send their children to schools based solely on ranking and websites!!!

Anonymous said...

11:44am - I agree with you somewhat, but here is the thing, it is not about the parents but about the kids really. So even if a public school is located in the middle of the most dangerous and harsh projects where on average parents just do not participate as much as affluent parents and also can not raise as much money through the PTA in the whole schooling thing, the school should still be a great school. That is my problem in general of a lot of these school programs, "no child left behind" etc. I think in terms of thinking of public schools we really got to think of the kids completely separate from their parents in a lot of ways. How to get a child the best education even if they are an orphan with no guidance from an adult figure except the law requiring them to go to school. How do we get that child the best public school education to become an educated citizen.

Anonymous said...

I am very disappointed with the G & T offers for families who live in district 6 (2) compared to those who live in District 2/3. The schools in 6 are not that strong.

Anonymous said...

In response to 7:43pm: You might be upset that some of us object to the random lottery within percentile. We're all entitled to our opinion. What upsets me are 2 things: the DOE changing the rules of the game in the middle of the game and refusing to speak publicly about it. Had they said from the very beginning that it would be lottery within percentile, FINE. But they didn't. The letter we received states that placement would be by score. We are entitled to a process that is fair, consistent and open. My opinion is that so far DOE has failed on all counts. You are entitled to your own opinion.

Anonymous said...

8:21am -- the distribution of the kids among scores is indeed bell shaped but percentiles are just that. The percentiles divide the kids into groups of the same size. Out of 50000 tested kids around 500 scored in each percentile.

Anonymous said...

Why does it matter if it is going to be a lottery or not? Every child had the same chances from the beginning on. The reason for the uproar is now that despite your child did extremely well on the test you are put back into the pot. Big deal. The DOE does not cater to a single individual.

Anonymous said...

all kids who score very high deserve a specialized g&t program. The doe even added 25 seats at nest, but it was clear that since they couldn't guarantee seats for all above the cutoff for citywide. I guess my point is that all of these kids deserve spots and there simply aren't enough of the city wide ones. However there has to be some mechanism to choose and everyone can't be happy with whatever mthod. Some are bemoaning the lack of interviews, others the inclusion of the bracken (I think it's completely unmecessary and artificially inflates scores) and the rest. The bottom line is that 225 truly gifted kids will get spots at city wide programs. The use of percentiles is consistant with past years and is a good way to norm by age. All of the other iq tests also convert raw score to percentile. It is the way these tests work

Anonymous said...

Of course it would be lovely for every family to make the most informed decision possible. However, tours are not without cost. My children attend citywide schools and their classes are disrupted every time there is a tour. There were plenty of tours in the fall. Things finally settled down after that so the kids could focus. For another 978 families to tour now would destroy the rest of the school year for the students already in attendance. Hunter only allows tours after you're admitted and that seems to work out just fine. You can get adequate information from open houses, websites, and insideschools to pick the best place for you and your child. Think for a moment about what you would want your child's year to be like once he is in school despite overcrowdng in already small classrooms. Then imagine tours trooping through all year long. Get the picture?

Anonymous said...

I feel less stressed now that I know I'm going to rate my child's school as number 1. It's getting a G/T program this year and seems silly to take her from a school she loves. I feel my family is lucky. I hope her experience with school continues to be a good one. I'm thrilled with her score, but her emotional well being is also important. Taking her away from kids in her neighborhood wouldn't be right. I'm learning about sensitivities and political minefields that I step in whenever discussing NYC's education with parents. So many opinions and theories, which is great but can become overwhelming. I'm going with my gut.

Anonymous said...

In response to MAY 3, 2008 3:10 PM:
Give me a break. Can you honestly remember being interrupted by anything in YOUR kindergarten classroom?! Congrats on your kids' placement into citywide schools (ours is now eligible as well) and I'm sure you spent ample time researching their options as soon as they were born, but there are others who didn't prep their kids for tests only to find out that they were gifted all on their own. And then options increase exponentially from some to most. Yeah, we get the picture. We have big decisions to make and yours are already made so why are you still trolling insideschool blogs?

Anonymous said...

Honestly want to know why I'm here? Trying to be helpful to parents who are facing the same decisions under more complex and confusing admissions systems. Skip those assumptions, my friend! No prep in our house. What began when they were born was attachment parenting, reading, talking, playing. I think anybody who spends time or money on prep has the wrong end of the stick and as far as I'm concerned even the term gifted is idiotic. It was apparent to me that my kid couldn't go to the local school because he was reading at 2 and by kindergarten application time read fluently and did addition and subtraction. None of this was prep. It was a natural outgrowth of his own curiosity and our willingness to answer his questions. The local principal couldn't articulate any sort of plan for dealing with that child in the same classroom with kids who needed to learn shapes, colors, numbers, letters and other kindergarten stuff. He said my kid could help the teacher teach the other kids. No thanks. My children deserve to be children - not singled out as if they are miniature adults. This is exactly what an accelerated classroom gives them. They are among other kids who are equally enthusiastic about learning and, yup, their kindergarten classrooms were pretty darn focused!! As far as my kindergarten classroom goes, since you're asking...all I remember is graham crackers, pineapple juice from a can, and being bored, bored, bored.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone seriously think that the citywides should set up tours for 978 families?? Do the math!

And the G&T's should allow about 3000 families to tour? Preposterous.

If your local school can meet your child's needs, great! If it can't, then you just need to choose based on what you can know without tromping through the classrooms of schools in session. Open up your perspective to include the needs of people other than yourself. If you think kindergarten is worth so little respect and the kids in it don't experience strangers walking through as an interruption then you are truly out of touch. Hell, my daughter's nursery school classroom was quiet and intimate and task-oriented. A group walking through was a real interruption. By kindergarten kids in the citywides are doing some pretty serious stuff. It ain't duck, duck, goose.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it would make sense to give priority citywide admission within percentile to those children who have no G&T options in their districts. This would heavily weight the classes toward outer-borough kids without options who, arguably, would be most harmed by not gaining access through the citywide system. Such a system would correct for economic differences that lead families to live outside the Big Island and Brooklyn. Those whom the real estate market has shunted out into the Bronx and Queens could reasonably be given an advantage in the upper percentiles if Manhattan/Brooklynites had more local choices.

Anonymous said...

Wow, ITA - great idea! But parents in Manhattan and Brooklyn would freak out. I think a lot of the parents you describe will end up at TAG in East Harlem, which is a great school that's likely to be eschewed by white, middle class parents.

Anonymous said...

I would love to have some feedback on tag

Anonymous said...

Another parent looking for more info on TAG

Anonymous said...

And another looking for info on Tag...

Anonymous said...

To those who have argued that tours are disruptive to classes, I think many of us would be grateful for evening open/house tour that wouldn't be disruptive but would provide a forum to ask questions, a chance to meet some of the education professionals at the school and provide an opportunity to look around the facility and get a sense of the schools personality. Geez, even a reasonably thought out FAQ for each program in which the G&T teacher or the principle answered a standard group of typical questions would be useful.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for Riverdale parents: if you're child gains acceptance into Nest, what kinds of transportation will you consider?

Anonymous said...

PS 24 update:
http://www.riverdalepress.com/printatf.php?sid=4215¤t_edition=2008-05-01

They DID have a waiting list and are now finding out a way to accommodate, due to all of the negative press.

Anonymous said...

To May 5 11:00AM - THANK YOU for putting into words exactly what many of us are feeling. No one wants to disrupt anyone's day, but there are throngs of parents who are dealing with delightful and terrifying decisions about where to send their gifted children! Open houses, like the one we attended this morning at PS11, were so helpful - but I wish it had been conducted in the evening b/c it WAS awkward standing in the middle of a classroom with 30 other parents as opposed to touring a citywide school where the tour sizes were much smaller. We need visceral cues, not websites and numbers (listen up DOE). If the DOE expects us to adhere to their regulations, then we need assert some of our own - the chance to educate OURSELVES on behalf of our kids.

Anonymous said...

My daughter's application came in ith mistakes and for many days I cann't reach anyone in G&t phone or email. What should I do?

Anonymous said...

8:48 AM: You can try emailing some people individually that are listed on the G&T page:

http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/GiftedandTalented/default.htm

Anonymous said...

to 9:53
I emailed them ALL

Anonymous said...

Try calling 311. Someone I know did that when they needed their kid to be retested and they were getting nowhere when calling the G&T phone number. After they called 311, Ana Commidantes office called back the next day and my friend was able to accomplish what she wanted.

Anonymous said...

While I am glad that my child (at 99 percentile) will benefit from the G&T scoring this year for entering 1st grade at least at the district level, I still question the measure of giftedness from as early an age as possible is reasonable. I use the citywide programs as an example, once you're in, you're in. G&T programs are not kicking out anyone already in the program. The result of that is if a child cannot score high enough early on, even if he/she can score high enough in later grades, there may not be any openings as the no. of seats will be limited. I am not sure if this applies to district programs, seems to me that seats will be guaranteed no matter what grade you are in. My point is if someone scored well only later in life, he/she will be deprived of any chance of a G&T program.

Anonymous said...

Can someone who manage to go to NEST+M or Anderson's tours give us some comments about what they think and the actual no. seats available after siblings have been considered?

Anonymous said...

Hi Philissa,
Two of my daughter's classmates did not get the G&T results yet. I asked their moms to call up Grace at 212-374-7693. Is there any other number whom they can contact as the deadline is ticking out?

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous May 6, 2008 2:55 PM

Are you suggesting that kids who are in TAG schools be kicked out if they start to test lower than they did upon entrance? Thats not the answer. The answer is to create more opportunities along the way rather than to take opportunity away from those who already earned their spot. If a child is not able to keep up or feels they no longer want to be in a gifted program, let the child and the parent will make that decision of whether or not to stay. Thats just cruel to say there should be a policy in place to remove those kids.

Anonymous said...

To May 7th 1:00 AM: There's a lot of feedback on these schools at urbanbaby.com

Anonymous said...

I created a yahoo group for gifted and talented 2008. I did the nest tour today. They said they will have 5 classes and the max for each class is 25. So that is 125 seats. Yet, they did mention that there are 111 seats. So I believe the difference is the Siblings.

In adddion to the comment of once you are in you stay in and don't need to re-test I know one parent whose child is in a G&T class in queens and who is on probation. If the child is not keeping up or stressed by the work the teacher recommends that they go into a higher class but mainstream class.

At NEST, the site talks about couseling and helping children who need the extra help , but in some cases they are not invited back. I do not know if this is still the case.

Anonymous said...

The 111 seats in NEST must be incorrect. The application deadline has not even passed, so I don't think they would have any way to know how many siblings scored 97 and selected Nest first.

Anonymous said...

I am beginning to realize that if you are applying to a citywide school, your first choice is your best and only shot. For instance, if you place Anderson first, NEST+M second, the enrollment process will go through all the 99% kids and fill their first choices as much as they can. And if their first choice was not fulfilled because of lack of seats in the lottery and siblings, then it will look at their second choice but it probably has little or no more seats left after placing those who put NEST+M as first choice and scored 99%. Being that NEST+M is a bigger school with many more seats, should I put NEST+M as first choice rather than Anderson if my goal is to get in?

Anonymous said...

To May 7, 2008 1:28 PM
Anonymous said...

That is definitely not true about kids not "being invited" back. In the old days kids were a "counceled out" but that is definitely not true anymore. I was just talking to the Lower School AP today and she said they work with kids who are having trouble.

Anonymous said...

To the person from 6:22am on 5/7. If your friends still have not heard from someone regarding test scores. Have them call Kim Cobb at 212-374-5567. She is with school enrollment and is the person to speak with.
I found this out by speaking with Liz Saplin at G&T. Of course Liz and I emailed a few times last week and she did not give me a name or phone number but made me feel as if she was looking into things. It wasn't until I got her on the phone on Monday that she told me they (the G&T office), do not have scores and the office of enrollment is where I should address my concerns to get my son's score. Ugh, had she given me this information last week, I would have appreciated it!
I still have not received my son's scores, however I have been informed that he did not make the cut for eligibility and that they would re-issue his scores to me.
I am glad that I finally know what is going on, but I have yet to receive his scores and still don't know what he scored.
I only hope it comes in the mail soon.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the ratio of boys and girls who scored about 90%? I am interested!

Anonymous said...

my son tested into the G&T program in Queens District 27...the schools in this district are PS108, 183 and 232 (FYI).

Anonymous said...

Does anybdy have any info abt when we will receive the placement?

Anonymous said...

Just called the G & T office. I was told that the placement letters will be sent out some time this week.