A famously outspoken lot, parents of g+t youngsters had a great deal to say in response to our question yesterday afternoon. Two themes seem clear from the comments which, along with the Times' article on waylaid hopes for diversity in the city's g+t classes, deserve exploration.
First theme: What happened to my kid? With high demand for citywide schools (more on this later) and so many high-scoring children, parents want badly to know how their child stacked up against the competition. We hope the DOE will release data on test scores and admission, but worry about pitting adorable 4-year-olds against their playground pals in the process. How much information is enough, and how much is too much?
Second theme: What about the city's children? Two points emerged here: Is it fair to test, and rely solely on scores, when percentiles are determined by about the same number of points as comprise the test's margin of error? And, why aren't 'citywide' schools truly citywide, in all five boros? (The idea of trekking across bridges and through tunnels for kindergarten is a parent's logistical nightmare -- not to mention, potential mayhem for playdates and birthday parties.) Should the DOE rename the three 'citywide' programs 'Manhattan-wide'? The need for strong programs across all five boros has never been clearer; why is Manhattan the mother lode?
Finally, the DOE's attempt to diversify the programs by reliance on testing has not yielded the desired result; in fact, programs in some districts aren't opening at all.
The process this year was deeply flawed. We wonder how it might change next year, to better serve all children -- yours, your neighbor's, and the folks across town.