In the end of June, we started gathering questions for the DOE on a wide range of subjects. It took a month to set up the interview, but on July 31st, we spoke with DOE administrators about gifted and talented admissions, among other issues. A short blog post gave highlights (and generated dozens of reader comments); for more, see the article in the current alert.
We still have open questions, of course, and have had assurances they will be answered. In particular, we're waiting to hear about the sibling/non-sibling mix of each citywide g+t Kindergarten class (both in terms of seat count and test scores).
In terms of overall takeaway, the DOE heard the anger and confusion of parents stymied by gifted and talented admissions this year: They felt the heat, and they want very much to avoid similar experiences in coming years. All agree that this year's process had flaws.
We have absolute assurances from Elizabeth Sciabarra and Anna Commitante that communication ahead of, during, and after admissions and placement decision-making will be clearer, more explicit and more frequent this year. But how these good intentions will inform actual practice can only be known as the year unfolds.
We look forward to brokering an ongoing conversation between parents and the DOE, and welcome reader responses, questions, observations and comments.