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Proposed Res. No. 417-A

 

Resolution calling upon the New York City Department of Education to create more district Gifted and Talented programs and classes, including intermediate school programs, and create pathways for admission that ensure equitable access for students throughout the City.

 

By Council Members Holden, Cornegy, Brannan, Koo, Gibson and Ulrich

Whereas, There are two types of Gifted and Talented (G&T) programs in New York City, district and citywide, according to the Department of Education’s (DOE) website; and

Whereas, The district G&T program gives admissions priority to applicants who live in their district and offers a few G&T classes per grade, and the citywide G&T program gives no admissions priority based on district of residence and all students in these schools attend the G&T program; and

Whereas, To enroll in any G&T program, students in pre-K through second grade must fill out a request for testing form two months before the testing period begins and take an admissions examination that uses both verbal and nonverbal tests to determine if a child is eligible to apply for G&T programs; and

Whereas, The policy of the Department of Education is that students must score at or above the 90th percentile to be eligible for district G&T programs and at or above the 97th percentile to be eligible for citywide G&T programs; and

Whereas, Due to competitiveness and a limited number of seats, however, students often must score at or above the 99th percentile to gain admission to the citywide G&T programs; and

Whereas, Typically, more students qualify for G&T programs than the number of available seats, as was the case in 2018 when 9,074 received eligible scores and 6,733 applied for programs but just 3,854 were offered seats in G&T programs; and

Whereas, In most schools, after second grade there is no admissions examination or official pathway for entry into a G&T program except when a student leaves the program, which is extremely rare; and

Whereas, Some, but not all, intermediate sixth through eighth grade schools provide G&T classes to top performing students; and

Whereas, Intermediate school G&T programs could offer automatic admission to students from elementary G&T programs and create other pathways for entering students who were not enrolled in a G&T program in elementary school; and

Whereas, Further, while some districts have multiple districtwide G&T programs starting in kindergarten, others have just one and four districts have no G&T programs that start in kindergarten; and

Whereas, DOE’s restrictive admissions practices and insufficient number of G&T programs has limited opportunities for students; and

Whereas, If all school districts had at least one district G&T program for both elementary kindergarten through fifth grade and intermediate sixth through eighth grade, many more students would have the opportunity to benefit from such a program; and

Whereas, DOE should expand the number of G&T programs and implement admissions processes that ensure equitable access to students in districts throughout the City; now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls upon the New York City Department of Education to create more district Gifted and Talented programs and classes, including intermediate school programs, and create pathways for admission that ensure equitable access for students throughout the City.

LS #6304

SIL/JA

4/16/2019