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NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces End to Gifted and Talented Education Program After ‘Segregation’ Complaints

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Announces End to Gifted and Talented Education Program After ‘Segregation’ Complaints

“They could not make the bad schools better so they’ll make the good schools worse and call it a win.”

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio on Friday announced the phase-out of the city’s gifted and talented program after years of pressure from so-called progressive activists to eliminate it on grounds it was “racially segregated” because most of the students in the program were either white or Asian.

Via the New York Post:

Current students in the accelerated learning program can stay in their separate schools and classrooms to completion. But new cohorts will be completely eliminated by fall 2022, ending testing for kids as young as four.

The model — which admits roughly 2,500 kids per year — is being replaced by Brilliant NYC, a program offering students aged 8 and up chances for accelerated learning while staying in their regular classrooms with other pupils.

The Department of Education said teachers would identify kids best suited for the new initiative.


“Brilliant NYC will deliver accelerated instruction for tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few,” de Blasio said. “Every New York City child deserves to reach their full potential, and this new, equitable model gives them that chance.”

Schools Chancellor Meisha Ross Porter is being credited in local reports as being the one who ultimately persuaded de Blasio to make this decision with just three months to go in his final term in office. She appeared with him Friday, and in an interview she claimed that the change will “[make] our entire system better for all children.” In her personal Twitter account, she describes herself as a “disruptor.”

The New York Times went wild with their report on de Blasio’s announcement, with education reporter Eliza Shapiro barely able to contain her glee while openly referring to the program as “segregated” or “racially segregated” multiple times in an early version of what was purportedly a straight news report but in reality was one you’d think was written by a national teachers’ union:

Mayor Bill de Blasio will overhaul New York City’s highly selective, racially segregated gifted and talented education classes, a sea change for the nation’s largest public school system that may amount to the mayor’s most significant act in the waning months of his tenure.


New York, home to one of the most racially segregated school systems in the country, is more reliant on selective school admissions than any other large system in America.


The move represents one of Mr. de Blasio’s most dramatic actions to combat segregation in city schools, though it also puts New York more in line with how other cities are approaching their own segregated gifted classes.


Labeling students as gifted and plucking them out of general education classrooms altogether often exacerbates segregation, removes resources from regular public schools, and weakens instruction for all other students, experts say…

Many on Twitter were quick to point out that what Shapiro and other opponents of the program in the city described as “racially segregated” was not actually racially segregated:

New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz, a parent of school children herself, went off, suggesting that since they couldn’t make the bad schools better their solution will be to make the good ones worse:

All this in the name of “equity.” Who wins every time these games are played? Not the students, that’s for sure. But it’ll make the wokesters on the left who are responsible for Mayor de Blasio’s decision feel really good about themselves in thinking they’ve “done something good” for their community. But in reality, they couldn’t be further away from the truth.

Eric Adams, the Democrat nominee in the city’s upcoming mayoral election, hasn’t spoken publicly on the issue since de Blasio’s announcement, but a spokesman for Adams hinted that if elected Adams would be open to keeping the program as long as some changes were made to it. Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa said he would increase opportunities for students to enroll in the program if elected.

As always, stay tuned.

— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —


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Political congruence (“=”) in lieu of equal treatment.

    cali sol in reply to n.n. | October 11, 2021 at 10:24 am

    I grew up in NYC”S schools and later learned their excellence was based on a meritocracy where the best in any area advanced into more specialized schools. NYC was first to have specialized schools for the arts and many other topics.

    The primary motive was to enable the many minority immigrants flooding the schools to succeed in an area where they could excel. NYC schools were based on excellence and copied by many cities.

    People are not all equal; whether athletic ability or artistic talent they do best in a system where they can learn and excel. And people wonder why there is such a groundswell of support for school vouchers and charter schools.

Stupid white people

Equality being pushed by Leftists since 1789

Progressive Marxists — Let’s lower ALL standards across the board and eliminate any merit-based program because 50 years of Affirmative Action and throwing resources at inner city schools have not worked. By lowering standards for everyone – we gain equality of misery.

“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”
— Winston Churchill, House of Commons, 22 October 1945.

“After ‘Segregation’ complaints”

Where the less-than-bright (i.e., those from cultures which do not elevate study & hard work) demand that they be included with those whose cultures place their respective priorities in the right places.

All of this assures the dominance in math and science studies for those countries which still have shreds of common sense.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to fscarn. | October 10, 2021 at 4:41 pm

    Or, let’s just say it out loud: some aren’t good enough. They lack the brains and initiative and that is not our problem.

IneedAhaircut | October 10, 2021 at 3:22 pm

The Dept. of Education assumes these gifted students will stay in the system and somehow improve the overall school environment. But it is more likely that a significant percentage of them will find private or home-schooling alternatives.

It’s happening in many districts – the more they dumb down the curriculum and push extreme ideological viewpoints, the more the smart parents pull their kids out. You end up with school systems dominated by the most challenging and most disruptive students.

    The Friendly Grizzly in reply to IneedAhaircut. | October 10, 2021 at 4:42 pm


    You end up with school systems dominated by the most challenging and most disruptive students.

    I’ve been in schools full of them. Let’s call it what it is: day care.

    artichoke in reply to IneedAhaircut. | October 10, 2021 at 7:14 pm

    They planned ahead. Remember how the elite private schools in NYC all went full woke a year or two ago? Frankly I’m amazed there aren’t more new school entities being developed, or maybe it all exists but is called “homeschool” which can actually be pretty organized in some places.

    artichoke in reply to IneedAhaircut. | October 22, 2021 at 12:13 pm

    They planned for this though. Within NYC, last year it seems all the “elite” private schools went massively woke. Years, decades of planning putting the “right people” into place to slam the door shut on wealthy families that sent their sons and daughters to those schools for generations, and turn their schools into woke zoos. The families went along with hiring, given an unending drumbeat of “social justice” pressure and promotion, then the agents sprung into action all at once.

    That might have helped house sales in the NYC suburban area where I live.

The gifted and talented will go elsewhere. New York will grind its way to Baltimore status over time.

In my state, students of Asian ancestry do disproportionately well on all of the standardized tests. Black students do disproportionately poorly. Poor people do absolutely awful.

I bet that those three statements are generally true in every single school district.

    allenb611 in reply to Dathurtz. | October 10, 2021 at 7:38 pm

    Facts are anathema to the left.

    Intelligence is hereditary. The lower the IQ of parents, the lower the social standing.

    Then bring street culture into the mix.

    No mystery. I think di Blasio is jealous. How the hell this moron got to where he is can only be attributed to Soros and voting machine fraud.

    Right, AOC? Right, Maxine Waters? Right, Gavin Newsom?

Funnily enough, Cuomo used similarly illogical ‘discrimination’ concerns as a rationale to put infected covid patients in nursing homes. Such as this from the NY daily news:

“ On March 25, 2020, the Cuomo administration issued a directive barring nursing homes from refusing patients based solely on a COVID-19 diagnosis. Cuomo defended the directive as an effort to prevent catastrophic hospital overcrowding and discrimination against virus patients.”

This makes sense – from the Communist point of view. Communism can’t produce excellence of any sort (except excellence in genocide).

Of course, anyone who has connections in the Communist Party (the rich, Wall Street, Hollywood glitterati, elected officials, high level government bureaucrats, university professors and administrators, etc) will still be able to put their children in tony private schools the rest of us have zero chance to get our kids in (even if we could afford it, which we can’t). Nothing has been proven to be more effective in making the elite richer and more powerful than Diversity, Inclusion and Equity.

Enforcing mediocrity and discouraging excellence will just contribute further to the decline in American education. When they say that merit-based decisions are “racist,” they are propagating the lie that some races aren’t smart enough to compete on exams.

    artichoke in reply to OldProf2. | October 10, 2021 at 7:15 pm

    Maybe it’s a lie. Maybe it’s not. I don’t know and don’t have to know. Each student should still be treated according to their individual abilities.

The Left can’t handle reality. Equity is a forced down-dumbing and compromising of excellence.

I grew up in the poorest county in N.C. Fortunately a local college offered college level courses to families in the community to permit their kids to accelerate away from the limited resources of the regular schools. To set the stage…. most rural kids in the schools were bidding their time to hit 16, leave school and go on welfare. So, in 8th grade I found myself in college freshman Latin during summer school. At least I knew more about Latin then Al Gore! Holding back smart kids is revenge , and not advancement of a culture. No child left behind means no smart kid allowed to excel.

Diversity won’t work. The blacks would just be surrounded by whites a lot smarter than they are, which produces the well -known campus problem all over.

You have to teach only stuff that won’t show who’s smarter on the average, like gender/black/women’s studies.

Harrison Bergeron is now a non-fiction novella.

2smartforlibs | October 10, 2021 at 6:00 pm

The left continually dumbing down America.

“They could not make the bad schools better so they’ll make the good schools worse and call it a win.”

To state what seems obvious: much of what makes the good schools good has nothing to do with the buildings and only tangentially related to the quality of instruction.

What makes these schools good is mostly the students who are there. Not because of what they look like or their political connections or parents’ wealth, but because they had the talent and motivation pass the selection screen.

These ‘equity’ pushers, they’re so much better at destroying than they are at building.

“Brilliant NYC will deliver accelerated instruction for tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few,” de Blasio said. (aka the dodo strikes again: “Everybody has won and all must have prizes,” declared the dodo in Alice in Wonderland).

Do these equity-mongers understand that when you do that, the “prizes” become worthless?

    artichoke in reply to Albigensian. | October 10, 2021 at 7:22 pm

    The only thing preventing accelerated instruction in the general classrooms is that the students would be totally overwhelmed and lost. Or if not, then they should do it. But experienced teachers don’t, so the pros are telling us this can’t work.

    Except to slow down the faster kids. And that might please even some teachers.

Does “education reporter Eliza Shapiro” have children? If so, what kind of school do they attend?

The change to have the Chancellor of the NYC Schools report to the Mayor is a tragic and fatal mistake.

This MORON needs to be sent to Siberia.

As always the wealthy elites are insulated from the policies of their ideological fellow travelers who create and impose these policies. The merely comfortable ‘HENRY’ high earner not yet rich, who can’t afford the $25K $50K and up tuition for each child to attend an exclusive private school are finding out where they rank in the hierarchy.

Disruption is an accurate description of this policy. So is shoving a stick into the spokes of a bicycle. Each has predictable consequences.