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.”
Today, we announced a plan to deliver accelerated instruction for tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few. Brilliant NYC continues the work of equity and excellence by making sure every single student in our schools has the opportunity to succeed.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) October 8, 2021
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:
"About 75 percent of the roughly 16,000 students in gifted elementary school classes in New York are white or Asian American." The Times calls this "racially segregated." That's not what racially segregated means. https://t.co/CsKhAggSy1
— David Bernstein (@ProfDBernstein) October 8, 2021
Just straight up gaslighting in a ‘factual’ piece of reporting. I’ve never seen something like this pic.twitter.com/rsZ0yyI6Om
— Brian King (@KingOrleans) October 8, 2021
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:
It really is leftism in action. They could not make the bad schools better so they’ll make the good schools worse and call it a win. (I should note these changes do not affect me. My kids are old enough to not have destruction of G&T make a difference.)
— Karol Markowicz (@karol) October 8, 2021
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. —DONATE
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