NEW YORK: New York City will phase out its program for gifted and gifted students, which critics say is for white and Asian American students, while the country’s largest school system enrolls countless black and Latino children.

From next academic year, the city will stop offering screening tests to identify gifted and gifted students under the age of 4, according to an outline of a plan released by the city’s education department on Friday.


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The program currently enrolls only 2,500 students a year out of 65,000 kindergarteners across the city.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said the change would help thousands of people get better guidance, rather than just picking a few.

“The era of judging 4-year-olds based on a single test is over,” he said in a statement. “Every child in New York City deserves to reach their full potential, and this new, fair model gives them that opportunity.”

Instead of cities, all kindergarten teachers will be trained to provide accelerated learning where students use advanced skills such as robotics, computer coding, community organizing or project advocacy while in their regular classrooms. The city will examine whether third-grade students will benefit from accelerated learning in a variety of subjects while in their classroom.

Despite being one of the most diverse cities in the United States, New York City’s public schools have long been ridiculed as one of the most isolated. Its talented and meritorious programs highlight many of the inequalities in the education system.

Of the approximately 1,16,000 students, three-quarters are of white or Asian descent, while Black and Latino students make up the rest প্রায় despite nearly two-thirds of the city’s 1 million public schools.

Tony Smith-Thompson, who has three children in public school and who has joined other parents in calling for a break with the city’s talented and meritorious program, said the mayor’s move was long overdue.

“In a city that has so much inequality – that has a history of so much inequality – establishing an exclusion system and then pretending that people are being able to compete equally. Competition because that’s what everyone should have,” Smith-Thompson said.

The program has given rise to legal challenges over the years, with opponents complaining that it has imposed a caste system in public schools.

“After years of fighting, the mayor has finally taken a step to end or end the institutionalization of racism in our school,” said Kaliris Salas, another parent.

A report published in June by UCLA’s Civil Rights Project was particularly disgusting.

Project Director Gary Orfield wrote in the report Forward, “The Supreme Court has ruled for two-thirds of a century that segregated schools are ‘inherently unequal’.”

Some Asian American activists have opposed breaking the program, arguing that it has given their children the opportunity to enroll in advanced schools and get out of poverty.

“It will especially hurt families who don’t have much and who don’t have access to private schools or charter schools – or who can’t afford to move out of New York City for better education for their children,” said Donghui Zhang, who is partly for low-income immigrants. Campaigned for a seat on the City Council on a platform built on educational opportunities.

Place NYC, a group advocating for the expansion of the talented and meritorious program, said it was outraged that the mayor announced his plan without advanced notice. The party is planning a rally next week to protest the mayor’s move, which is expected to cause chaos among thousands of families.

Due to the deadline, De Blasio will leave office at the end of the year and much of the work of implementing the changes could fall on his successors.

“He threw a grenade into the room and left,” said Kaushik Das, the party’s leader and now a member of the city’s education council.

City education officials will hold community meetings in the coming months to discuss the changes with parents and teachers, and full details will be released just before de Blasio’s term expires.

The next mayor may change the program again.

Adams spokesman Evan Thiess said Democratic nominee Eric Adams, who is expected to be the next mayor in the November election, will evaluate the plan and reserve the right to implement the policy based on the needs of students and parents. .

“Obviously the education department needs to improve outcomes for children in low-income areas,” Thies said.

Republican mayoral candidate Curtis Sliva called de Blasio’s announcement “insulting” and said he would reschedule the program as soon as he became mayor.

There are currently 80 elementary schools in New York City that provide some quick guidance. City officials did not say in detail how much it would cost to expand it to all 800 primary schools.

The plan, called Brilliant NYC, will require the recruitment of additional teachers who are trained to provide that instruction.

“As a lifelong educator, I know every child in New York City has a talent that goes far beyond what a single test can achieve, and the Brilliant NYC Plan will unleash their strengths so they can succeed,” said Maisha Porter, the school’s chancellor.

The New York Times first reported the plan on Friday.

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