New York's likely new mayor plans to preserve gifted program

The Democrat who will likely become New York City’s next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city’s program for gifted and talented students

Via AP news wire
Friday 15 October 2021 17:38
Financial Markets Wall Street IHS Towers IPO
Financial Markets Wall Street IHS Towers IPO

The Democrat who will likely become New York City's next mayor says he does not intend to get rid of the city's program for gifted and talented students, nipping plans that outgoing Mayor Bill de Blasio just announced.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in an interview on CNN on Friday that de Blasio can't get rid of the program in the nation's largest school district until next year, when a new mayor is in place. Adams said he would preserve the program and expand it.

Messages seeking comment from de Blasio's office and the Education Department were not immediately returned Friday.

De Blasio, also a Democrat, announced a week ago that he was starting a process that would begin next year to phase out the program, which critics say favors white and Asian American students, while enrolling disproportionately few Black and Latino children.

De Blasio said the district, with about 1 million students, would next year stop administering a screening test to 4-year-olds that's used to identify gifted and talented students. Instead, he said, the public school system would work to offer accelerated learning, in which students use more advanced skills such as robotics, computer coding, community organizing or advocacy on projects while staying in their regular classrooms.

The mayor said he planned to hold community discussions over the coming months and roll out the full program right before he leaves office.

“He can’t get rid of it until next year. There’s nothing to put back in place,” Adams said Friday.

He said the next mayor of the heavily Democratic city must evaluate the program, and Adams said he would expand opportunities for accelerated learning and for children who have barriers to learning.

Curtis Sliwa, the Republican mayoral candidate, has also said he would immediately re-implement the program.

Though New York City is one of the most diverse cities in the country, its public schools have long been criticized as being among the most heavily segregated, particularly within the gifted and talented program. About 75% of the program's 16,000 students are white or of Asian descent, though Black and Latino students make up about two-thirds of students.

Some Asian American activists have pushed back against plans to dismantle the program, saying it has given their children a path out poor-performing schools and, eventually, out of poverty.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in