Haim's post of Dec 21, 2012 4:28 AM ia pasted below my signature for reference.
In this post, he seems to be alleging/ hinting that a conspiracy by the 'Education Mafia' was responsible for the "explosion in the number of students who qualify for the seats in the 'gifted and talented program' of New York City". His supporters here also seem to be alleging something along those lines.
In my view (an observation admittedly made from 8000 miles away), this new conspiracy theory is quite as ludicrous as the erstwhile conspiracy theory claiming it was GW Bush and Gang that "did the 9/11 airplane attacks on the Twin Towers; the Pentagon; and the failed attack on the White House".
Perhaps this new conspiracy theory is even more ludicrous because of the sheer greater numbers of people that would (probably) have to be involved in it.
GSC ("Still Shoveling Away!")
Haim's post of Dec 21, 2012 4:28 AM: > Is it something in the water? > > >Amid an explosion in the number of students who > qualify > >for the seats... > > Haim > No representation without taxation. > - ---------------------------------- > > http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/20/education/for-educat > ion-department-a-reversal-of-policy-on-programs-for-th > e-gifted.html?hpw&_r=0 > December 19, 2012 > A Policy Shift in Programs for the Gifted Is > Abandoned > By AL BAKER > > In a reversal, New York City school officials on > Wednesday said they would continue their > sibling-preference policy for gifted and talented > programs that have more eligible students than seats. > > Amid an explosion in the number of students who > qualify for the seats, the city in October said it > would end the policy as part of a raft of new changes > to the program?s admissions process. School officials > at the time said their move would create a fairer > system for its highest-performing pupils. > > But the idea is being abandoned until it can be > analyzed more deeply, officials said, a reflection of > just how combustible such tweaks can be for programs > that serve just a sliver of the system?s 1.1 million > students but that are highly coveted by parents. > > ?Based on feedback that we received from schools and > families, we are not implementing the changes this > year,? Dennis M. Walcott, the schools chancellor, > wrote in a letter e-mailed on Wednesday to the > families that have applied for entry into gifted > programs next fall. > > The announcement came three weeks before the start of > admissions testing for the programs. Students must > score in the 90th percentile on an admissions test to > qualify for a district-level gifted program, and in > the 97th percentile for one of the citywide programs, > like the Anderson School or the Brooklyn School of > Inquiry. > > If there are more students who qualify for a gifted > program than there are seats, students with a sibling > in the program will be admitted first, as long as > they obtain a qualifying score. Any remaining seats > go to students without siblings in the program, based > on who scores highest. The policy aims to keep young > siblings together and avoid making parents take > children to separate schools. But it also irked the > many parents of students who, for example, scored in > the 99th percentile, but lost out to other students > who scored in the 97th percentile but had a sibling > in the program. > > So in the fall, the Education Department did away > with the sibling preference ?to make it fairer and > more equitable for students scoring most high on > these exams,? Robert Sanft, the chief executive of > the department?s Office of Student Enrollment, said > at the time. > > The change drew equal parts praise and condemnation, > as did the reversal on Wednesday. > > Michael McCurdy, a co-founder of TestingMom.com, an > online service that provides practice-test materials > and advice for parents, predicted that parents with > just one child seeking placement in a gifted program > would suffer. > > The Education Department, he said in an e-mail, ?has > always emphasized that the G&T program is a > ?privilege,? and not a ?right,? for children to > attend.? > > ?Therefore, there should be no sibling preference on > G.&T. placements,? he continued. ?This is the only > fair way to do it and reverting back to the old > policy gives the children with siblings in the G.&T. > program huge advantage on two fronts.? But Rachel > Fremmer, who has a 7-year-old daughter in the gifted > program at Public School 163, in Manhattan, and a > 4-year-old daughter in preschool hoping to enroll > there next year, was relieved. ?It?s great for us,? > she said. ?A lot of families were desperate to have > their children in the same school.?