Date: Dec 26, 2012 3:33 PM
Author: Haim
Subject: Re: A Coordinator, A Facilitator, And An Educator Walk Into A Bar

Paul A. Tanner, III Posted: Dec 26, 2012 12:59 AM 
>> Paul, do you have any actual information about who is
>> and who is not allowed to take the test for admission
>> into the gifted programs in the NYC public elementary
>> schools?

>> I didn't think so.

>And you have this information?


All children of appropriate age, attending or intending to attend NYC public elementary schools, are eligible to be evaluated for admission to the talented and gifted programs in the system. Furthermore, not only can a parent contact the NYC DOPE, at the school, district, and department level, for information on gifted programs, but the DOPE and the districts organize information sessions in all five boroughs, trying to reach out to all possible eligible children and their parents.

Just the same is true for admission to the specialized high schools, like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, Brooklyn Tech, and Staten Island Tech. For admission to these schools, nothing is taken into consideration---not grades, not standardized test scores, not attendance, not teacher evaluations or recommendations---except performance on one specific test, the Specialized High Schools Admission Test.

One possible source of confusion is some of the middle schools where the rules are different. For Mark Twain Middle School and the Hunter College High School (which begins in grade 7), the child must be invited, based on certain objective criteria, to sit for the admissions tests. In this case, not all children are eligible to even try for admission.

In all cases, elementary, middle, and high schools, vastly more numbers of children try for admission than can possibly be admitted. Such has been the case for at least a generation. Information about these programs is widespread. Local newspapers write articles about these programs every year; in addition to providing general information about the programs, they publish schedules of information sessions and testing dates. As I mentioned above, the NYC DOPE actively reaches out to the public school population. To be perfectly frank, if a NYC public school student (or his parents, in the case of very young students) is ignorant of these programs, his reading comprehension is probably too low for admission, anyway.

Furthermore, there is a history to the gifted programs to which you are undoubtedly indifferent. NYC has been under pressure, for years, to "diversify" the population of TAG children. For example,
More Children Take the Tests for Gifted Programs, and More Qualify
Published: May 4, 2009

>The Bloomberg administration has been trying to equalize
>access to the city?s array of gifted programs. Critics
>have said that the programs were too often bastions of
>white privilege, while supporters have said that they
>are crucial to middle-class parents seeking refuge from
>low-performing neighborhood schools.

In other words, NYC has been jiggering with tests and criteria, for years, to try to manufacture a politically correct TAG student population. It is not easy. Just as the Stuyevsant population is 70% Asian, with a negligible component of black and hispanic students, TAG elementary children are just not cooperating.

In the matter of admissions to the gifted programs in the NYC public school system, your mathematical speculations are pointless. If the TAG population is all of a sudden "exploding", it can mean only one thing: the DOPE is playing games with the admissions tests and criteria. Again.

No representation without taxation.