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FINDINGS OF BOROUGH PRESIDENTS’ TASK FORCE CALL FOR GREATER ACCESS TO GIFTED AND TALENTED EDUCATION, TEST PREP PROGRAMS, SPECIALIZED HIGH SCHOOLS AND MORE
BROOKLYN, NY, June 21, 2017: Today, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released “Fixing the Pipeline: Solutions to Disparities in Gifted Education in New York City,” a new report outlining multiple recommendations for the future of gifted and talented education at all levels in New York City’s public schools. The report, which can be viewed online at brooklyn-usa.org, is the work of the borough presidents’ Gifted & Talented Education Task Force, was released on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse in Lower Manhattan, home of the New York City Department of Education (DOE). Borough Presidents Adams and Diaz discussed their recommendations to both expand gifted and talented education in New York City public schools at all levels, as well as bring fairness to the admissions process for the city’s specialized high schools.
“When it comes to gifted and talented education in New York City, the math does not add up,” said Borough President Adams. “Our analysis clearly shows a historical inequity in delivering high-quality educational opportunities to students across the five boroughs. Access to gifted and talented programs and specialized high schools can no longer be allowed to be dictated by one’s zip code; parents who live in Belmont and Brownsville should expect the same grade-A programming and enrichment as parents in Tribeca. We don’t need small changes — we need bold changes.”
“Today, we are giving the DOE a little ‘summer reading’ of their own, a report outlining what we believe are necessary changes the City could make today to bring more equity to programs for gifted learners in the five boroughs,” said Borough President Diaz. “We cannot send our children to Stuyvesant, Bronx Science, and Brooklyn Tech if they are not prepared. And we cannot expect them to be prepared if they do not have the same advantages that are offered to other communities.”
Recommendations in the 22-page report included requiring that all communities have equal access to gifted and talented programs in kindergarten; that all students in public pre-K programs be tested for gifted and talented programs; that every student who qualifies for a gifted and talented program be given a seat in their community; that citywide K-8 and middle school gifted and talented classes be expanded across the city; that the DOE provide free busing across boroughs at the elementary level to provide better access to gifted and talented programs; that all students have access to free or reduced-cost test prep for the specialized high schools, and that a single test not be the only source of admission to the specialized high schools.
The task force, made up of government officials, community members, and parents who are familiar with the issues gifted and talented students face in New York City schools, hosted several public hearings earlier this year to discuss issues surrounding gifted and talented education in New York City public schools. Those hearings, as well as other work, informed the contents of their report. Borough President Adams’ appointees to the task force from Brooklyn were Nikki Lucas, a parent at JHS 88 Peter Rouget; Melanie Mendonca, a member of Community Education Council (CEC) 23, and Ralph Yozzo, a member of CEC 16. Borough President Diaz’s appointees to the task force from The Bronx were Geneal Chacon, a member of the Panel for Educational Policy (PEP); Steven Francisco, a member of CEC 10; Dr. Nancy Kheck, a member of CEC 11 and a parent at MS 181 Pablo Casals, and Katie Sperling of Parents’ Alliance for Citywide Education (PACE).
Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. released “Fixing the Pipeline: Solutions to Disparities in Gifted Education in New York City,” a new report of their Gifted & Talented Education Task Force outlining multiple recommendations for the future of gifted and talented education at all levels in New York City’s public schools; they presented their findings on the steps of the Tweed Courthouse alongside task force members Steven Francisco (left) and Geneal Chacon (left-center).
Photo Credit: Erica Sherman/Brooklyn BP’s Office
Office of the Bronx Borough President
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