Home > Uncategorized > This Just In: Affluent Children Score Higher on Gifted and Talented Tests in NYC

This Just In: Affluent Children Score Higher on Gifted and Talented Tests in NYC

April 15, 2016

Elizabeth Harris reports in today’s NYTimes that more children in wealthy neighborhoods take the cities Gifted and Talented tests and those children have higher pass rates than their cohorts in less affluent neighborhoods. This is completely unsurprising. As noted in multiple previous posts for at least 50 years children raised in affluent households outscore children raised in poverty in every metric public schools have ever used because they are raised in atmospheres where food, clothing and shelter are “given” and, in most cases, their parents are deeply concerned about their well-being from the day they are born until the day they graduate from college and beyond. This is also the case because affluence and education are linked in our economy and thus the more educated the parents are the more well off they are and the more well off their children are. Gifted and Talented tests, then, are a means of segregating the affluent children from the poor and a means of reinforcing the status quo in the economic order.

But NYC schools, like any school district that institutes gifted and talented testing and the consequent segregation based on those results, will find it politically untenable to pull back from this approach. Once a G&T program is in place it serves as a means of retaining the children of upper middle class and upper class parents in public schools and, in some cases, in the city itself. But the testing regimen also contributes to gentrification and social segregation as parents looking to buy homes look at the test scores and G&T offerings in schools and often use that as a basis for determining whether or not to purchase a home.

NYC’s answer to this is the best one available given the politically untenable notion of abandoning G&T programming altogether. They are expanding G&T offerings in areas where the programming is absent now. My prediction: once those school sites are announced the neighborhood gentrification will begin.

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