Home > Essays > NYC Insists on Identifying Gifted and Talented 4-Year Olds. Why?

NYC Insists on Identifying Gifted and Talented 4-Year Olds. Why?

July 14, 2021

There is an aphorism in education: if you always do what you always did you’ll always get what you always got…. and in NYC the insistence on sorting and selecting “gifted and talented” 4-year old from their age cohorts sets the stage for sorting and selecting up and down the grade levels.

This year NYC, like every school district in America, has Covid funds they could use any way they want to help kids catch up. Here’s an idea: listen to Halley Potter and offer school-wide enrichment across the board instead of doing what they always did:

Halley Potter, a senior fellow at the think tank The Century Foundation and a supporter of reforming the city’s gifted and talented system, said the offer data showed “marginally better outcomes in terms of equity” compared to the old system and also appeared to be more geographically representative.

But this year’s “tweaks” to the admission system still didn’t go far enough to create a more equitable system, she said.

She believes the city should stop separating children deemed as gifted from their peers — a practice shared by fewer than 10% of other American districts, she said. Instead, schools could provide extra services for gifted children in their classroom or by sending them to a higher grade for a specific subject they excel in. Schools could also adopt a schoolwide enrichment model, where every student has access to more challenging, project-based work.

“There are a variety of different ways you could do that that don’t have the same segregating effects [as] the current system,” Potter said.


%d bloggers like this: