Nightline on test prep & the gifted exams: more "choices" for parents or magnifying social inequities?

The results of the Gifted and Talented exams are in, and according to the NY Times, more than half of the children tested in wealthier districts like District 2 and District 3 were found to be "gifted", while only six children made the grade in District 7 in the South Bronx.  Why the disparity?

Are these tests merely a way of sorting children by race and class, as Debbie Meier pointed out in 2007, when Klein first proposed to base all admissions to gifted programs on the basis of high stakes exams, or do the results really reflect children's inherent abilities?  And does the proliferation of G and T programs across the city help or hinder the goal of equity and systemic reform?

We have written often about the severe problems with the way this program has been implemented in NYC, including how we believe it works to magnify inequities, as well as about the continued pro-administration bias of reporting on this issue here.

Check out these segments from a recent Nightline investigation, aired April 14, including interviews with anxious NYC parents enrolling their four-year-olds in arduous test prep programs, because they believe that if they can get their kids into these programs they will be set for life, as well as an interview with Chancellor Walcott, who expresses no concern that some  parents may be paying four or five thousand dollars to prep their children for the test, because he says this gives them more "choices." Walcott also evinces a surprising lack of skepticism, given the extreme racial disparity in the results, that these exams  test actual giftedness rather than economic and social privilege.

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