Parents in New York public schools are excited that Mayor Adams is expanding G&T classes

“I’m excited” was the response I received from parents of public schools I called about the news on Thursday that Mayor Eric Adams is recreating and expanding the gifted and talented program that former mayor Bill de Bellasio tried to kill as he left town. hall.

The mayor’s plan creates a new access point for third graders by adding 1,000 seats and inviting the top 10% of sophomores to apply. More importantly, the program completes the IQ test in the kindergarten and adds 100 squares to the kindergarten.

“This is how we give and give our young people the opportunity to grow, learn, explore their talents and imagination. We make sure no child is left behind,” Adams told reporters and the cheering parent audience.

As a New York City Housing Authority child entering a gifted and talented class at a fifth- and sixth-grade public school, I am delighted that Adams and Chancellor David Banks are expanding access to G&T classes to all 32 school districts in the city.

Like many parents today, my mother wanted me and my siblings in classes that would not only challenge us intellectually but prepare us to get into good high schools and then go on to college.

I came to Bronx Science despite a miserable middle school experience (I think I was able to fight more than study). My two younger brothers chose to study at Adlai Stevenson, where they did the college enrollment and honors programs.

Adams is no stranger to the subject of gifted and talented programs in New York public schools.

The decision to expand the gifted and talented programs has garnered much praise from city parents.
The decision to expand the gifted and talented programs has garnered much praise from city parents.
AP Photo / John Minchillo, File

Five years ago, he and then-Bronx district president Ruben Diaz Jr. created a task force designed to push for better access to gifted and talented classes and entry to the city’s top high schools for children in minority communities.

As the founder of the Bronx School of Law, Government and Justice and the Eagle Academy Network for Young Men, Banks is fully aware of how much black and Hispanic children can achieve when challenged, tells them failure is not an option and receives support.

Education activists like Maude Maron said the decision to expand access to G & T’s accelerated learning programs starting in third grade has raised respect for banks among many parents from public schools.

“It shows he is listening to voices that have not been listened to before,” Maron said.

Lucas Liu, co-chair of PLACE NYC, congratulated the mayor for putting the children’s educational needs ahead of the ideology. “Every family, not just Asian and white, wants access to G&T and quality education for their children.”

Maron and Liu are right. De Bellasio and his chancellor, Richard Cranza, did not listen to the parents. Enthusiastic about an emerging ideology, they wanted to dismantle G&T programs as well as abolish the entrance test for special high schools.

Adams and Chancellor David Banks are set to expand the gifted and talented programs to all 32 school districts in the city.
Adams and Chancellor David Banks are set to expand the gifted and talented programs to all 32 school districts in the city.
Robert Miller

Even though neither de Bellasio nor Cranza remained in place, we still have City Comptroller Brad Lander picking up the baton.

According to a sign, Lander issued a ripping statement tearing up the Adams plan as “segregation” and leading to “racial segregation” – in the first paragraph.

“Increasing a program that separates students, often along the lines of grade and race, is a retrograde approach that does nothing to improve quality education for the vast majority of our students,” Lender said.

Meanwhile, the critic who is still wet behind our ears is silent about improving education outcomes for the vast majority of black students and Hispanics trapped in neighborhood public schools with low performance over time, who are 90% to 100% minority.

I’m sure Lander would have stared blankly if he had asked him why for many years before an epidemic nobody Eighth-graders in the Bronx County District 7 received a grade 4 score, the highest score in the state’s English exam.

However, like so many progressives, Lander claims that high-performing black schools are “separated” and choose a cherry on their students.

No, Brad. It is only black parents who are able to make a choice about where their children will be properly educated. And the lottery determines acceptance, not cherry picking.

Critic Brad Lander said Adams' plan would lead to
Critic Brad Lander said Adams’ plan would lead to “racial segregation.”
Stephen Young for the NY Post

Lander and other opponents of the Adams-Banks G&T program do not believe that equality in education is achieved by bringing students to the same high standards and achievement levels. Hell, some of these critics condemn it as “white supreme” thinking.

On the contrary, they do not want any standards – for my children or for your children. They are gossiping nonsense that equal results are the test of equality. Fortunately, families and students in New York who care about access to quality education have Mayor Adams and Chancellor Banks in their corner.

But none of the men can afford to rest on their laurels after the announcement on Thursday. They still have the difficult task of improving teaching and learning for the vast majority of children attending public schools in the city.

In truth, students with high proficiency in reading, math, science and writing, by and large, will be fine. Doing something to help the vast majority of black and Hispanic children struggling to perform in class year after year is where Rubber meets the road – in the form of the United Federation of Teachers Federation Michael Molgro and his opposition to responsibility – for the Adams team.

I look forward to encouraging these efforts as well.

Michael Benjamin is a member of the post system.

Leave a Comment