Sleepless in New York
The city that never sleeps has once again borne out this moniker. Who's reaching for the Ambien? Parents. At fault is a salmagundi of complaints about the City's year-old entrance policy for its gifted programs. Having previously allowed sundry methods to identify the brightest tykes for gifted programs, the city aimed to equalize access with a simple standardized test (in 2007) and cutoff score (in 2008). While the plan has resulted in less racial diversity, the upping in standards was well needed. Chancellor Joel Klein says admirably, "We won't compromise standards and thereby dilute our programs." But it seems that standards are not the only cause for declining enrollment. Instead, busing snafus and missing waiting lists are at fault, leaving test-passing children unable to actually enroll and causing a rash of cancelled programs due to low numbers. Kudos to Klein for hewing to standards but we hope he now sorts out these organizational blunders, too.
"Fewer Children Entering Gifted Programs," by Elissa Gootman and Robert Gebeloff, New York Times, October 29, 2008
"Enrollment in gifted program drops 50% and minority admissions skid," by Meredith Kolodner, New York Daily News, October 29, 2008