New York City Mayor (and Democratic presidential hopeful) Bill De Blasio recently announced that the city’s school district, which ranks among the nation’s largest, may dismantle its gifted and talented programs.
De Blasio formed the School Diversity Advisory Group two years ago to study the performance of its public schools and make recommendations for ways to improve them. They targeted programs for gifted students because “admissions policies. . . unfairly block educational opportunities for students who are Black, Latinx, low-income. . . and who face other challenges, including learning differences, students who are multi-language learners, in temporary housing or face other structural barriers to the educational opportunities they deserve.”
I don’t have a dog in this fight–I don’t live in New York–but I’m curious about the conclusion that the statement above invites: does it equate being gifted and being privileged? If that’s the case, would it be more effective to find ways to make the parents’ lives more stable so that their children could do better in school? Does it suggest that the educational needs of gifted children are less important than meeting the needs of a greater number of students?