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Gifted & Talented Programs

Updated: Oct 14, 2021

In October 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the Gifted and Talented program will be phased out. It will be replaced with a new plan called “Brilliant NYC”, which is intended to provide “support and accelerated learning” for many more students, as opposed to the 3.8% of kindergarten students that were previously enrolled in the accelerated programming.

In case you’re curious, here’s some historical context:

NYC offered Gifted and Talented (“G&T”) programs to students with exceptional needs who required accelerated learning. Entrance to a G&T program began in kindergarten and, historically, was determined based on the results of a standardized test. However, as of February 2021, the 15 year old testing process ( temporarily) shifted to a lottery system, which was conducted in May 2021. In that new lottery, siblings of students already enrolled in schools with G&T programs received priority for one of the 2,500 available kindergarten G&T seats.

There are two different types of G&T programming that could be phased out with de Blasio’s new plan. First, there are specific program tracks at schools across the five boroughs. Those are located in nearly every school district. Second, there are five NYC citywide schools, where their entire student population receives a G&T curriculum. These schools, which have a lot of control over the curriculum they provide, are:

As opposed to other NYC public schools, these citywide schools have a lot more flexibility with developing their own programming. From writing to math, they have differing areas of advanced focus.

There is no word yet on how these citywide schools will function after the city ends the G&T program. Also, this could all change when a new mayor is elected, so stay tuned...

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