Bronx, NY – In response to tweets from NYC Department of Education Richard Carranza on January 12 and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s announcement on January 13 that the gifted and talented admissions exam will no longer be offered after this year, Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz issued the following comment:
“The elimination of top academic programs in our public school system has long been a goal of the DOE Chancellor, and it is most unfortunate that he is using the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to ram through changes without adequate public input. This is a significant change to how our school system operates that is being unilaterally imposed on New York’s families and it rightfully should be discussed and acted upon by a legislative body such as the New York City Council. I urge Chancellor Carranza and Mayor de Blasio to rescind this decision and refer it instead to the representatives of the people of New York City.
“The DOE approach to Gifted & Talented programming is completely backwards. We need to be expanding the availability of programs so that every school has the ability to serve academically gifted children. Students should have the opportunity to take the G&T exam every year so that growth and development can be rewarded with more challenging coursework. There needs to be increased emphasis on addressing academic inequities in early childhood so that testing performance is more reflective of ability.
“The changes proposed by Chancellor Carranza and Mayor de Blasio will only chase away families of students with specific needs such as academic rigor. Continually lowering our academic standards will not result in students who are better prepared to participate in society. It only enables so-called leaders to feel like they are doing something, while our students and schools continue to struggle.”