On October 8th, New York Appleseed applauded Mayor de Blasio’s decision to phase out the segregated Gifted and Talented programs in New York City schools. Finally, NYC’s youngest students will not be subjected to a program that often predictably divided students across racial and socioeconomic lines. In a 2014 briefing, New York Appleseed identified New York City’s G&T programs as inherently unequal, and recommended eliminating the practice of separating and segregating our youngest children from each other based on the subjectivity of “giftedness.” We have remained insistent and consistent in this recommendation while participating in and supporting collective advocacy and advisory efforts such as the seminal School Diversity Advisory Group report and the NYC Bar Association’s letter to end exclusionary admissions practices.
Most recently, NYA supported and fueled a collective call to end G&T by updating our Within our Reach briefing in 2020, creating an infographic addressing why New York City can do better than segregated G&T programs, and facilitating a final push with fellow advocacy organizations through the publication of priorities for Real Integration for the last 100 days of de Blasio’s administration, of which eliminating G&T programs was included.
In the middle of a global pandemic that has laid bare the harmful consequences of segregation, NYC students and families deserve more than a school system that upholds a model of scarcity and promises opportunity for a few. We commend the City for making the right decision and will continue to advocate into the incoming administration for the implementation of a plan that provides enriched and integrated spaces for all of NYC’s youngest children.
If you are celebrating this policy win along with us, make a donation today to support New York Appleseed’s ongoing advocacy for real school integration for all grades throughout NYC.