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  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by Enlightened View Post
    Perhaps Stanford-Binet V with interviews and enforcement of no prepping?

    Being possibly the first gifted & talented focused school in the country, I would assume that the people
    at Hunter College Elementary School probably know what they're doing...

    http://hces.hunter.cuny.edu/?m1=1&m2=1
    Public schools are funded with tax money. Subjective evaluation is best served for private schools where their own interest is directly involved. I still think standardized tests are more objective and fair assessment in NYC G&T program.

    If the admission is based on tests, I would suggest either to design a test that minimizes the effect of prep, or make prep readily available to everybody.

    As for Hunter college elementary school, the test costs hundreds of dollars. Any truly gifted and talented child, who spent $400 on test prep, should not have any trouble get a 99% to qualify G&T program.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by NYCkid View Post
    The question is what makes a subjective opinion on student performance more objective and fair than standardized test?

    Test prep does boost scores, but anyone can prep if parents are serious about the test. Books are everywhere. One can get sample tests and IQ practice kits for less than $100. Is $100 a barrier to some family? Maybe yes, but consider the suggested donation to G&T schools are tens times of $100.
    My answer is a question: What is the basis in using a standardized test for evaluating giftedness in children at such young age, when education researchers show that test results from young children are not valid indicators of giftedness? Subjective evaluation and testing are both flawed. The solution is to choose the lesser of two evils. I think that would be to go back to the previous scheme of teacher evaluation. It seemed to work well when I was in school, and I don't recall the current frenzy surrounding the selection of kids to go into gifted classes. I suppose the only loser would be the test providers and test prep services.

    Although test prep books are everywhere, do you really believe someone who spends $100 on a book to use independently can get the same results as someone who pays $10,000 for private tutoring? It's not the availability of test prep that is the issue but the financial resources that are available to a certain segment of the population to get the best test prep. I'm not only refering to affluent families. Some middle class families are willing to make sacrifices to pay for private tutoring to advance their child's education. To think that test prep makes very little difference is not justifiable.

  3. #23
    Although test prep books are everywhere, do you really believe someone who spends $100 on a book to use independently can get the same results as someone who pays $10,000 for private tutoring?
    I believe a truly gifted child, prepped with a few sample tests, will score 99% in NNAT2. The test system won't miss these kids, but you are right, it could pick up some kids who are not gifted at 99% level without $10,000 private prep.

    Success is not solely dependent on IQ, one can not deny it depends on commitment and wealth too. Standardized tests give poor family and minority a chance. At least if a family is determined and willing to spend time with their gifted kids, they don't have to spend a lot of fortune to get in to the G&T program 99% threshold. For the same reason, if someone is determined, he/she doesn't have to be the smartest to success. Why not give them a chance?

  4. #24
    I feel compelled to say my son received absolutely NO tutoring and we used previous test papers for the OLSAT and were lucky enough to be given some examples of NNAT questions. We spent our time NOT money - approximately 30 minutes EACH WEEK - in the last few weeks before he sat the test going through these papers and getting him comfortable that he'd be doing these kinds of questions with a 'new teacher' at a 'new school'. We focused on the process rather than thinking we could have an effect on him selecting the correct answer.

    Despite having the financial means to easily pay for tutoring or prep papers, we made a conscious decision to 'prepare' him for taking a test but not to "prep" him.

    The result? Our son scored in the 99th percentile and he scored maximum points of 150/150 for the verbal component and 160/160 in the non verbal component.

    I feel most proud about the fact that we trusted our son and we trusted ourselves and the result vindicated us not getting caught up in all the hype.

    So yes, I know without a doubt that you don't have to spend huge amounts of money to get a great result.

    Please do not make assumptions of everyone who's child scores in the 99th percentile.
    Last edited by CLB08; 04-10-2013 at 05:18 PM.

  5. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by CLB08 View Post
    I feel compelled to say my son received absolutely NO tutoring and we used previous test papers for the OLSAT and were lucky enough to be given some examples of NNAT questions. We spent our time NOT money - approximately 30 minutes EACH WEEK - in the last few weeks before he sat the test going through these papers and getting him comfortable that he'd be doing these kinds of questions with a 'new teacher' at a 'new school'. We focused on the process rather than thinking we could have an effect on him selecting the correct answer.

    Despite having the financial means to easily pay for tutoring or prep papers, we made a conscious decision to 'prepare' him for taking a test but not to "prep" him.

    The result? Our son scored in the 99th percentile and he scored maximum points of 150/150 for the verbal component and 160/160 in the non verbal component.

    I feel most proud about the fact that we trusted our son and we trusted ourselves and the result vindicated us not getting caught up in all the hype.

    So yes, I know without a doubt that you don't have to spend huge amounts of money to get a great result.

    Please do not make assumptions of everyone who's child scores in the 99th percentile.
    Kudos for your integrity.. Now if only all parents acted with the same level of ethical behavior, then the underlying purpose of the G&T program can be fulfilled. That is, only truly gifted children gain access to the program and not those who benefited from substantial test preparation. Again, congratulations and I'm sure your child is blessed to have such honest parents.

  6. #26
    Here's the thing though. There were about 128,000 kids born in NY in 2008. If the DOE does in fact assume the normal distribution of ability among them and allows the top 10% to qualify for gifted education, shouldn't gifted education be available to at least 12800 of them? Less than 4% of them are qualified for g&t education this year and still the demand far outweighs the supply. So if we're talking about solutions, seems to me there are two options. Either the cutoff must be much higher for even district programs or more programs are needed to meet the demand. Prepping is not going anywhere and really doesn't seem to be much of an issue anyway.

  7. #27
    Thank you. I do understand where you're coming from - I can say, we saw all around us parents literally losing their minds over this. Even at the test we witnessed what I can only describe as 'desperation'.

    And I can understand it to an extent - I admit, particularly after he sat the test that there were moments when I wondered if we should have done 'more'. But we knew that path wasn't for us and I think once you start down that road - when your child is only in pre-K - you are heading down a long and tortuous path. I am very glad we held fast and just let him do how he was going to do.

  8. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by Stuy81 View Post
    Kudos for your integrity.. Now if only all parents acted with the same level of ethical behavior, then the underlying purpose of the G&T program can be fulfilled. That is, only truly gifted children gain access to the program and not those who benefited from substantial test preparation. Again, congratulations and I'm sure your child is blessed to have such honest parents.
    I agree it's a huge assumption. My kid and lots of her friends did great on this test. None of them spent $10k on tutoring or every day home schooling. I don't even think the kids knew there was a test (my daughter certainly didn't). All the parents gave an hour or less of prep a week in the weeks before the test and also did various other things like visited the test site the week before. Who would send their 4 yo into a room with a stranger in a strange place to sit still and answer 80 questions without some prep for that? I know crazy prep goes on in some cases only because i read it in the newspaper but I dont think its a majority. Other things count - most of us send our kids to pre-schools (yes I think a good pre-school is a big factor in building ability for this kind of test and that is expensive for sure!), take them to museums and art galleries, travel with them, talk to them, play with them, teach them to read and write (my daughter reads to 2nd grade level) and talk to them in more than 1 language. All of that stuff is expensive and definitely a competitive advantage in terms of confidence at tackling new things. They also happen to be things more common in more affluent demographics/areas and are probably a huge factor in why those areas are doing better in G&T (that and the fact more kids in those areas actually take the test in the first place).
    Last edited by Awesomes; 04-10-2013 at 07:07 PM.

  9. #29
    Quote Originally Posted by NYCkid View Post
    I believe a truly gifted child, prepped with a few sample tests, will score 99% in NNAT2. The test system won't miss these kids, but you are right, it could pick up some kids who are not gifted at 99% level without $10,000 private prep.

    Success is not solely dependent on IQ, one can not deny it depends on commitment and wealth too. Standardized tests give poor family and minority a chance. At least if a family is determined and willing to spend time with their gifted kids, they don't have to spend a lot of fortune to get in to the G&T program 99% threshold. For the same reason, if someone is determined, he/she doesn't have to be the smartest to success. Why not give them a chance?
    You made very insightful points, but I disagree with the first statement. A truly gifted child would not need any test prep to achieve a 99 percentile rank. For that matter if the definition of gifted means the top 10th percentile, as assumed by DOE, then any truly gifted child will rank above the 90th percentile without any substantial test prep.

    I don't really know about the $10,000 test prep cost because I didn't use any of these services. I've seen ads from test prep services charging as little as $1,000. So this amount may be affordable to less affluent families and may provide as much benefit to a parent who spends $10,000. In fact I know of Asian-operated day care centers that specifically market their day care services with G&T test prep given to toddlers as young as 2 or 3 years of age. Now I'm not targeting Asians specifically because I'm sure other ethnic groups including Caucasians may have similar services, but the point is many of these toddlers have been exposed to test prep for as long as a year or two prior to taking the tests. To think that this much test prep doesn't take away seats from truly gifted children receiving no test prep, is wishful thinking. And for frame of reference, although I didn't pay a single dime to anyone to prep my child, I will be the first to admit that my child is not truly gifted even though the score turned out to be city-wide eligible.

    I absolutely agree with you that scholastic success is not dependent on IQ, but rather on effort and determination. However and unfortunately, the purpose of G&T is not to give hard-working students the opportunity to achieve greater success. The G&T programs are designed for truly gifted students to learn at an accelerated rate that they and only they are capable of. Hard-working and bright students who are not truly gifted, but got into the program by virtue of substantial test prep, cause teachers to slow down the pace of instruction to accommodate the slower students. This defeats the underlying purpose of G&T programs. The truly gifted suffer and the test-prepped kids may have gained something they don't deserve. But that is not the only consequence. Because the G&T program is made so large to accommodate so many "gifted" kids, the DOE must shift funds to operate a bloated program. Where do these funds come from? Since the DOE budget is fixed, the funds are likely moved from spending intended for general and special education students. Is this a fair and equitable distribution of resources? The hardworking and determined students should stay in general education schools where they rightfully belong. There is no reason to think they cannot be successful outside of a G&T program. It's been years since I finished primary education in NYC, so I don't really know about the current policies in general ed schools. However, I would think that the best performing students in general education are placed into an "honors" class where they receive accelerated instruction that is suitable for them. In summary, if everyone behaved ethically such as disavowing G&T test prep for their children, all sub-groups would get the level of education they deserve and still have the opportunity to excel in their scholastic endeavors.

  10. #30
    Quote Originally Posted by EinBrooklyn View Post
    Prepping is not going anywhere and really doesn't seem to be much of an issue anyway.
    OK.. I get it now. Either you:
    1) Work for or operate a test prep outfit
    2) Your child or children benefited substantially from test prep.

    Cheers.

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