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  1. #21
    G&T programs certainly highlight the failures of the public education system as a whole and it’s not surprising that the people responsible for our children’s education want to get rid of them. Same with any standardized test that might uncover these failures. Out of sight, out of mind.
    I find it odd that there are resentments towards parents who provide additional support to their children outside of school, as if that’s a bad thing. Somewhere Carranza is smiling down at us.

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    Extremely interesting to see the thoughts of "folks"when you think no one else is in the room.
    Can we possibly have a civil discussion, even if people disagree, and not make assumptions about what people would or would not say under varying circumstances? Why not try to have a conversation, even if we don't all agree? When a conversation starts with assumptions, it becomes very hard to talk.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    First of all the G & T classes are a farce. They are filled with kids that have been highly coached and had prep classes to get into classes that teach the way any decent school should be teaching.
    The first, that G&T prorgrams are a "farce" is too much of a blanket statement, and problematic because, first, not all the kids are "prepped", and even if they are, much of the "prep" is just test readiness. Arguably, 4 year olds who are ready to study are meaningfully ready for a test are ready for a certain kind of work.

    To your second point: you are absolutely right that what people are looking for in G&T classes is access to the way that any decent school should be teaching. 100% percent agree! However, the sad fact is that is not the standard in the DOE public schools.

    Many parents look to the G&T programs as the only way to access "the way that any decent school should be teaching" in the public school system.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    The kids are hardly gifted in the true sense of the definition. My son is not gifted. He's a bit of a smarty pants but I would never go around claiming him to be gifted.
    Labeling the programs as "G&T" matters little. If they simply called them rigorous academic programs with a screened entry, that would be fine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    Secondly, the schools are making a very clumsy attempt at trying to have more equity but as parents of white children..don't YOU want your kids to be in a class with kids from various backgrounds and teachers with different perspectives?
    Hell yes. I for one tried many times to communicate with local politicians as well as the SDAG to suggest ways that the programs could be more diverse, including but not limited to fixing the exclusionary school busing policy (which puts most G&T programs physically out of reach of many average New Yorkers), ensuring that the programs are more equitably distributed throughout the boroughs, etc.

    Unfortunately, SDAG did not include any members of the G&T community. The Public Advocate and other electeds have heard testimony from anti-G&T advocates, but do not engage meaningfully with G&T stakeholders who would love to be a part of the solution to increase diversity in these programs.

    It's unfortunate that the current climate is to say "the programs aren't diverse, and therefore to be abolished", instead of "the programs should be more diverse, how can we fix that?"

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    I live in District 2 and am zoned for a so called exemplary school
    As you are asking white parents to sit with our privilege for a minute, I would also hope that you are considering yours. What about options for parents who don't/can't afford to live in District 2? What do you suggest for families who are zoned for non-exemplary schools? Anti G&T advocates seem to think that everyone should go to their local zoned school program, but I often wonder if they truly understand the choices faced by families who aren't zoned for 'exemplary' schools.

    Many of the white kids that my kid went to PreK with went to private schools, opting out of the public schools altogether. I believe that a full 1/4 of all the kids in NYC attend private schools, when a mere trickle, less than 3% are in G&T programs.

    Why, then, do the anti-G&T advocates attack and make assumptions about the families who are staying in the public school system rather than trying to work with them to improve things?

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    However, I am faced with the choice of him having either social dysmorphia from such an education or opportunities to go to a top middle school?? How is that even acceptable in New York City?
    Again, you are 100% correct. Excellent middle school programs should not be scarce. They should be widely available, and equally distributed throughout the boroughs. Parents should be working together to address this.

    However, getting rid of the K-5 G&T programs obviously doesn't address this issue of scarcity. Did you know that there used to be more G&T programs for middle school? They were called something else at the time, I forget what...Ruben Diaz, the current Bronx BP went to one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    How can you argue against initiatives to bring equity to the most diverse and most segregated school system in the country?
    Well, nobody should, of course! However, there are only 16,000 kids in the G&T programs of a school system of 1.1 million kids. That's less than a drop in the bucket. Abolishing the G&T programs won't do a thing to address segregation.

    Certainly, considering that the programs are disproportionately available to well-off District 2 and Staten Island residents (seriously, practically every school in 97% white Staten Island has a G&T program, what even is that??) even if you abolish the G&T programs, and the families all went to their local zoned schools (they wouldn't), most kids wouldn't end up in more diverse environments. It's a rare kid that would.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    My child (whom is mixed race blk/wht) currently attends a progressive school in District 1 and it espouses the values that seemed to be most representative of what society needs to better itself.
    Lots to unpack; first, a progressive education may be right for your family, and it's great that you were able to choose it! Since you are out of district, I assume you spent some time shopping for the right option for your child. Not all kids thrive in a progressive environment, of course, or some do when they are younger but do better with a more structured environment as they get older.

    Your ability to choose a progressive environment is a good argument for people being able to choose public school options for their kids. For some, what they would like to choose is more structure or more rigor, and that's why they opt for the G&Ts.

    Second, there's a misconception that rigorous programs must necessarily exclude teaching values, or social emotional learning. Many G&T programs do emphasize these values; the ones that we considered certainly did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    All the children in the Bronx or Harlem that are raised from day one with music and dance do not have knowledge of these tests.
    I know you're talking about the SMS test here, and not the G&T specifically, but it is a HUGE problem that none of these tests are well publicized in the Bronx and Harlem (or Ocean Hill / Brownsville, etc.). However, this is fixable--unfortunately, the DOE has moved *away* from increasing access to info about the programs by cutting back on the amount of info available on their website about these programs; this just gives even more of an advantage to parents who are already "in the know".

    On top of that, it is an even bigger problem that when these programs are made known to parents, the parents often don't see the point in testing their kids because the programs are too far away, and there's no way to get the kids to school and back.

    I am very aware of this from having done presentations to head starts in Bronx District 7 / 9, and offering free "prep" for the G&T test there.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    The fear that I read in all of these comments of you possibly losing this position shows that maybe you did not fairly earn it because if you did you would have nothing to worry about.
    I think most people just want the G&T programs to remain in place because they provide rigorous educational opportunities for their kids. If you visit gen ed public schools outside of your exemplary program in District 2, you might be surprised to find that they will explicitly tell you that they do not differentiate for kids who are ready for more challenging work.

    They can also be emotionally healthy environments for kids who sometimes like to spend recess reading, or choice time playing chess, and can do so not only without fear of being different, but also can have friends to keep them company.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    I'm not sure what the solution is in all honesty, but the current system does nothing more but perpetuate inequality.
    Agreed, but there are definitely things we could do to make it better! Get resources to all the schools to allow them to differentiate. But, in the meantime, what about making sure that there are opportunities for rigorous work in a wider range of schools? What about increasing rather than decreasing the information available to parents in currently underserved neighborhoods? What about reexamining the transportation policy to make it practical for kids in underserved neighborhoods to actually attend a program, if they get in?

    Those are just some ideas for starters. Lots more to do.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    Isn't there merit in kids having the experience of being around young Barack Obamas or Sonia Sotomayors?
    Very much so. Justice Sotomayor went to parochial school in Soundview, before attending Cardinal Spellman for HS, also a screened, competitive school. President Obama bounced around a lot, as we all know, but he is also hardly a product of the public school system.

    Which is not to say that greatness can't come from NYC public schools, but you have to admit that the odds are against it. There's a reason why parents in districts where the schools are not "exemplary" opt for charter schools or private schools.

    Until the public schools can all step up their game, it behooves the NYC public school system to expand their rigorous options and make them more accessible to more families.

    Dismantling the good schools won't make the other schools any better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    Without these half- baked initiatives all G & T programs would look like LL I suspect and parents would not care.
    The diversity initiatives are relatively new, and hardly apply to many schools, so the initiatives currently in place probably have little effect on the current composition.

    It has to do more with school location; look at the composition of TAG, which is nearby District 2, but physically in District 4/ East Harlem . Yes, it has a diversity initiative, but it's not based on race (none of them are, actually) and you still have to score a 97%. Meanwhile, BSI has basically the same diversity initiative, and it's still very, very white, because it's located very proximate to Russian immigrant neighborhoods, where there are a lot of kids who income-qualify.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hachilove View Post
    Perhaps if G & T was taken away the schools would work harder to provide an education that helps ALL students excel instead of just the students that have parents that are able to subsidize the success of their educations.
    The converse is true; if the schools were better across the board, and offered opportunities for rigor and differentiation, the G&T programs wouldn't need to exist. Also, there are so few G&T programs (again, 16,000 kids out of 1.1 million in the system), they are hardly to blame for distracting the schools from spending their energies elsewhere.

    Again, eliminating the few strong programs because so many others are weak won't make the weak programs strong, nor will it do anything to meaningfully diversify the school system, or create opportunities for underserved kids.
    Last edited by InwoodParent; 05-12-2020 at 01:52 PM.


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