I think Sara Mead is exactly right in The Real Problem with NY’s “Gifted” Tests for Kindergarteners on her Ed Week blog.
She links to a New York Times’ story on “how the city’s gifted assessment serves to lock in educational inequities between low-income children and middle-class and affluent families who can pay to prep their youngsters for the test.”
But the core issue here is NOT the use of test prep providers by middle class parents, the validity of the “gifted” designation for kindergarteners, or the developmental appropriateness of the tests used. The real problem is that New York City — and too many other places — use the “gifted” designation as a way to ration access to quality educational opportunities, and that kids who don’t win the “gifted” lottery too often don’t have access to good public schools that enable them to fulfill their potential.
What she said.