Good schools only for the 'gifted'

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.

About Joanne


  1. Tracy W says:

    But are the schools that the gifted students go to any better than the ones that the non-gifted students go to, once you take out the effect of the fellow students?

    I went to a very academic high school. It was great, but I think due to my fellow students more than the teachers. (I had some great teachers, and some mediocre ones, just like at primary and intermediate school).

  2. SuperSub says:

    I agree with Tracy… I wonder if its more the characteristics of the student population that makes the gifted classes “gifted.”

    I do question Sara Mead’s and Joanne’s assertion that the testing system is designed to promote inequality. From Klein’s comments regarding why he established the testing only regime it sounds as if he did it because of complaints about the fairness of the old subjective system.

    This story ties in well the to kindergarten-ready thread and any other story regarding standardized testing… ultimately this boils down to a distrust of teachers in properly assessing students. Teachers often don’t know how to create good objective assessments.

  3. The inequity in curriculum between gifted schools and regular schools in Montgomery Co MD really frustrates me. The students use much more rigorous and content-rich curricula at the elemetary gifted schools while the regular schools spend their day finding the main idea and discovering “clue words”.


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