NYC to Eliminate 'Gifted and Talented' School Program. Any Guesses?

(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Can you spell “soft bigotry of low expectations”?

The never-ending battle over New York City’s advanced school programs continues. A top NYC school in June canceled plans to scrap accelerated math classes, following an outcry from enraged parents. Yet, after years of debate, city officials on Thursday announced they will eliminate an advanced program for four-year-olds before they enter kindergarten, claiming the program “further segregates students.”


City officials say the new program will allow all kindergarteners to have access to accelerated learning.

As reported by ABC7 in NYC, hapless Mayor Bill de Blasio claims the replacement program, named Brilliant NYC, will provide an “equitable model” designed to allow all children to “reach their full potential” — by doing away with a test given to four-year-olds to identify “gifted and talented” students, and instead will implement an accelerated instructional model in the Fall of 2022 that will serve all approximately 65,000 NYC kindergartners, according to the Department of Education. Uh-huh. “Brilliant” indeed, Big Bird.

“Brilliant NYC” will eliminate the highly selective high stakes test that critics claim unfairly favors white and American Asian children, as well as families with means. The test had typically admitted only about 2,500 kindergartners a year, with 15,000 applicants.

Wait — so eliminating the standard will help children of color how? Never mind — rhetorical question.

Confused? Me, too. Here’s more brilliance from the ever-“brilliant” mayor, as transcribed by ABC7:


“The era of judging 4-year-olds based on a single test is over. Brilliant NYC will deliver accelerated instruction for tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few.

“Every New York City child deserves to reach their full potential, and this new, equitable model gives them that chance.”

Got it, Big Bird. Eliminating the “gifted and talented” bar will help kids who are incapable of achieving the “racist” bar which in turn denies them the opportunity to achieve their “full potential.”

Totally makes sense. [rolling-eyes emoji]

Equally-“brilliant” Schools Chancellor Meisha Porter announced the future of the program, rationalizing:

“As a life-long educator, I know every child in New York City has talents that go far beyond what a single test can capture and the Brilliant NYC plan will uncover their strengths so they can succeed.

“I’m excited to get into neighborhoods across the city to hear directly from communities about the types of learning opportunities that pique students’ interests and lets their gifts shine.”


Students identified as “brilliant” will be mixed with all other students in the classroom, and 4,000 teachers will be retrained to “teach” them together, according to ABC7. “We’re going to be ending something that I think was a mistake all along,” de Blasio said.

“We’re going to reach tens of thousands more kids with accelerated learning.”

Sure you are, Big Bird, sure you are.

As noted by ABC7, Asian and white students make up about 25 percent of the overall student population of NYC, yet they account for 75 percent of students deemed “gifted and talented” in the city. Clearly “racist,” right? Nonsense. “Brilliant” people of all ages in every walk and stage of life comprise a disproportionately small percentage of the population. They always have, they always will.

Combining “brilliant” four-year-olds with non-“brilliant” four-year-old will not only not help the latter become “more brilliant,” it will hinder the growth of the former. But isn’t that part of the objective?

This nonsense is simply the latest example of the insanity metastasizing in America’s education systems.

As I reported in February, Boston Public Schools announced that a program with advanced learning classes for high-performing students was being canceled over concerns that the advanced classes serve “disproportionate racial groups.” The program was designed for high-performing students in grades four through six.


As my RedState colleague Alex Parker reported in January, the elite Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology in Fairfax, Virginia, ended merit-based admissions. The board argued that high test performance was a “barrier” to black and Hispanic students.

And, as reported by The Heartland Institute on RedState in August, wingnut Oregon Gov. Kate Brown “brilliantly” abolished statewide math, reading, and writing proficiency standards for high school graduates. Can someone please explain to me how this ridiclous nonsense helps anyone? Of course, not.

Rationally or intellectually, that is.

Then again, what is rational about Leftism?


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