Removing NYC’s Gifted and Talented Programs is Not the Way to Level the Educational Playing Field

One of America’s greatest sins is racial inequality.

This sin can be fixed if we fix our schools and ensure that every child, regardless of skin color, zip code or parental income has access to a solid education. But we all know that too many children are locked into bad schools because of skin color, zip code and parental income.

In New York City, Mayor Bill De Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza are considering a proposal in which the Gifted and Talented programs would be dismantled, along with other admission criteria.

I feel like the Mayor and the Schools Chancellor have good intentions, but you know what they say about those with good intentions.

Removing the admissions criteria and and the G&T programs is not the way to level the playing field. Why should the students who are working their tails off to succeed academically be punished because other students do not have the resources they have?

Granted, the numbers don’t lie. The majority of students in the New York City Public School system are Latinx and African-American. The majority of students who gain admission into the G&T programs and the specialized schools are Caucasian and Asian.

I was born in New York City into a family of teachers. I was educated in the NYC public school system until 9th grade. I completely understand that the system and how flawed it is. I also appreciate beyond words that my parents prioritized their children’s education above all else.

If there is to be a change to level the playing field, it has to start from the ground up. It has to start with the schools themselves and the quality of the education. It it is also tantamount that the parents and the greater community is involved. Only then will every child receive that solid education.

Removing the G&T programs and the admissions requirements into the specialized schools will not resolve the racial inequality within the NYC school system. It will only make them worse.

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