Public Advocate Responds To The Gifted And Talented Program Being Ended And Replaced

October 8th, 2021

Press Release

"For years, my office has been advocating for an end to the practice of separating some children onto a ‘gifted and talented’ track as toddlers, in favor of incorporating subject-specific accelerated programming and the students receiving it into mixed level classrooms. The administration’s announcement today is a major step forward and a long time coming in the ongoing work toward educational equity – work that so many dedicated parent, student, and school staff advocates have engaged in for years in conjunction with the efforts of the School Diversity Advisory Group. I thank the Chancellor and Mayor for being willing to shake up the old system and create new opportunities in this area.

"I was a beneficiary of the gifted and talented program. I understand the trepidation and hesitancy that many parents may feel after today’s announcement. At the same time, I know that the best way to ensure each of our children has the best education is to remove harmful barriers in the classroom and the social, racial, and economic inequities they represent and perpetuate. Inertia is never a real reason to prevent progress. We can’t just rest and rely on the way things have been, we need to have the courage and drive to move forward. We must ensure the new system will still provide opportunity for accelerated learning and advanced instruction, without many of the detrimental effects of the program as it is currently constructed.

"The announcement itself is not enough – the city now needs to fully engage with parents and inform them about the new system, and ensure that schools have the resources to carry out the plan. I’m ready to make sure the implementation of this new program lives up to its promise of educational equity and advancement for our students."

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