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What to Know
- NYC is phasing out its controversial gifted and talented programs from public schools; critics say the program furthers racial divides
- Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to make the announcement official later Friday; this year’s G&T class will be the last one, his plan says
- The incoming mayor could shift gears. An Eric Adams spokesman says he’ll assess the plan but noted DOE must improve socioeconomic equity; a message to GOP nominee Curtis Sliwa wasn’t returned
New York City will phase out the controversial gifted and talented classes in its schools, opting to end a program critics said entrenched racial divides in the nation’s largest public school system, News 4 confirmed Friday.
Mayor Bill de Blasio is expected to officially announce the long-awaited change Friday, confirming a move he first proposed in January. The Democrat’s term ends on Dec. 31, though — and the next mayor could opt to shift gears.
As it stands under de Blasio’s plan, students already in a G&T will be allowed to finish the program, but no new classes will be formed, News 4 confirmed.
Asked whether eliminating the program is a plan he would continue if elected, a spokesman for Democratic nominee and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams told News 4 he would assess it and “reserves his right to implement policies based on the needs of students and parents, should he become mayor.”
“Clearly the Department of Education must improve outcomes for children from lower-income areas,” Adams spokesman Evan Thies said.
A request for comment to Republican mayoral nominee Curtis Sliwa wasn’t immediately returned Friday.
New York City is hoping to level the playing field in public schools. Pei-Sze Cheng reports.
In 2019, the city’s School Diversity Advisory Group recommended phasing out the existed Gifted and Talented program, saying it was “unfair” and “unjust” and led to segregation. At the time, the New York Civil Liberties Union said 75% of the kids in the G&T program were white or Asian, even though white and Asian students only make up 30% of the district’s enrollment.
When NYC Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza resigned earlier this year, there were widespread reports that at the core of his departure was a dispute with de Blasio over the pace of eliminating the gifted classes.
The expected announcement comes one day after a scathing report by the city’s inspector general found the mayor misused his security detail for personal purposes — including shuttling his children around. It also comes amid reports the mayor has begun telling associates he will run for governor next year.