Education First Rally October 23, 2020 at City Hall Park

Press Briefing

Parents demand the Mayor and Chancellor improve and expand access to gifted & talented programs, academically rigorous merit-based middle and high schools, keep race-blind SHSAT and open MORE specialized STEM high schools.

There is no excuse to keep families in the dark about where their children will have the option to go to school next year. Families seeking gifted and talented programs, accelerated academics and honors programs at middle and high schools, and the Specialized High Schools via the SHSAT are still in the dark about how to apply to schools—or whether the programs they want will even exist next year. Despite months of “parent engagement” listening events around admissions in the spring the DOE has not shared a plan for the ~ 160,000 families who need a middle or high school for next year or the 30,000 looking for Gifted and Talented education. The DOE has been stringing parents along for months. Now parents have reason to fear that the Chancellor and Mayor may eliminate G&T, all screened schools, and even the SHSAT on their way out the door.

Education not politics! At a parent meeting last week, Deputy Chancellor Austin said “Anything that’s as high stakes and important as — and political, to be honest — as admissions policy is going to have to be something that’s cleared by the city.” When asked by the NYPost, DOE spokeswoman Katie O’Hanlon said “Our decisions are driven by the best interest of our students, which is why we have publicly opposed SHSAT and haven’t added screened schools….”

Elected officials across the city stand with NYC families demanding the Mayor put EDUCATION FIRST, above politics.

Nearly 200,000 families including parents of PreK, 5th and 8th grade students are in the dark about admissions.

  • The city refuses to sign a contract for G&T testing.
  • DOE dismantling its most successful schools by eliminating screened admission to middle and high schools.
  • The SHSAT postponed with no new date announced.

The Mayor and Chancellor are playing politics with education opportunities that families want to keep.

PLACE NYC represents thousands of families demanding the Mayor continue gifted and talented programs, maintain accelerated and honors programs by providing merit-based admissions and give the SHSAT this year. All NYC students have a right to an appropriate education, including accelerated learners.