New York, NY, September 28, 2021 — Mayor de Blasio announced forthcoming changes to the city’s Gifted & Talented (“G&T”) program in January. Over 30,000 families apply every year and these programs serve more than 16,000 students. The Mayor stated, “from this point through the end of the summer, we’ll go through the engagement process [with families] for a new vision, and we’ll have that formula by September”. To date, not a single public engagement meeting regarding the future of G&T has occurred.
Mayor de Blasio said he will share details of the new program by the end of the month, leaving no opportunity for engagement with parents. The Mayor is making the same mistake he did with his SHSAT proposal: failure to engage with the community most affected by the change. To make things worse, Mayor de Blasio will not be in office to implement these changes. It is irresponsible for the DOE to make drastic program changes when a new incoming administration is expected in a few short months.
Over 1100 parents signed PLACE NYC’s petition demanding that the Mayor fulfills his promise of parent engagement. Additionally, three Community Education Councils (CEC2, CEC20, CEC30) passed resolutions demanding family engagement on G&T. The DOE must fulfill its obligation to engage with families and consider how changes may impact them and existing G&T schools.
PLACE NYC and G&T families welcome open and transparent engagement with the DOE, and demand the administration listen to parent concerns, to the needs of their children and to their first-hand insight into how to increase access to these critical programs without dismantling the essential services for accelerated learners.