According to the Department of Education, out of 14,040 children tested, around 4,000 New York City entering Kindergartners qualified for either a citywide or a district Gifted & Talented program, while 1877 did so at the first grade level.
1,803 four and five year olds scored in the 97th percentile and above, qualifying them - theoretically - for a seat in a citywide. Of which there are roughly 300 total seats in all five boroughs. (Last year, 1000 children scored in the 99th percentile which means that, unless they are sibling to a child already in a citywide program, less than a third have a chance of making it through the lottery. And even if they do, a child scoring high in Brooklyn will, most likely, not be accepting a spot in the Bronx.)
This means that twenty-eight percent of NYC children are in the top 10 percentile nationwide.
In some districts, however, those numbers are even more skewed, as in District 2 (East Side), 44 percent (almost half!) of the children qualified for G&T, and in District 3 (Upper West Side) it was 43 percent.
There are not, by any stretch of the imagination, enough seats to fit them all (especially with some schools, like the ultra-popular PS 9 closing their program due to overcrowding in the General Ed).
Parents whose children qualified for G&T were asked to rank their choices in order of preference for available programs. Letters notifying parents where their child has been assigned for the fall were sent on June 17.
Meanwhile, parents of children wait-listed at their local schools (really cool interactive graphic, here) are waiting to see if places become available as families opt for G&T programs. Alternately, some children with a spot in a private school may give it up for a good G&T (allowing the private school-wait list to move), while others may reject their public options and choose to go private.
In other words, a good chunk of the city is on pins and needles as a result of the DOE's placement decisions.
Meanwhile, the numbers of children versus seats don't add up any way you slice them, and a question I've repeatedly asked continues to go unanswered:
If the DOE truly believes that those who score above the 90th (or 97th) percentile require a different kind of education than those below, how can they justify not offering a seat to every child who qualifies (they wouldn't put a child who scored below average in a regular classroom, would they?)
On the other hand, if they believe that those above the 90th (or 97th) percentile will do just as well in a regular program, then how do they justify having a G&T in the first place?
Anyone with an answer to that conundrum, please post in the Comments below!
(Oh, and, as a sidenote: Looks like traditional G&T programs don't add much value to students, anyway... Details, here.)