Poll: Should de Blasio eliminate the gifted and talented programs?

Students in a classroom.
Students in a classroom.
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Poll: Should de Blasio eliminate the gifted and talented programs?

Readers weigh in on the controversial plan to desegregate NYC schools.
August 27, 2019

Sixty-five years after the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, racial segregation remains a defining feature of New York City’s public schools. Black and Latino students make up the vast majority of the school system’s population, yet are admitted to the city’s gifted programs and elite high schools at far lower rates than white and Asian American students. The fact that only seven black students were offered admission to the prestigious Stuyvesant High School this year only highlights racial disparities that can be found throughout the school system at large. 

While there is a widespread consensus that something needs to be done to confront the problem, solutions have proven elusive in recent decades. However, a new report by a mayoral advisory group offers new recommendations to tackle this old problem. The goal is to create a more equal playing field for all students by eliminating many of the “gifted and talented” programs that inadvertently divide students along racial lines within the school system itself. 

It is unclear whether Mayor Bill de Blasio will push to enact the reforms. In this week’s online poll we’re asking readers to give their own take on whether these recommendations are promising – or just another set of proposals that will go nowhere in solving one of the most difficult problems in city government.

Zach Williams
is a staff reporter at City & State.
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