New York City is phasing out controversially gifted and talented program

New York Mayor Bill de BlasioBill de BlasioNew York City launches controversial gifted and talented program Watchdog: De Blasio abuses security details for personal benefit De Blasio says privately that he plans to run for governor of New York: report more (D) announced Friday that the city will run its controversial gifted and talented programs for elementary school students.

The programs will be replaced with an initiative called “Brilliant NYC,” which will increase the number of students who have access to accelerated learning, NBC News reported. The current gifted and talented programs are only available to inbound kindergarten children who score well on an exam that then sets them on the path to attending the city’s elite schools. Exams have already been suspended because the city’s advisory school board did not renew last year and it would be removed permanently under the Brilliant NYC program, according to The New York Times.

“Today we announced a plan to provide accelerated education for tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few,” de Blasio, who is said to be seeing a governor’s bid, wrote on Twitter. “Brilliant NYC continues the work of justice and expertise by ensuring that every single student in our schools has the opportunity to succeed.”

Students currently enrolled in the gifted and talented programs remain in them, but the programs are not offered to next fall’s upcoming kindergarten children, according to NBC. Instead of the program’s entrance exam, the city will decide which students should be placed in accelerated courses based on their school work and input from teachers.

The current program has received backlash from educators for what many say is discrimination against black and Latino students in the country’s largest school system. Although about 70 percent of the nearly 1 million elementary school students in New York are black and Latino, about 75 percent of the students in the gifted and talented program are white or Asian Americans, according to The Times.

Some still criticized de Blasio’s move to scrap the program, including Senator John Liu, a Queens Democrat.

Gifted and talented programs have been an integral option for generations of school children, “Liu said in a tweet.@BilldeBlasio promised intense public engagement about it, but now wants total elimination. This will not help his abominable record. If anything, his legacy will be revocation of mayoral control. “

A panel appointed by de Blasio in 2019 proposed abolishing the program in a push to separate the city from the school system.

De Blasio’s announcement comes as he nears the end of his last term as mayor. Eric Adams, the Democratic mayoral candidate who is likely to succeed him, has said he does not advocate getting rid of the gifted and talented program, but rather wants to expand it to low-income neighborhoods in the city.

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