Posts Tagged ‘equity’

16th November
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, November 16, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The sooner that the Department of Education abandons the idea that classes for gifted and talented children are some sort of civil rights program, the better off we will all be.

Two weeks ago, Chancellor Klein announced another restructuring of the city’s gifted and talented programs, the third such effort in as many years. What is the reason behind all of this attention? The quest for “equity.”

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6th November
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, November 6, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

In the “gifted-and-talented free zone” that is the Bronx’s School District 10, the Department of Education has designated two schools as the sites for the first such programs here in a generation. Parents who might want to apply for these programs on behalf of their children need to look carefully at both schools involved, since under rules recently imposed by Chancellor Klein, there is no preference given to children living in the neighborhood, or to those with siblings in the school.

Instead, the decision as to which school a child will be admitted to will be based on the use of an objective I.Q. test and a subjective assessment by the child’s teacher. This policy is designed to promote “equity.” But parents and local elected officials increasingly see this as an effort to put middle class students of all races at a decided disadvantage. (more…)

27th October
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, October 27, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Last spring, the city’s schools chancellor, Joel Klein, spoke at a town meeting in Riverdale, a relatively affluent community tucked in a green corner of the Bronx, just south of the city line. He got an earful from angry parents.

Topping the list of grievances was the lack of programs for gifted and talented students. This is not due to a lack of such students. Hundreds of very bright children live in this neighborhood. In the 1980s and into the early 1990s, both Riverdale local elementary schools, P.S. 24 and P.S. 81, scored near the top in the city on standardized tests. The local middle school sent thousands of children to New York’s specialized high schools — the best indicator of how successfully a community deals with its best and brightest. Typically, over 100 children each year went on to the nearby Bronx High School of Science. (more…)

25th August
2006

First Published in The New York Sun, August 25, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Efforts to reform our public education system received a blow recently when a federal court reopened a challenge to the testing procedure the State of New York requires as part of the certification process for new teachers. In question is whether the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test is job related. A disproportionate number of black and Hispanic teachers and prospective teachers failed this exam. The complaint is that the city discriminated against those removed from the classroom after failing the test. As the court considers the concerns of the city, state and aggrieved former teachers, the interests of schoolchildren are ignored.

I have had some contact with this exam. My son is a teacher, and took the test four years ago. I was shocked when I first saw this exam. Shocked not because I found it difficult and unfair, but rather amazed at just how easy it was. (more…)