Dad and mom from southern Brooklyn are responding to the tip of the Gifted and Expertise Present
When it became known on Monday afternoon that the Department of Education’s (DOE) gifted and talent (G&T) exams would be suspended after this school year, many parents were outraged, especially those who live in south Brooklyn or have children who go to school.
Carrie, a single mother whose son is attending a G&T program in the area, was one of them.
“That can be my breaking point,” says Carrie, who asked her surname and her son’s school not to be used for this article due to privacy concerns. “COVID was a nightmare; it was devastating. And then it happens. Because of school, it’s finally right for him. How much can still be taken? “
NYC DOE / school district boundaries in 2020.
Support for specialized and vetted education has historically been strong in south Brooklyn. The three school districts – 20, 21, and 22 – have many schools with the G&T programs and make up nearly a quarter of the children admitted to the city’s eight technical colleges. D20 has eight schools with G&T programs including the Brooklyn School of Inquiry, a K-8 Citywide G&T school in Bensonhurst / Gravesend. D21 has three and D22 has five.
Some district community education councils (CECs) are very supportive of the programs.
“Personally, I think that for many families of all races, religious beliefs, and socio-economic status, the G&T program is one of the few ways to enable their children to receive an education appropriate to their children’s needs,” Natalia Yuvacheva, the Second The vice president and ELL member of CEC22, which covers the Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin, Midwood and parts of Ditmas Park neighborhoods, wrote in an email statement.
“I have spoken to families who do not have the privilege of attending private school or living in zip codes where there are many high-performing schools, and many of those families have expressed their support for this program.”
Last night, CEC20, which includes Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and parts of Sunset Park and Bensonhurst, passed a resolution calling on Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza to cancel G&T programs after this school year. The resolution states that the lack of transparency in making this decision during a pandemic is irresponsible and does not take into account the needs of all students in District 20.
The resolution also calls for the programs to be maintained “until a clearly defined and well-distributed replacement is presented to parents across the city and successfully implemented by the new mayor and chancellor”.
“The city proclaims all this nonsense and says: ‘Trust us'”, says CEC20 member Vito LaBella, who was one of the sponsors of the resolution. “I support these programs to reduce the inequality of the black and brown communities.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio holds a media presence with School Chancellor Richard Carranza. The town hall. Wednesday January 13, 2021. Photo credit: Ed Reed / Mayoral Photography Office.
Javeria, a Sheepshead Bay lifelong mother who participated in G&T programs herself when she was a child, says Chancellor Carranza seems to believe that everyone in the programs is from the Upper West Side.
“I grew up on the projects with a single mother,” she says. “We were five kids and we were smart. We’re all college graduates and we’re fine. “
Javeria, who has also asked to change her name for privacy reasons, has children who are and have also been in the G&T programs. Their oldest son attended Brooklyn Latin and is now at Penn State.
“The Chancellor decides that Asian students are not diverse,” says Javeria. “He thinks that they have wealth that they don’t. They have no fancy cars, no big screen TVs, there are no vacations. The socio-economic diversity of these children is not recognized. “
Carrie agrees, saying that the students in the G&T programs are not understood.
“It’s like they think they’re just rich white kids whose parents prepared them for a test. As if there was a magical, special advantage that bothers me, ”she says and explains that her son started reading independently when he was 3 years old. “He had to be with kids like him. Ordinary teachers cannot work with such children. “
Both Carrie and Javeria point out that such changes, which the Mayor and Chancellor make during a pandemic, are not necessary. Javeria wonders why the DOE no longer cares about the technical issues that were encountering remote learning.
“Kids have wobbly iPads that can’t access the Google classroom, we don’t teach digital literacy, and parents have been thrown into this,” she says. “Of all this madness, is THAT what you’re focusing on? It’s like snapping your fingers and making headline-only changes during a pandemic. “
Both Carrie and LaBella wonder why the DOE isn’t expanding the enrichment programs. LaBella says he would like to see an International Baccalaureate-style program at each school.
“When gatekeeping is a problem,” he says. “Let anyone who wants to try it give it a try.”
LaBella, Javeria and Carrie are pinning their hopes on the next mayor to make changes to the DOE, with Javeria hoping whoever wins the mayoral election will replace Carranza.
“The next mayor has to understand,” says Carrie. “That every child is unique. You need to see children as different types of children with different needs. you [the current administration] do not see the gifted and gifted as special needs who need special training. “
“It really is the closest mayor,” says LaBella. “Every single mayoral candidate will have to comment on these questions.”