What is Gifted and Talented?

The Dirty Little Secret of G&T Schools

Think of anything which you are good at. It does not need to be academic. It doesn’t matter if it is baseball or sewing or fixing a car, so long as it is something anybody can learn and a bit of natural aptitude doesn’t hurt. We all have something. Pick yours and think about it for a moment.

The Anecdotes

Now consider a few anecdotal examples. Yes these are outliers, but that’s the function of G&T — how to handle the outliers in the system.

So what exactly is Gifted and Talented?

Yes, they have enrichments but those are supplemental. You can supplement every school at every level with enrichments. This does not replace G&T but borrows something they do which can work for all kids. They are lessons not focused on the academics tested against: chess, foreign languages, robotics, athletics, etc. Actually, most schools do a lot of these already, but can always be expanded. The big difference is that the NYC Department of Education does not fund enough of these. At citywide G&T schools, even predominantly low income schools, the PTA does extensive fundraising to ensure these programs are maintained. If the proposal was merely for the DOE to properly fund these programs at all schools, it would get very strong support from the G&T parents like me. But to say enrichments are G&T is outright false.

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