Gifted: Twice as many top-scorers as seats

For the first time in four years, fewer than 1,000 incoming kindergartners scored in the 99th percentile on the city’s gifted and talented exams, but there are still more than twice as many top-scoring tykes than there are seats in the five most selective citywide programs. Of the 13,559 rising kindergartners who sat for G&T assessments in January and February, just under seven percent — 921 — scored in the 99th percentile on the nationally-normed tests.
Despite the introduction of a non-verbal exam meant to increase the number of low-income children who qualify for G&T programs, the gap in performance persists between rich and poor districts.Scoring between the 97th-99th percentile on the G&T assessments means a child is eligible for a citywide program. But there are fewer than 400 seats for incoming kindergartners. Further decreasing the odds of entry, qualifying siblings of current students get first dibs at those seats.

April tours for prospective parents at Anderson, one of the five citywide programs, are only open to families of students who scored in the 99th percentile. According to the Anderson School website, “Your child must have a combined G&T score in the 99th percentile for a parent to attend an Open House, although students who scored at or above the 97th percentile may still apply here.” Tours of the citywide program at PS 85 in Queens are open to those scoring in the 98th or 99th-percentile. NEST + M,  Brooklyn School of Inquiry and the TAG Young Scholars in East Harlem offer open houses to parents of children scoring in the 97th percentile and up.

The highest number of top-scorers came from Manhattan’s District 2 with 223 children and District 3 with 92.  Brooklyn’s District 20 had 80. Brooklyn’s District 22 had 76 top-scorers and District 21 had 75. Children entering kindergarten to 3rd grade may test for a gifted program, although there are very few open seats in the upper grades. The number of 1st graders scoring in the 99th percentile declined from 354 in 2012 to 252 in 2013. In all 1,363 test-takers scored in the 99th percentile, down from 2,144 in 2012.

There is a huge gap between poor and middle class neighborhoods. No kindergarten test-takers scored in the 99th percentile in districts 7 and 12 in the Bronx or in District 23 in Brooklyn. In several other low-income districts, including 8 and 9 in the Bronx, 19 in East New York and 32 in Bushwick, only one kindergartner scored in the 99th percentile.

Scores by district remain similar to last year

Children who scored at or above the 90th percentile are eligible for a district G&T program, although they are not guaranteed a seat. According to data released by the Education Department, only one district — District 7 in the South Bronx – had fewer than ten students qualifying for kindergarten and therefore will likely not offer a program.

Once again, the highest number of qualifiers for either district or citywide G&T programs come from Manhattan’s District 2: 834 kindergartners  of  the 1785 test-takers — nearly 47 percent — are eligible. In District 3, on the Upper West Side, a similar percentage of children qualified: 454 out of 968 children, also about 47 percent.

In several other districts, fewer than 20 children scored high enough for G&T. Lowest performing were District 7, with seven children; District 9 with 14; District 12 with 15; District 23, 12 and District 32 with 14 children. These numbers are very similar to the 2012 results.

Parents were notified of their child’s score over the weekend, along with an application listing their progam options. Families have until April 19 to apply and will find out the week of May 20 if they have snagged a spot. Meanwhile, kindergarten registration for zoned schools and other non-G&T programs began today, April 8, and continues until April 26.


Source: InsideSchools