NYC Department of Education: Create a fair Gifted and Talented Middle School enrollment process for District 26

This petition made change with 830 supporters!

Just weeks ago in November, the DOE announced a change of policy adversely affecting all G&T families in District 26.

The change blindsided current G&T families - many who made housing/school decisions based on the precedent and communications of the previous policy.

Under the old plan:

- District 26 5th grade G&T students would automatically transfer into a middle school G&T program as a group (e.g. MS 158 for PS188Q, MS 74 for PS203Q)

Under the new plan:

- No guaranteed G&T middle school placement for D26 G&T 5th graders. Contrary to the history and promises of providing G&T feeder middle schools in District 26.

- G&T eligibility is based on ELA/Math scores from April of 2013 – new tests that directly affected the middle school futures of current G&T kids without notice.  This decision also created a great demand vs. supply G&T problem for historically high-achieving District 26 students.

- Many current G&T students would be left without a G&T seat, and forced to enter non-accelerated programs in their zoned middle schools.

- Current graduating D26 non-G&T fifth graders have a chance to apply to D26 G&T middle school programs BUT are still competing against current G&T students for those seats.

The new DOE policy unfairly harms current D26 G&T students and families because of its abrupt timing, retroactive eligibility qualifications, and non-guarantee placement nature.

As a contrast, District 30 has a different DOE G&T Middle School policy – graduating 5th graders in D30 G&T elementary schools will continue to auto-transfer as a group into G&T middle school programs until 2019, when current entering 2013 Kindergarten G&T students graduate into middle school. In addition, current non-G&T fifth graders still have opportunity to apply to middle school G&T programs. No changes in policy will ever satisfy or cater to all affected, but the District 30 policy at least gives families critical years of notice to make or adjust life plans. District 26 families has had 4 weeks.

We are asking the DOE to fairly rectify the harm of the new policy by creating a fair District 26 middle school G&T transfer process equal to that of District 30 through the creation of additional G&T middle school classes in District 26.

This would allow the capacity to continue the auto transfer of current District 26 G&T elementary students that was promised and expected by current G&T families – AND – allow current non-G&T families a chance of a G&T seat without competing against (and at the cost of) current G&T students.

For the past 5 years, our kids have delivered beyond the G&T goals set forth by the DOE; we ask that the DOE and local leaders now deliver for them.

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