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Would Eliminating ‘Gifted’ Programs Help Desegregate Public Education? We Look At NYC And LA




School desks.
School desks.
Photo by Jonathan/Night Owl City via Flickr Creative Commons

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New York City public schools are considering a proposal to end “gifted and talented” programs in the district, according to a report from the New York Times.

If the initiative is approved, the racial make-up of New York schools would be dramatically reshaped. Gifted programs, about a quarter of the district’s middle and high schools, include primarily white and Asian children, while the rest of the system enrolls mostly black and Hispanic students. The “gifted” designation is based on exams, grades and attendance rates. Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Bill de Blasio, who appointed the panel members responsible for the proposal, can approve the desegregation plan without city or state approval. The mayor’s decision could potentially influence other school districts around the county. 

Meanwhile, Kelly Gonez of the LAUSD Board of Education has proposed a resolution that would create a group to examine new school choice programs in L.A. and make recommendations on how to decrease segregation. We talk with Gonez about her proposal and the state of school segregation in Los Angeles. 

Do you think gifted education programs are fair? What about the magnets in Los Angeles? Join Larry Mantle in conversation at 866-893-5722. 

Guests: 

Eliza Shapiro, New York Times education reporter who wrote desegregation proposal article; she tweets @elizashapiro

Kelly Gonez, member of the LAUSD Board of Education, who has introduced a similar proposal in LAUSD looking at issues with segregation; she tweets @KellyGonez