NEW YORK CITY — On Friday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the phaseout of the “Gifted and Talented” program offered in city schools that grants young children test-based admission into separate, advanced classes, according to the New York Daily News.
The Daily News reports:
After promising for more than seven years to overhaul the city’s controversial “Gifted and Talented” program, Mayor de Blasio announced major reforms Friday intended to address stark racial disparities in the public schools.
The plan — which will eliminate the high-stakes gifted admissions test and phase out separate advanced classes altogether — will largely fall to the next mayor to implement, since de Blasio has only months left in City Hall. The new program nevertheless drew sharp criticism from outraged parents who said it would limit high-achievers’ access to quality education.
Those parents, of course, are entirely justified in their outrage, because they are correct as to what equity-focused initiatives like this do. Denying students who outperform others the opportunity for advancement isn’t doing anything to benefit their less academically successful counterparts.
Rationale for the phaseout naturally lies in the racial disparity seen in the program:
Stark racial disparities have plagued the program for years, with roughly 80% of kindergarten gifted seats going to white and Asian students, even though those groups make up only about 30% of all kindergartners.
In addressing this disparity, one must inquire as to what causes these disparate outcomes among students of different ethnic groups. Are these students being admitted into the Gifted and Talented program because they’re getting higher test scores, or are they being admitted because of some shadowy, racist figure deliberately holding back the children of people who don’t look like them?
And, if the answer is the former, why is this a problem?
However, this rhetoric is the backbone of the equity push by the left, which is little more than a crusade to address natural disparities with government force. Disparity is discriminatory by nature, leftists surmise, therefore, it must inherently be unjust. So long as there exists no disparity, they reckon, there exists no injustice.
This is effectively the entire philosophical basis of the redistributionist school of thought that has enveloped the left. Equality of opportunity is irrelevant to equality of outcome, which is to be pursued at all costs — regardless of the societal detriment that pursuit may inadvertently generate.
According to the Daily News, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, a Democrat who is largely presumed de Blasio’s successor as mayor, has campaigned on expanding the number of advanced or “fast-track” classes offered and keeping the city’s “gifted exam” in place.
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