Mayoral frontrunner Eric Adams said Wednesday that he supports a Gifted and Talented program admissions exam — leading some critics to question the impact and timing of Mayor de Blasio’s 11th-hour overhaul.
Hizzoner wants to nix any admissions test outright — but Adams said he backed some form of an entry exam during an appearance in Chelsea.
To this point, kids as young as 4 have taken a standardized test to get into the accelerated learning programs.
“That’s part of the conversation,” Adams said. “We’re going to sit down with parents teachers, educators. I have a great team that I’m meeting with and I see that the test should be still in place. Even if it means expanding or having children opt out. Let everyone take it.”
Adams stressed that eligibility for advanced programs should extend well beyond age 4 and that other Gifted and Talented reforms are necessary.
“Four years old should not determine the rest of your educational career,” he said. “It should be ensuring that we can do beyond four and continue to assess students for their needs.”
De Blasio’s vision would scrap any testing system and instead have teachers nominate advanced learners after the age of eight.
His proposal would ban separate classes based on aptitude and offer select kids advanced material within the general classroom setting. .
But with Adams — or Republican nominee Curtis Sliwa — in a position to reverse part or all of de Blasio’s last-minute plan, critics of the Gifted and Talented program said his exertions came too late.
Brooklyn College and CUNY Grad Center education professor David Bloomfield, who backs getting rid of the current program, said City Hall should have acted long ago.
“His position on desegregation and Gifted and Talented has been slow and largely symbolic throughout the eight years,” he said. “So this is consistent. He has stirred the hornet’s nest while he walks away thinking somehow that this cements a legacy. The only legacy it cements is one of sluggishness and lack of commitment.”
But Bloomfield did say that de Blasio’s action disrupted the status quo and put his successor in a position of having to change policy.
Gifted and Talented program backers assert that advanced learners should have opportunities for accelerated instruction with peers of comparable ability.
They argue that it should be expanded and modified, but not eliminated.
Opponents argue that the system benefits those with superior means and perpetuates racial separation in city classrooms.