Should NYC Ax Gifted Programs to Integrate Its Schools?

By Eric Levitz

New York City’s public school system is among the most racially segregated in America. It is also one of the few school systems that uses standardized tests to sort incoming kindergarteners into separate “gifted” and non-gifted educational tracks.

This week, Bill de Blasio’s school-integration advisory group suggested that these two facts are related. In fact, the mayor’s advisers argued that gifted programs are a leading driver of segregation in the city’s schools, and should therefore be phased out. Much of the city’s (famously liberal) public responded with incredulous outrage.