Here’s how NYC will admit students to ‘gifted’ programs for 2021

By: | February 18, 2021

New York City will not test rising kindergarteners for admission to gifted programs, the education department announced. Instead, students will be evaluated by their pre-K teacher or sign up for an interview.

Students will then be referred for admission and enter a random lottery for one of the 2,500 seats. There are 65,000 incoming kindergarteners, and typically about 15,000 vie for spots in gifted programs.

The change is for students entering school in fall 2021 only. It comes after the education department was left scrambling to devise a new admissions system for next school year. In a surprise vote last month, a citywide panel rejected a contract that would have allowed the city to continue testing preschoolers for admission to gifted programs, amid concerns about racial disparities in enrollment and the safety of administering an in-person test in the midst of a pandemic.

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