• Bright Kids

Fewer seats are offered amid increase in Gifted and Talented Applications

Updated: Sep 13

Department of Education data shows fewer New York City students received offers for gifted and talented programs this year compared to last year. About 60% of eligible students got a G&T offer, down five percentage points from last year. Approximately 29% got their top choice, down from last year’s 34%.


Competition was even more intense as more children applied for these coveted programs. Just over 6,000 students between kindergarten and third grade applied for the G&T program, up about four percent points from last year.



The increase in the number of applicants comes amid growing controversy over the The Gifted and Talented Program, which requires that 4-year-olds take the OLSAT and the NNAT for admissions into a gifted kindergarten program. The Gifted and Talented Program has been under scrutiny for years as the demographics of many gifted classrooms are not representative of the school system as a whole.

Members of the School Diversity Advisory Group appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio wanted to phase out the G&T program but so far the mayor has not followed through on this recommendation. Members advocated instead for non-selective magnet schools or school-wide enrichment models, where educators are charged with developing project-based learning based on students talents and interests.

The schools have responded by creating diversity quotas to help close increase diversity. A handful of gifted programs now have set aside a certain percentage of seats for low-income students.

The following schools' G&T programs are participating in the diversity initiative for the 2019-2020 school year:

  • P.S. 015 Roberto Clemente (01M015) | For the last school year, Group 1 applicants were eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch (based on family income), lived in temporary housing, or were English Language Learners were prioritized for 65% of seats. Group 2 applicants who did not fall into any of the above categories were prioritized for 35% of seats.

  • P.S. 110 Florence Nightingale (01M110) | For the last school year, Group 1 applicants were eligible for Free or Reduced Lunch (based on family income), lived in temporary housing, or were English Language Learners were prioritized for 65% of seats. Group 2 applicants who did not fall into any of the above categories were prioritized for 35% of seats.

  • P.S. 011 William T. Harris (02M011) | Priority to applicants eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch (based on family income), who live in temporary housing and/or live in Public Housing for 30% of kindergarten and 1st grade seats.

  • P.S. 77 Lower Lab School (02M077) | Priority to applicants eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch (based on family income) for 12% of kindergarten seats.

  • The Anderson School (03M334) | Priority to applicants who live in northern Manhattan and the south Bronx, for 30% of kindergarten seats. Specifically, this priority is for applicants who live in District 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, or 12, as well as for applicants who live north of 96th Street in District 3 or south of 178th Street in District 6.

  • Tag Young Scholars (04M012) | Priority to applicants eligible for Free or Reduced Price Lunch (based on family income) for 40% of kindergarten seats.

  • Brooklyn School of Inquiry (20K686) | Priority to applicants eligible for free or reduced price lunch (based on family income) for 20% of Kindergarten seats and to applicants who live in Districts 18 or 19 for 20% of Kindergarten seats.

Brooklyn’s P.S. 9, whose gifted program had been part of the diversity admissions program, responded differently. The school is phasing out its gifted program and shifting towards a school-wide enrichment model.

The DOE seems happy with the current programs amid controversy.

“We are proud to offer many high-quality elementary school choices across the city for our students, including our Gifted and Talented programs,” education department spokesperson Katie O’Hanlon said in a statement, “and we’re excited for the families that received their offers.”

Bright Kids results can be found here.


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