Mayor Bill de Blasio is phasing out New York City’s Gifted and Talented program, he announced Friday — bowing to critics who assert that the coveted model is racist.
Current students in the accelerated learning program can stay in their separate schools and classrooms to completion. But new cohorts will be completely eliminated by fall 2022, ending testing for kids as young as four.
The model — which admits roughly 2,500 kids per year — is being replaced by Brilliant NYC, a program offering students aged 8 and up chances for accelerated learning while staying in their regular classrooms with other pupils.
The Department of Education said teachers would identify kids best suited for the new initiative.
De Blasio announced the major overhaul despite being in the final months of his term in office.
The candidates to replace him, Democrat Eric Adams and Republican Curtis Sliwa, have both made clear they did not want to completely eliminate the program, which critics have attacked in part because of the higher number of white and Asian students that gain entry through the exam.
“Brilliant NYC will deliver accelerated instruction for tens of thousands of children, as opposed to a select few,” de Blasio said. “Every New York City child deserves to reach their full potential, and this new, equitable model gives them that chance.”
But critics quickly ripped Hizzoner for making the decision so late in his administration after earlier calls for him to leave it to his successor.
“This is utterly irresponsible and reprehensible,” state Sen. John Liu (D-Queens) told The Post. “This is the worst act I’ve seen under this mayor. And there have been many of them.”
Liu had previously ripped City Hall for failing to engage parents on the polarizing issue — and intensified his critique after Friday’s rollout.“The problem here is that the Gifted and Talented program has been part of city schools for a long time,” he said. “The premise is that kids learn at different rates. Changing that policy should involve a full public discussion involving all stakeholders. Instead, he chose the easy way out — fiat in the waning days of his administration when they can’t implement anything