UPDATED 10:50 AM PT – Friday, October 15, 2021
Concerned parents are making their voices heard in New York. The parents of New York City have taken to the streets to protest Mayor Bill de Blasio’s (D) proclamation to end Gifted and Talented programs in city schools.
The demonstrators gathered on the steps of the New York Department of Education on Thursday. During the event, parents such as Lucus Liu voiced their concern over their children’s education being sacrificed in the name of equity.
“They’re using schools to achieve their version of equity, which involves closing the achievement gap by slowing down education, by taking away opportunities for all kids, by not expanding G&T [Gifted and Talented] into all neighborhoods that currently don’t have the benefit of a G&T program,” said Liu.
Another event speaker, Maud Maron, called for education to simply serve its intended purpose and devoid politics.
“Our schools need to be places of academic excellence, not indoctrination, not giant group therapy sessions,” stressed Maron. “Our schools need to be places where children are learning. They’re learning how to read, they’re learning mathematics and they’re preparing themselves to go to college. They’re preparing themselves to compete in a global world.”
If you are in NYC and can join us, come and raise your voice to demand more & better education options for all our kids. https://t.co/ranX5Ug99n
— Maud Maron (@MaudMaron) October 14, 2021
Critics of the Gifted and Talented program have argued it disproportionately favors whites and Asians over Black and Latino students. Mona Davids of the New York City Parents Union argued against this point, claiming the city’s education standards as a whole should be raised rather than accepting sub-standard comprehension of material.
“Every single year we graduate students who are illiterate and innumerate. There should be accelerated programs for all students,” said Davids.
Mayor de Blasio announced the city’s Gifted programs would be replaced by the “Brilliant New York” initiative by fall of 2022. The mayor drew fire when it was revealed his children both attended a Gifted and Talented middle school, leading them both to attend prestigious high schools and universities.