How NYC could make remote learning into a winner for many kids
Remote learning has been a near-disaster for city school kids, but City Councilmen Ben Kallos and Robert Cornegy hope it can bring at least one plus.
The lawmakers want the city to expand its Gifted & Talented program online, letting more kids take advantage of the higher-speed, more intense instruction.
Limited funds and space have long left the city unable to offer G&T classes to all who can benefit. But online learning doesn’t require more classroom space, and may be cheaper per student than in-person teaching.
Kallos and Cornegy also see their plan as a way to better “desegregate” schools — though schools Chancellor Richard Carranza has seen G&T programs as a form of segregation.
Yet the main benefit is simply giving more kids the chance to shine with a more challenging program.
Yes, school officials have a lot of kinks to work out when it comes to remote classes. But expanding G&T should be relatively easy: Kids who qualify and opt into the program should be fairly motivated.
In the name of racial justice, Carranza and Mayor Bill de Blasio want to scrap the Specialized High School Admissions Test as the gateway to the city’s most rigorous high schools. Far better to put more kids on the path to ace the exam, with a truly challenging elementary and middle-school education — with expanded G&T a fine start.