Major Changes in Gifted and Talented Testing

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The DOE announced this spring that they were going to replace one of the two G & T tests, the Bracken School Readiness Assessment, with the Naglieri Nonverbal Ability Test.  Not only are they going to replace the Bracken, but now the NNAT will account for 66% of the final G & T score.  The Otis-Lennon School Ability Test (OLSAT) will now only account for 33% of the total score, down from 75%. Traditionally, the OLSAT was the section that was highly prepped for by hopeful students.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal this week, “City officials hailed the new test as a vast improvement. It relies on abstract spatial thinking and largely eliminates language, even from the instructions, an approach that officials said better captures intelligence, is more appropriate for the city’s multilingual population and is less vulnerable to test preparation.

The shift marks the latest attempt by city officials to address a seemingly intractable problem: How to create equity in the admissions process for its gifted and talented program, which begins in kindergarten and goes through third grade. It is a challenge that persists throughout the system and culminated at the high school level last month. The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund filed a federal civil rights complaint against the city’s Specialized High School Admissions test, which decides admissions to elite programs such as Stuyvesant.

Tutoring companies across the city have reported a frenzy since the NNAT was announced, with families signing children up for private tutoring sessions, enrolling them in multiweek boot camp classes, and buying test preparation booklets in droves—even though the test won’t be administered until January.”

For the rest of the article, visit the WSJ.

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