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Should Schools Begin to Phase Out “Gifted” Programs?

The New York school system is currently attempting to remove the talented and gifted programs in their schools according to the New York Times in an attempt to racially desegregate the schools and not separate kids based on ability. With all of the social changes in our modern climate many people are trying to right the wrongs of the past and work on shaping the future for all people of different backgrounds. Frankly, I don’t think New York should stick with the removal of the talented and gifted programs.

While I completely understand the intent and love it in theory, its practical application doesn’t have the same impact as it might seem. With the assumption that the gifted programs are being filled by a predominantly Caucasian audience, I do agree that some changes would need to be made. In that regard, however, I think what’s even more helpful than removing the gifted programs is adding more programs that allow kids to follow their chosen path and not feel obligated to do school one way.

In today’s world we are beginning to be more conscious of the struggles of minority groups and often times we put too much emphasis on old tradition of our country and the Caucasian population rather than focusing on the strengths of those struggling minority groups. In the 2015-2016 year, it was reported that only 15% of the African American population and 20% of the Hispanic population enrolled as undergraduates.

It’s clear that, for a number of possible reasons, minorities aren’t going to college as often as the 52% of the Caucasian population. While encouraging more kids of the minority races to go to college is a goal as of now, it’s more important to offer more trade programs or more direct ways to move into a certain field. We also don’t want to unnecessarily take some children out of pre existing programs that probably do deserve to be there as well as showing people of all races that you don’t need to be in a gifted program to be successful. We need to stop treating these issues we are facing like we have to knock everyone at the top down a peg, and rather boost up the people lower down with ideas, legislation, and opportunities that cater to their strengths so that we don’t invalidate the strengths of those minority groups.

Additionally, that would probably encourage people in the Caucasian race, for example, that don’t want to be in a gifted program but were pressured into it by the people around them, much like other races are encouraged to stay out of them, to try a different path more suited to them. This would add a level of diversity then in these different programs and lead to more understanding and comradery between races when we figure out that we all are in different spots in life and that doesn’t dictate our interests or levels of success.

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