Will expanding ‘gifted’ programs help or hurt NYC schools already struggling with enrollment?

Will expanding ‘gifted’ programs help or hurt NYC schools already struggling with enrollment?

Chancellor David Banks has argued it’s important to dramatically expand New York City’s gifted and talented program to lure families back to public schools amid years long sagging enrollment.

But in one corner of Harlem, the city’s plan set off a debate over whether opening more classrooms for “gifted” students would really be a boost for schools already struggling to attract students — or just create a competition even as some campuses can’t afford to lose any enrollment.

The debate in Manhattan’s District 3 is illustrative of what many other districts may find themselves up against as the city races to open more than 1,000 new seats in gifted programs, and schools contend with enrollment pressures that have accelerated during the pandemic.

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