Letter Regarding Education Panel's Proposal To Eliminate NYC's Gifted & Talented Programs

Letter to Mayor de Blasio Regarding Gifted and Talented Programs

Honorable Bill de Blasio
Mayor of the City of New York
City Hall
New York, NY 10007

August 28, 2019

Dear Mayor de Blasio,

We are writing to you in order to express our concern regarding your education panel’s proposal to eliminate all gifted programs throughout the New York City school system. While all public officials should be striving to create an equal, fair, and desegregated school system, the total elimination of all gifted and talented programs is not the answer and will do much more harm than good. Instead of punishing our city’s most talented students, those who excel at a higher aptitude and require more challenging curriculum, we should be striving to lift more students up to a higher level of academic performance. We should want to be a city in need of opening more gifted and talented schools throughout our city not closing them in an ongoing effort to bring so called 'social justice' to the Department of Education.

As elected officials, our focus should always be on improving our schools and the quality of education that the children of our city receive. Our worry is that this new integration effort glosses over the fundamental issues in our school system that lead to poor performances in the first place; problems like stripping autonomy from teachers, disruptions due to lack of school discipline, providing extra help to students who need it and education funding not making its way to the classroom, where it belongs. When all our children have received a great education and are prepared for the real world, then we have done our jobs in achieving social justice. Reducing standards will not accomplish this.

We strongly urge you to abandon this proposal and reconsider how we can best use city and state resources to achieve desegregation without reducing standards or eliminating programs that students have worked so hard to succeed in.

Nicole Malliotakis                         Andrew Lanza                  Michael Reilly
Member of the Assembly           Senator                               Member of the Assembly
64th District                                    24th District                      62nd District   

Steven Matteo                               Joseph Borelli                      Erich Ulrich
City Council Member                 City Council Member        City Council Member
50th District                                   51st District                           32nd District

Robert Holden
City Council Member
30th District