Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Minorities Under-represented in NYC Gifted Programs

Speaking of preferences, this NYT article highlights (exposes?) that whites are hugely over-represented in NYC’s gifted and talented programs (and black and Latinos are hugely under-represented):

There are 652 students enrolled at P.S. 163 this year, from prekindergarten through fifth grade. Roughly 63 percent of them are black and Hispanic; whites make up 27 percent; and Asians account for 6 percent.

This reflects the flavor of the neighborhood, and roughly matches the New York City school system’s overall demographics.

Yet in P.S. 163’s gifted classes, the racial dynamics of the neighborhood, the school itself and the school system are turned upside down.

Of the 205 children enrolled in the nine gifted classes, 97, or 47 percent, are white; another 31 of the students, or 15 percent, are Asian. And a combined 65 students, or 32 percent, are black and Hispanic.
In the 21 other classes that enroll the school’s remaining 447 students, only 80, or 18 percent, are white.

As with the discussion about college admissions, however, it’s easy to draw easy but incorrect conclusions. The data I would like to see is what percent of students in the gifted and talented program have the following characteristics: two parents at home; both parents with four-year college degrees; household income of $100k more. I’d bet a lot of money that these three factors are far more predictive than race…

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