A pro-accelerated learning parent group co-endorsed Andrew Yang Friday after he vowed to expand academic opportunities for gifted kids — and called for a more tailored program based on multiple objective measures rather than a single test.
Parent Leaders for Accelerated Curriculum and Education, which supports Gifted and Talented programs and the Specialized High School Admissions Test, initially backed Eric Adams earlier this month.
But Yang secured a belated co-endorsement after he met with the group and pledged to expand opportunities for advanced learning rather than contract them out.
Yang’s statement, co-signed by his wife Evelyn, accused Mayor de Blasio of concentrating on a just small number of top city schools while neglecting wider Department of Education struggles.
“For the past eight years, Mayor de Blasio has focused on a relative handful of schools, politicizing public education and ignoring hundreds of thousands of families who simply want the school near their home to prepare their child for success,” the statement read.
The Yangs said de Blasio was pushing polarizing education policies “without having any real skin in the game.”
“Instead of shutting down more accelerated education programs — as all of the past three mayors have done — we should be expanding offerings across the five boroughs so that we can identify the immense talent in every corner of our city,” the statement read.
While he backed the Gifted and Talented format, Yang said admissions should not hinge solely on the current format that relies on a test given to kids as young as four.
The mayoral hopeful said he would allow kids to enter at multiple grade levels and use multiple objective measures to determine entry for some spots.
Yang’s statement did not directly address the controversial single-test admissions format for the city’s eight specialized high schools but he insisted the number of spots should increase to “ensure more talented students in every neighborhood” have a better shot at landing a seat.
To achieve this, he called for the resumption of admissions based on academic metrics, many of which were annulled due to coronavirus upheaval.
Yang also opposed an extension of the DOE’s use of lotteries to help determine entry to competitive city schools.
“They’re far less capable of determining the right match for an accelerated school or program that assumes a certain baseline of preparation,” he said, adding that “accelerated learning opportunities must be restored immediately to stem further long term damage to students.”
PLACE representatives lauded Yang’s refurbished platform in widening their embrace beyond Adams.
“His position on the immediate return to testing for Gifted & Talented programs and re-instituting objective measures for middle and high school admissions next year are critical for our advocacy,” the group said.
Yang is scheduled to appear at a PLACE endorsement press conference Friday morning in front of DOE headquarters in Manhattan.
Metro | New York Post