It’s a sad day for all future pleasures to have in class. Yes, the precocious-book-reader flag is hanging at half mast this morning, as it seems the gifted-kid to no-longer-gifted-kid pipeline has taken effect. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio (Slytherin) has announced that as part of his overhaul of the city’s public school system, he will gradually eliminate its notoriously segregated “gifted” programs. The sleeves of our cardigans are, of course, damp with tears and snot.
Those currently enrolled in an elementary school gifted and talented program will be allowed to continue, de Blasio says, but the program will not exist for incoming kindergarten students next fall. According to the New York Times, the gifted program, which tends to be made up of about 75 percent white or Asian American students (a group that represents about 25 percent of the overall school system), will be replaced by “a program that offers accelerated learning to all students in the later years of elementary school.”
Of course, de Blasio’s successor, likely Eric Adams, could reverse this decision; he has a desire not to eliminate the gifted program but to offer it more widely in low-income neighborhoods. Reversing de Blasio’s decision will not be easy for him, but neither will carrying on his back the deep sadness that comes with hundreds of constituents being unable to revel in their childhood exceptionalism as mediocre adults.
Good luck to all the insufferable nerds out there, today and always.