Again, score one for the kind of objectivity guarantees the advantage to those who already have it and treats everyone else as objects.
. . . .Back then, under a decentralized selection process, teacher assessment, classroom observation and interviews all played a role.
That approach was criticized as vulnerable to political manipulation and racial favoritism, since districts could take into account increasing diversity in making selections.
“The process was fractured and inconsistent, and programs were too often gifted in name only,” the city education chancellor, Joel I. Klein, said in an e-mail message.
In 2008, Mr. Klein made the score on a citywide standardized test the sole criteria for admission. Mr. Klein is a leading testing proponent for everything from grading schools to rating teachers, and he predicted that a citywide test would be a more equitable solution.
Since then, there have been two major developments, neither looking much more equitable than the old system. Blacks and Hispanics in gifted kindergarten programs dropped to 27 percent this year under the test-only system, from 46 percent under the old system (66 percent of city kindergartners are black or Hispanic).
And a test-prep industry for 4-year-olds has burgeoned. Bige Doruk opened Bright Kids NYC in 2009, and there is so much demand that she says she’s opening a second site this month. She runs a two-month “boot camp” for the gifted test in the fall that includes eight one-on-one 45-minute sessions and two test-prep books for $1,075.
It’s already half-booked, Ms. Doruk said, “and I haven’t even publicly announced it.” . . .