Due to a significant drop in the number of black and Latino students accepted into the city's gifted student programs, the Department of Education is considering changing test makers when the current contract expires next year. Deputy Chancellor Marc Sternberg said at an appearance before the City Council, "With this window of opportunity to rethink the kind of [calculations] we're using on the test, maybe we help to resolve this question."
Sternberg also acknowledged that the DOE is "concerned" about wealthy students who have the resources to prepare for the tests, and said the city will consider "whether we could look for a different kind of test that, to be frank, would be harder to game in the way that so many families do, so as a result be more likely to result in a level playing field." However, the rest of the DOE doesn't seem to agree with Sternberg's remarks.
Spokesman David Cantor said, "There's absolutely no policy change. We do not believe that there's anything wrong with the test we we're using," saying that any change in tests is just because the contract will be up. The tests are applied to pre-kindergarteners through second graders, and those who pass "receive a variety of enrichment and acceleration experiences that meet their advanced learning needs." In the past three years, the percentage of incoming black students to gifted programs dropped from 31% to 15%. The percentage of Latino students dropped from 15% to 12%.