Though girls have been surpassing boys in higher education for years, they're beginning to become overrepresented in elementary school classrooms. Currently, about 49% of the city's kindergartners are girls, but they represent 56% of the kindergarten "gifted" classes. Conversely, a 2002 study said boys are "overrepresented in programs for learning disabilities, mental retardation and emotional disturbance, and slightly underrepresented in gifted programs." “It’s kind of weird and stuff," said one boy in the New Explorations in Science and Technology and Math school for gifted children, remarking on his minority status.

So what's with the gender gap? Two tests were mandated for gifted admission in 2008: The Bracken Assessment and the Otis-Lennon Ability Test. The Otis-Lennon accounts for 75% of the assessment, and focuses on things like verbal comprehension and reasoning for third grade testing upwards. Girls tend to be more verbal at a younger age, and experts say the tests favor girls, who also tend to be mature enough to sit through an hour long test.

Before the tests were mandated, each school was able to determine independently which students were eligible, which often led to more gender balanced classrooms. DOE spokesman David Cantor told the Times they don't record the genders of those students admitted, but, "A good test for giftedness should be able to control for differences in what children have been exposed to, and for the early verbal development we see more often in girls."

Though the DOE website says the gifted programs' "regular curriculum is modified or changed to meet students' needs," many of the programs are not modified to the strengths of young boys, who tend to learn better through spacial activities. Gifted program researcher Terry W. Neu said, "Sitting still, that’s where a lot of our gifted guys get into trouble. If they are not moving, they are thinking about moving."