A Manhattan judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit aimed at eliminating New York City’s Gifted & Talented programs and public school admissions screening.
Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Frank Nervo dismissed the case, saying the court does not make “educational policy” and cannot direct curriculum and exam content, employment diversity, or personnel, licensing and disciplinary policies.
“The legislature, not the judiciary, is the proper branch of government to hear the petitioners’ prayers,” the decision reads.
Several Big Apple high school students sued the city and state in March 2021, arguing that selective admissions processes perpetuate systemic racism and strengthen hierarchies in city schools.
Since the lawsuit was instituted, several changes have been made to the Gifted & Talented programs, including the addition of 100 kindergarten spots and 1,000 new third grade spots under the administration of Mayor Eric Adams. The plan includes universal screening of the talents of all aspiring kindergarteners and the opportunity to apply for students who rank in the top 10 percent of second graders.
Still, the plaintiffs, led by Integrate NYC, a student-led group advocating for various schools, suggested that further changes to public school admissions were needed.
“We will definitely be appealing the verdict,” said Public Counsel Mark Rosenbaum, one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys who will bring the case to the Circuit Court of Appeals.
“Students of color and from low-income families in the New York school system do not receive the same educational opportunities as their peers,” Rosenbaum said. “Every New Yorker knows this is the truth.”
He added: “Correcting such denials is not a matter of discretionary educational policy. It is a matter of simple justice prescribed by the New York Constitution.”
Opponents of the lawsuit accused the plaintiffs of anti-meritocracy — and in the months since its inception, Parents Defending Education, a national organization that opposes racial education in schools, intervened as a defendant in the case.
The New York City Department of Education and the city’s legal department praised the judge’s decision in a statement.
“These plaintiffs asked the court to make sweeping changes to numerous DOE policies related to curriculum, licensing and employment,” the spokesman said. “The court has rightly held that the proper place to seek these changes is the DOE and the legislature, not the court.”
https://nypost.com/2022/05/25/judge-dismisses-suit-seeking-end-of-gifted-talented-classes/ The judge dismisses the lawsuit, which calls for the end of the courses for the gifted and talented