FD.com sent a reporter over to the District 3 Community Education Council meeting Wednesday night, to hear Nicky Kram Rosen address the council’s, and the audience’s, questions about the G&T admissions process for the 2007-08 school year.

Ms. Rosen provided the most up-to-date information we've yet heard on the process, but since the details may not be so relevant to our regular readers from outside of New York, click here for the full report.


October 20, 2006 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS


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Here's what we found out:

- Applications are not ready yet; they’re 2-3 weeks away, and they’ll be made available on the district Web site (see below). Parents can and should file their applications online this year; those of you who remember being asked in the past to deliver paper applications to Rosen’s office by a certain deadline, that’s out. This year, it’s all online.

- Hunter has its own process, of course, including the Stanford-Binet testing. But the SB-V will NOT be applicable to any other public program this year, including Anderson, because. . .

- Anderson’s application process has been folded into the general G&T application process. (So have the applications for TAG and NEST+M.) Anderson no longer has its own application. How it will work is as follows: On your G&T application, you will list, in order, the G&T programs you’re interested in. (More on that below.) In a separate spot on the form, you’ll list citywide programs you’re interested in, including Anderson. Then, when scores are in (more on that below), the top 200 (or so) ranked kids will have their applications sent to Anderson. Anderson will host those kids for onsite evaluations, then pick their 50 kids.

- Ranking your schools: We have good news for those of you who’ve been in this process before and have been burned, like us, by the formerly rigid policy requiring you to list four G&T choices and then demanding that you accept your placement, even to a third-choice school, because if you went back after the fact to, say, the PS 9 wait list, you’d be slotted to the bottom.

But on the new applications, you ONLY list the schools you actually WANT to attend. If you only want PS 9, only list PS 9. If you’ll accept 9 or 166, list them both. If you’re interested in more programs, list them. (Rosen claim, in fact, that this change came as a direct result of the furious complaints of District 3 parents, like us.)

Then, when scores are in and the kids are ranked, if, for example, all of the top 50 kids listed PS 9 as their first choice, they all get slots there, and the 51st kid gets slotted to 166 if that was his second choice. Now here it gets complicated, and there was much consternation about this at the council meeting: What if you’d rather take your chances on the PS 9 wait list instead of taking a seat at 166? The short answer is, don’t list 166. The long answer is, try to call Rosen’s office and find out if you can stay on the PS 9 wait list – but don’t expect a sympathetic ear.

The catch is, given the logistics of the process, you’re unlikely to know your child’s rank at the point you get your letter of admissions. You may be able to find out later in the process. But Rosen said she may explore it further. Also, later in the spring slotting process, parents may be notified that good seats are still available in G&T programs at schools whose classes are not full, and parents still on a wait list may at that point want to consider taking a spot elsewhere.

- Testing. The new test is the OLSAT. The OLSAT is NOT a Stanford-Binet-style test; it can’t be, because it’s not administered by professional evaluators. Instead, it’s a straight-up multiple choice test.

If you’re on district mailing lists, you may have read that a prep handbook for the test is available from Harcourt (the company that produces the test). Rosen’s office WILL make it available to all applicant families (in several languages). If possible, she’ll even post it online.

For grade K applicants, children will be asked to go on a certain date to a certain school in the district for the test. Grade K applicants will be tested one-on-one. Primary-level teachers will sign up to administer the test and will receive a training session in advance. The testing teacher will
fill in the child’s choices for the multiple-choice test. The child will NOT be asked to read or write. But the test will evaluate a range of verbal, reasoning, figural, and quantitative abilities. (It has four parts.) The test will then be sent off to a TX site for scoring like any other standardized test.

The OLSAT will count for two-thirds of your child’s final applicant score.

(Parents asked if there have been any statistical correlations produced that compare the OLSAT and the SB-V. Rosen believes there have been, and she will try to find the material and post it on her site. She also says she’s seen correlations between the GRS and the ERB and will seek them out as well.)

- The other third of your child’s composite score will, regrettably, come from the GRS, an evaluation prepared by your child’s own teacher, which the city will once again rely on despite clear evidence that there is no uniform standard of evaluating across the city; between public and private schools; or within school buildings.

The GRS has five parts: academic ability, intellectual (problem-solving) ability, creativity, artistic
talent, and the ever-murky motivation. Parts of test evaluate not so much a child’s aptitude in a certain area, but his or her interest, which, given that we’re dealing with four-year-olds, is a fairly fungible standard.

- The good news, somewhat, is that Rosen has been trying to stay on top of the GRS evaluations, and her office will be on the lookout for, say, a private school all 20 of whose children get the highest possible scores on the GRS. Last year, she says, several children whose GRS evaluations seemed dubious were brought to the district offices for onsite GRS re-evaluations. Which is very encouraging news for parents of students, like us, whose teachers play fair, though it’d be better if the city just dropped the test. So it goes. . .

- What else? The top possible score once all the tests are factored in is . . . 228. (On each test, we believe, the top score for each individual section is around 20.) Parents will eventually receive a report from the district with their child’s composite score. It may or may not feature his or her percentile ranking among the roughly 600 district children who will apply for G&T seats.

Rosen’s Web site is:


Her e-mail is:

Her telephone is:

If anyone out there hears better, or contradictory information, please share it with us here:


Posted by: fd | Oct 20, 2006 12:25:39 PM

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