Number of G&T-Qualified Kids in Western Queens Jumps 40 Percent

By Jeanmarie Evelly on May 2, 2013 4:13pm 

ASTORIA — Nearly 200 more children in Queens school district 30 qualified for the city's Gifted and Talented classes this year than in 2012, meaning competition will be stiff between kids vying for a spot at one of the three local G&T programs, new test data shows.

The new numbers were released by the city Wednesday, after an error by the testing company  forced the Department of Education to revise its original set of scores.

It was initially thought that only 23 percent of of test takers in District 30 — which includes Astoria, Long Island City, Sunnyside and Jackson Heights — scored high enough to apply for either a district or citywide gifted seat.

But the corrected numbers show that 31 percent, or 622 of the 1,997 kids who took the test, actually qualified — up from 21 percent, or 446, in 2012.

The number of seats, however, has not increased, meaning that nearly 40 percent more kids will be vying for spots.

The number of district kids who nabbed the highest score on the test also rose this year by 38 percent, with 101 children landing in the 99th percentile, needed to get into the citywide gifted program.

Gifted and Talented programs are a big draw for parents who live or move to District 30. Parents have been calling on the DOE in recent years to open more G&T programs in the district to keep up with a growing population and a rise in the number of children who qualify.

Currently, three elementary schools in the district have G&T classes: P.S. 122 in Astoria, P.S. 166 in Long Island City and P.S. 150 in Sunnyside. Astoria's P.S. 85 is home to a citywide STEM program, and requires a higher test score than the district programs.

Across the city, more than 12,000 children qualified for G&T this year, despite a new test which was designed to test kids' true ability by making it harder for them to prepare in advance.

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