Public Pre-K and Test Taking for the NYC Gifted-and-Talented Programs: Forging a Path to Equity

Ying Lu, Sharon L. Weinberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) gifted-and-talented programs aim to support all students of exceptional learning potential within the public school system. Using proprietary data made available to us by the NYC DOE, we show, however, that substantial disparities exist in the rates of gifted-and-talented admission test taking, the first step in the process of accessing these more challenging educational opportunities. While Black and Latino/a students take the test for gifted-and-talented admission at substantially lower rates than their White and Asian counterparts, we find the disparity to be significantly less for those enrolled in public prekindergarten programs. We likewise find similar results when comparing other subgroups defined by students’ family, borough, and neighborhood characteristics. These results suggest that public prekindergarten gifted-and-talented attendance could have played a role in ameliorating the gaps in test taking by providing greater access to information about the gifted-and-talented programs across subgroups of students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-47
Number of pages12
JournalEducational Researcher
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016


  • early childhood
  • educational policy
  • equity
  • gifted and talented education
  • gifted education
  • hierarchical linear modeling
  • preschool equity research
  • public pre-K
  • regression analyses
  • social stratification
  • urban education

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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