One of the worst things you can do to bright kids is not challenge them. From Vince Bielski at realclearwire.com:
Alex Shilkrut has deep roots in Manhattan, where he has lived for 16 years, works as a physician, and sends his daughter to a public elementary school for gifted students in coveted District 2.
It’s a good life. But Shilkrut regretfully says he may leave the city, as well as a job he likes in a Manhattan hospital, because of sweeping changes in October that ended selective admissions in most New York City middle schools.
These merit-based schools, which screened for students who met their high standards, will permanently switch to a lottery for admissions that will almost certainly enroll more blacks and Latinos in the pursuit of racial integration.
Shilkrut is one of many parents who are dismayed by the city’s dismantling of competitive education. He says he values diversity but is concerned that the expectation that academic rigor will be scaled back to accommodate a broad range of students in a lottery is what’s driving him and other parents to seek alternatives.
Although it’s too early to know how many students might leave the school system due to the enrollment changes, some parents say they may opt for private education at $50,000 a year and others plan to uproot their lives for the suburbs despite the burdens of such moves.
“We will very likely leave the public schools,” says Shilkrut, adding that he knows 10 Manhattan families who also plan to depart. “And if these policies continue, there won’t be many middle- and upper middle-class families left in the public schools.”