Ms. Quinn, a Democratic candidate for mayor, will call on city officials to double the number of schools for high-performing children and add slots to existing programs, creating 8,700 new seats over nine years. She will also suggest allowing some students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to gain admission with a teacher’s recommendation in lieu of test scores.
Ms. Quinn said the city’s elite academic programs had become havens of privilege that for too long have shut out such students. She said she hopes to persuade the Department of Education to make the changes by September.
“Our gifted and talented programs in no way, shape or form reflect the diversity of our city,” Ms. Quinn said in an interview. While the proposal would focus on increasing the number of poor students in gifted programs, it would also provide more seats for children from middle- and upper-class families, who have long complained about the lack of rigorous options at neighborhood schools.