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Too Many Geniuses


“People were saying terrible things about me,” says Kuptsov, fresh from the experience of becoming, for a few weeks in late May and early June, the most hated New Yorker on Sample comments: “The guy is deranged”; “Really embarrassing himself”; and “What a self-serving A-hole.” Kuptsov didn’t back down. “In mathematics, it’s either right or it’s wrong,” he says. “You have to do what’s right.”

Finally, on June 7, Manhattan Supreme Court justice Alice Schlesinger heard the case. “Let’s not get caught up in numbers,” the DOE’s lawyer pleaded, claiming that the test scores are not accurate enough to rank one child over another. The judge agreed. “Frankly, I think all children are gifted,” she said. On June 14, the placement e-mails went out. Kuptsov’s daughter did not get a seat at any G&T program. (Neither, for the record, did my son.)

Parents who received placement offers had until the end of June to respond, after which the DOE will see what seats remain and then send out another round of placement letters, most likely in August. How the allotments will play out after that, nobody knows, but many parents will likely find their anxiety smoldering on through October.

For his part, Kuptsov says he and his family plan to sit tight in Manhattan Beach. He’s considering putting his daughter in a private school. Meanwhile, he’s pressing on with his lawsuit, which an appeals court is expected to hear in September at the earliest. “The placement has happened, so it’s not going to affect my kid,” he says. “But there’s a value in finding the truth.” He’s not too worried about the public scorn either. “You don’t want to be politically correct,” argues Kuptsov. “You want to provide the service to the kids who need it.”

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