Fresh off winning a prestigious grant competition, Brooklyn Laboratory Charter Schools unveiled plans for its first high school.
The co-founders, students of its middle school, and their families held a naming ceremony on Sept. 27 for the Edmund W. Gordon High School for the Applied Sciences, which opens next fall in New York City’s downtown Brooklyn.
Professor Edmund Gordon, a psychologist and education professor, is the Director Emeritus of the Institute for Urban and Minority Education at Columbia University’s Teachers College.
Gordon told NewsOne that he expects the school’s curriculum will become its major contribution to the education field.
He explained that the traditional focus of education has been on students mastering information that’s given to them. But the new school, which bears his name, will approach education based on how students learn.
“This model makes schools more sensitive to the diversity of the school’s population,” he said. “With this change, you’ll see some kids who have previously failed get engaged in school and succeed.”
New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña and Harlem Children’s Zone’s Geoffrey Canada were among the guests at the ceremony.
Several speakers praised Gordon as an inspirational educator. Canada credited Gordon with shaping his approach to education.
Canada stated: “All of my thinking about education [comes from] how he has led this field, saying there are fundamental principles that we have to have as educators if we’re going to level the playing field. Dr. Gordon, on behalf of all the educators in this country, on behalf of America’s children, I want to personally thank you.”
Brooklyn Laboratory is one of ten schools to win a $10 million grant to implement its innovative vision.
The award is part of a $100 million education investment from XQ: The Super School Project, a competition funded by philanthropist Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs.
The school’s winning plan—with significant input from its students—builds on its successful middle school model, which uses online personalized learning platforms and community partnerships to reinvent approaches to learning and collaboration.
Brooklyn Laboratory opened its first middle school in 2014 and serves mostly students of color from low – to middle-income families.
PHOTO CREDIT: Ethan Covey