“We want to team up every public school in the borough with one of the CUNY or SUNY colleges, so a child will understand and a parent will understand […] what college their child can reach towards and how to be prepared for college,” Borough President Adams said.
The idea is one of a two-part approach to education reform in Brooklyn, with his other focus on making STEM learning an accessible curriculum for all public schools in the borough, particularly those that are currently lacking funding and resources.
Reform is necessary, Adams said, because many students in the past have graduated from high school without adequate preparation for college.
“Although everyone talks about often how well the graduation rates increased under the previous administration, one thing they’re not acknowledging is the fact that many of the young people who graduated from public school were not prepared to enter college and had to go to a community college, or some of them were not even prepared for community college,” he said.
In order to prepare students for college, Deputy Borough President Diana Reyna argued, education reform must start at the earliest stages of a child’s life.
“We have to start when they’re very young, at the fundamental, developmental ages of what would be preschool and making sure that STEM starts at those years,” Reyna said.
STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and math education, and the program focuses on those topics together in an interdisciplinary approach to learning.
Specifically, Reyna and Adams hope to bring that curriculum to school districts in need. Reyna mentioned school districts 32 in Bushwick and 16 in East New York and Brownsville.
“Our challenge at Borough Hall is making sure that we take STEM and apply it where it doesn’t exist, where we know that traditionally there are schools in need of improvement who will never seek to have the luxury of a STEM curriculum,” Reyna said. “We can start unbending the stigma that those kids will never be able to prevail.”