Brooklyn Boro

Momentum builds for M.S. OneBrooklyn vision among parents, elected officials, institutions

September 17, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Borough President Eric Adams. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
Share this:

Organizers behind the M.S. OneBrooklyn vision for a middle school to occupy space being built for the Department of Education at the Atlantic Yards site announced on Wednesday that more than 1,000 people had signed an online petition joining their call. The group said that elected officials Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams and state Sen. Velmanette Montgomery have joined a chorus of local representatives praising the M.S. OneBrooklyn vision, which has also received support from additional institutions in writing and language arts.

In letters to David Goldsmith, president of Community Education Council 13, and Sharon Wedderburn, chair of the Education Committee of Brooklyn Community Board 8, Adams wrote, “I welcome the opportunity to join with parents, community organizations and the Department of Education to make the rich cultural resources of this borough accessible to students of District 13 and beyond. I am glad to support a vision for a school that includes a strong STEM curriculum so all students can begin to acquire the skills that will bring them equitable access to jobs and career pathways in the economy of the future. Finally, I am delighted the M.S. OneBrooklyn vision includes dual-language studies to extend programs that currently serve primary school students in District 13.”

The M.S. OneBrooklyn vision has continued to attract endorsements from arts and education organizations since its announcement in July 2015. Aaron Zimmerman, executive director of the New York Writers Coalition, said, “As an arts institution serving Brooklyn and New York City, we are pleased to support the M.S. OneBrooklyn community vision for a new public school to be created with the Pacific Park/Atlantic Yards Development. By offering students exposure to our unique and powerful creative writing workshops, we look forward to developing a new generation of writers, readers and critical thinkers.” Speaking in support of the M.S. OneBrooklyn vision for middle school dual-language education, Dr. Fabrice Jaumont, education attaché with the French Embassy’s office in New York City, said, “Expanding French dual-language education in Brooklyn’s District 13 into a middle school curriculum will help students to achieve a fluency they will hold their entire lives.”

M.S. OneBrooklyn organizers also noted the vision’s alignment with Mayor de Blasio’s recently announced plan to offer computer science education to all of the city’s students within ten years. Rob Underwood, a member of Community Education Council 13 and lead organizer of the Code Brooklyn campaign, said, “M.S. OneBrooklyn, with its focus on developing cutting edge skills such as software engineering, and with the support of leading organizations such as CSNYC, will be a cornerstone in District 13 to the mayor’s vision for ‘equity and excellence’ for all New York public schools, including and especially girls and students of color.”

The M.S. OneBrooklyn online petition can be accessed through a link on the website Comments left by the more than 1,000 individuals signing the petition illustrate the depth of the need for a dedicated middle school in District 13, where none currently exist. One parent wrote, “My family, and many others I know, have left the public school system due to a lack of desirable middle school options in Prospect Heights.” Others commented on the pattern of small middle schools co-located with primary schools in the district, writing, “Schools, including charter schools and middle schools, that push into [an already existing] elementary school do nothing but undermine that school. Middle school students need their own facility [and] I believe that a dedicated middle school is much better for children than one combined with an elementary school or a high school.”

* * *

The New York City Council was set to vote on approval of the proposed site for a new school at the Atlantic Yards project on Thursday. See for updates.


Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment