African American Education, Education Inequality, Equality in Education, Gifted & Talented, African American Achievement, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN

The Push to Diversify Gifted-and-Talented Programs The classes tend to be incredibly segregated, but one school in New York City is working to change that—the first citywide effort to do so.



Families from across New York City flock to Brooklyn School of Inquiry in the Gravesend neighborhood—the kind of school where parents raise enough money to pay for extra helpers in most classrooms and where a multi-million dollar STEM lab is being built on the roof.

But for all the gifted-and-talented school offers, Principal Donna Taylor says there is one thing lacking: a student body that reflects the diversity of the city.

African American Education, Education Inequality, Equality in Education, Gifted & Talented, African American Achievement, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | GETTY IMAGES

African American Education, Education Inequality, Equality in Education, Gifted & Talented, African American Achievement, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | OJO Images/Iconica/Getty Images

African American Education, Education Inequality, Equality in Education, Gifted & Talented, African American Achievement, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMNPhoto | Dave Sanders for The New York Times

African American Education, Education Inequality, Equality in Education, Gifted & Talented, African American Achievement, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, KOLUMN Magazine, KOLUMN



Our mission is to provide exemplary teaching targeted to the unique needs of our students who become self directed learners and think of themselves as active members of the world community. We believe students learn best when they make connections across disciplines and learn through integrated units of study. We offer an arts-enriched school environment that promotes creativity and divergent thinking. BSI incorporates technology throughout the curriculum with the use of SmartBoards, laptops, desktops, iPads and other multi-media. Students conduct research, explore the world beyond our walls and create multi-faceted projects.

Our school is committed to lead in the implementation of new and better teaching practices. In 2012 and 2013, BSI received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to collaborate with Teachers College Columbia University researchers in the development of STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics] units of study. This year, through generous donations from local politicians, we have partnered with the School Construction Authority to build a state of the art STEMLab on the roof of our building. Our campus will house an urban farm where students will learn side-by-side with students from neighboring schools and teachers will create promising practices to be shared throughout NYC and beyond.