Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

News from Brooklyn’s STEM pipeline

Is Brooklyn Tech excluding too many black and Latino students? That and other items on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in Brooklyn.

President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan visit a classroom at the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) in Brooklyn, Oct. 25, 2013.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

STEM education is a hot topic in Brooklyn, in companies and in families. One sign of a greater supply of skilled workers to come is the fact that the borough’s STEM-centric high school, Brooklyn Tech, just graduated its largest class ever (and they expect to beat it next year).

However, some families, and even the de Blasio administration, have argued the school’s admissions policies exclude too many black and Latino students. Acceptance to Brooklyn Tech and the city’s other elite high schools is based entirely on one standardized test.

Supporters of the status quo say 60 percent of the school’s attendees qualify for free or reduced lunches, Crain’s New York Business reports, a sign that economic diversity exists.

Meanwhile, one Brooklyn Tech grad, Mariya Tuchinskaya, is headed to Bulgaria on a Fulbright Scholarship.

One school that hasn’t graduated any students yet is still generating buzz — all the way to Australia. P-TECH got a visit from President Obama already, but now the Australian Prime Minister has also checked it out, too. He wants to build similar schools in his home country. In New York, 16 schools modeled on P-TECH will open around the state in time for next school year.

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