A Themed Education: Q&A with The Bronx Academy of Letters

The state of public schools in the U.S. has become a public social cause, and a topic of great debate, in recent years. The school system shaping Millennials and post-Millennials has been called broken by some, but the solutions are less clear. Some champion charter schools as the future of the education system, others suggest banning private schools, and recently emphasizing early education by making it a part of the public system, has been held up as a possible solution.

The Urban Assembly Bronx Academy of Letters was founded in 2003 during the “small schools movement,” a period of time that larger public schools were being sized down into more manageable organizations with focused curriculums. According to the NYTimes, since 2002 NYC has closed or started a phase out of 63 public high schools, and opened 337 in their place—many of them small themed schools. Today, the movement is continued in a slightly different way, and recently some large schools have been reorganized to house several smaller themed schools all under one roof. Themed educations, schools that focus their curriculums on one particular topic, have been happening all over the country and are one of the educational forces influencing some of the next generation.

The Bronx Academy of Letters is celebrating its 10th birthday, and we were able to sit down with the school’s Executive Director Carrie Angoff and Board President Toni Bernstein, two of the Academy of Letters Advisory Board members, to hear about the obstacles that young and underprivileged Millennials and post-Millennials are facing, and how one school has been working to fix the problem over the last decade.

 

Tell us a little bit about the ethos of the school. How is it different?

Toni: At the time [it was founded], there were these giant, very…

 
 
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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: It wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without buying something and watching holiday movies.” –Female, 29, CA 

Yesterday news that Budweiser would be dropping their traditional Clydesdales in order to appeal to Millennials made the rounds—but the brand says not so fast. In response to the rumors, Budweiser has released their “drink responsibly” ad featuring the iconic horses “earlier than planned” and tweeted that they “aren’t going anywhere.” But they are giving the campaign a twist that could appeal to young consumers, partnering with LYFT to give holiday partiers safe rides home in Boston with the help of the Clydesdales. (Brand Channel)

The appeal of toy unboxing videos may be a mystery to some, but they’re viewed millions and millions of times on YouTube, and Disney wants a piece of that popularity. In case you’ve missed it, these videos consist of opening up toys and talking about what’s in them. The brand’s Maker Studios has signed five toy unboxing digital stars, including HobbyKidsTV, DisneyCarToys, and ToyReviewToys. However, the most popular unboxing channel, DC Toys Collector, who generated 104 million views last week, was not included. (Recode)

Totino’s is continuing their weird, weird marketing campaign to appeal to young consumers’ absurdist humor. In a follow up to “the oddest pizza ad ever,” the brand has taken a BuzzFeed post called "50 Completely Unexplainable Stock Photos No One Will Ever Use" and turned each one into an off-the-wall bizarre ad. They’ve posted the entire collection on their site with the explanation, “We obviously had no choice but to use them. Poorly.” (Adweek)

What influences teen drinking behavior? Recent research has found that ”close friends” are far more influential than the “broader peer group” when it comes to teen alcohol use. This means the idea of  “everyone thinking that everyone else (in a whole school, say) is drinking a lot” being a reason behind drinking might not hold as much water. (NYMag)

The next-generation is growing up hyper-monitored from the cradle, but it’s possible that the high tech baby monitors that have become more and more common don’t actually offer benefits. Onesies and other items that track babies heartbeats and body metrics might be offering parents “false reassurance,” as they haven’t been proven to work. However, makers of those products say that new parents are buying them not to combat specific health issues but for peace of mind. (Mashable)

The Ypulse Back-To-School Special Report is here! The holidays might be starting, but we know retailers, marketers and brand managers are already planning for next year's big shopping seasons. To deliver a forward looking perspective, we surveyed high school and college students throughout 2014, combed that data for insights, and compiled all of the must-know data into a rich BTS special report. Gold subscribers can access the full report and data in the My Documents section of Ypulse.com. One-off pricing for this report is $1,250, contact us here. (Ypulse)

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