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…

 
 

Want to talk to us about the article
or dive into a custom study?


Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: “I like Netflix because it helps to pass the time, especially when I'm doing something boring such as folding clothes.”

—Female, 16, IL

Sephora is stepping up its mobile efforts to create “addictive shopping experiences." To re-launch their private label the Sephora Collection, the beauty brand took a page from dating app Tinder, introducing a feature that allows users to browse looks and swipe left to pass, or swipe right to buy from Sephora.com. Eventually, they hope to add more “user-generated” looks with consumers’ photos. They also added the “beauty uncomplicator," a tool that helps users “whittle through thousands of makeup and beauty tools to find what they're looking for,” by filling in the blanks like Mad Libs. (Adweek

Barbie’s image makeover seems to have made a positive impression. The once-struggling franchise has seen 11% year-to-date gains and a recent 23% sales increase, despite Mattel’s other girl brands experiencing losses. Mattel credits the iconic doll’s new content marketing for its “better-than-expected earnings.” The “You Can Be Anything” campaign launched last fall, focusing on empowering and inspiring girls, and including unscripted video content aimed at Millennial parents to increase confidence in the brand and appeal to their desire for purpose-driven toys. (MediaPost

Not even alcohol can escape the “healthifying” movement. Alcohol brands are expanding their product lines to include “a host of gluten-free, vegan, low-sugar, all-natural, low- and no-alcohol drinks,” to cater to the Millennials and their increasing desire for healthier and “free-from” products. Non-alcoholic beverages that look still look “adult” have also taken off, as more young consumers are choosing to drink less. Diageo, the world’s largest spirits maker, is testing dairy and gluten-free Baileys liqueur, launching a Smirnoff vodka made with real fruit juice, and recently invested in Seedlip, a nonalcoholic distilled “spirit.” (MarketWatch

Young consumers want their financial institutions to be mobile. According to the 2016 FIS Consumer Banking PACE Index, 81% of Millennials are accessing their accounts on a computer or laptop, and 63% are accessing on their mobile phones on a monthly basis. They are 30% less likely than Baby Boomers to visit a bank location or use a drive-thru, and are 17% more likely to pay a bill from their bank through a mobile device. It’s crucial for banks to adapt to their needs—especially as over seven in ten Millennials with bank accounts anticipate at least one financial-focused life event to occur over the next 36 months. (Mashable

Over six in ten Millennials would rather lose their cars than their phones, according to a recent Wall Street study. The research looked into the attitudes and investment preferences of wealthy 18-35-year-olds globally to “restructure how the firm communicates with clients and prospects in the future.” The study also found that 50% of wealthy Millennials say they are “politically unaffiliated,” and 61% are worried about the state of the world and feel responsible for making a difference. Wall Street’s biggest challenge might be their “quick trigger” on underperforming mutual funds, with less than 20% saying they would hold on to one for more than a year. (Breitbart

Quote of the Day: “My favorite online celebrity is Jenna Marbles because she is hilarious and weird. I like how honest she is.”

— Female, 22, CA

Sign Up Now

Subscribe for premium access to our content, data, and tools.

Already a subscriber? Sign in.

Upgrade Now

Upgrade for full access to the best marketing tools for understanding the next generation.

View our Client Case Studies