Anna Allanbrook on Brooklyn New School: Centering children, marginalizing tests (Encore)

We speak with Anna Allanbrook, longtime principal of Brooklyn New School (BNS). Learning at BNS is inquiry-based and cross-disciplinary. As well, BNS is known as the “opt-out school” because 95% of families opt out of standardized testing. The school offers no test preparation.


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00:05-01:11 Intros

01:12- 01:58 Key principles of Brooklyn New School

01:59-04:05 Relationships

04:06-06:05 Who seeks the school out and why

06:06-07:30 Why the special needs population is relatively high (30%)

07:31-09:15 English Language Learners

09:16-11:29 Making parents comfortable who are used to a more traditional teaching style

11:30-13:28 Differentiating reading instruction

13:29-21:12 Standardized testing and opt-out

21:13-22:38 Performance-based assessment

22:39-25:18 Social emotional learning (SEL)

25:19-27:04 Relationship between SEL and opt-out

27:05-28:52 “Trust is at the heart of everything”

28:53-30:30 Outro


Click here to see the transcription of the episode. 

Soundtrack by Poddington Bear