Blind Brook High School was one of the many fortunate schools to appear on the long list of schools that Congressman Jamaal Bowman, Ed.D. visited in his 16th NY Congressional District. Bowman was able to communicate and interact with a large portion of the student body, striking up many interesting conversations that ranged from redistricting, to redlining, to the origins of hip-hop in The Bronx.
Bowman had an extensive personal history with the education system before he ran for Congress. He worked as a crisis management teacher and then founded “Cornerstone Academy for Social Action,” a public school in the Bronx. Bowman is also known for his progressive views of what learning should look like inside the classroom. For example, he is an advocate for changing the standardized testing system. He believes that structuring an entire curriculum based solely on a single standardized test at the end of the year hinders the amount of education a student can receive. In addition, the added stress that comes from taking a test also puts some students at a disadvantage compared to those who are better test-takers.
Bowman is also a part of the Committee on Education and Labor in the House of Representatives. His More Teaching Less Testing Act, which he unveiled last March, builds on this idea by having a greater focus on classroom material, and less of a focus on standardized testing. A strong advocate for public education reform, Bowman supports the Green New Deal, which would invest more than ten trillion dollars in public schools over ten years.
Bowman is known for his more progressive views in comparison to the rest of Congress. When running in 2020, Bowman’s campaign followed the model set by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in her primary victory over incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley, who had been serving for nearly 20 years. Ocasio-Cortez’s win proved that there is an appetite for progressive candidates in New York City, and the surrounding areas. Bowman followed suit in 2020 by running on platforms supporting such ideas as Medicare for All, and the Green New Deal.
Visiting Blind Brook allows Bowman to get to know the students of his district better, as well as teach them the importance of having a Representative they can rely on and who properly represents them. When asked about what it meant to have Congressman Bowman visit her school and an opportunity to talk to him, sophomore Chloe Beal said, “Having Congressman Bowman come into our class was extremely inspiring and interesting. Seeing a figure in our very own classroom that continues to make such a difference in our state was incredible, and an experience that all high schoolers should have.” Blind Brook was very lucky to have such an important figure visit our high school.