Mark Twain Intermediate School 239
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|Mark Twain Intermediate School 239 for the Gifted and Talented|
|Faculty||approx. 140- (changes with substitute teachers)|
|Location||2401 Neptune Avenue 11224,
Brooklyn, New York, United States
Mark Twain Intermediate School 239, also known as "Twain," is a public middle school in the Coney Island section of Brooklyn, New York. It is described as "one of the city's most sought after middle schools and the largest feeder school to Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech" by the independent NYC school review site insideschools.org.
Before Mark Twain Intermediate School for the Gifted and Talented was established, it was a public school. One of the alumni from here was Louis Gossett, Jr..
In 1972, the NAACP brought suit in Hart V. Community School Board 21 in the United States District Court, charging that Mark Twain Junior High School 239 was unconstitutionally segregated. The school is located in Coney Island, a predominantly African American and Hispanic section of the school district and in fact had about an 85% percent minority enrollment. Judge Weinstein found the plaintiffs were correct in that the school was unconstitutionally segregated.
The remedy plan proposed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was developed by Professor Dan Dodson of New York University and would have compelled the busing of pupils throughout the district for integration purposes. The school board plan was to make Mark Twain a magnet school for the gifted and talented and thus attract sufficient white pupils on a voluntary basis to integrate the school, and at the same time, all the middle schools in the district. The plan was the product of more than 150 people representing a broad spectrum of input from community, parent, District 21 and Brooklyn College professionals. Judge Weinstein then appointed a master professor, Curtis Burger of Columbia University Law School to report back to him with a recommendation. The recommendation basically was to accept the school board's plan and the judge so ordered in July 1974.
Mark Twain Junior High School 239 for the Gifted and Talented opened as a magnet school effective September 1975 beginning with grade 7, phasing in grades 8 and 9 over a three-year period and was integrated to the ratio of white pupils to minority pupils in the district which was 7 to 3 at that time. Affirmative action policies are used to maintain this ratio; recently, a student of Indian descent was denied admission even though a white student of similar capabilities would have been admitted.
In February 2008, a federal judge ended the desegregation order, stating that the school had been effectively desegregated. As a magnet school, Mark Twain was now desirable to attend, and the desegregationist policies effectively excluded non-whites. The situation was also influenced by demographic shifts in the neighborhood, which had become steadily less white since the initial ruling. The decision brought Mark Twain into compliance with the then-recent Supreme Court decision Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education case, which declared any race-based techniques for public school assignment unconstitutional, regardless of the purpose. Today, up to 900 students attend this prestigious school.
- Mark Twain
- Magnet school
- Intermediate school
- Middle school
- Meredith v. Jefferson County Board of Education
- Louis Gossett, Jr.
Sources and references
- Mangan, Dan: "Color-Barred Student: Shut Out by School's Race Quota", New York Post, June 25, 2007.
- Medina, Jennifer (23 February 2008). "Desegregation Order Lifted From a School in Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved 27 November 2011.