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Bank Street College of Education

Coordinates: 40°48′20″N 73°57′59″W / 40.80556°N 73.96639°W / 40.80556; -73.96639
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Bank Street College of Education
TypePrivate graduate school and school for children
Established1916; 108 years ago (1916)
Endowment$49.1 million (2019)[1]
PresidentShael Polakow-Suransky
Academic staff
Students549 (2018, graduate school)[2]
451 (2019, school for children)[3]
Location, ,
United States

40°48′20″N 73°57′59″W / 40.80556°N 73.96639°W / 40.80556; -73.96639

Bank Street College of Education is a private school and graduate school in New York City. It consists of a graduate-only teacher training college[4] and an independent nursery-through-8th-grade school. In 2020 the graduate school had about 65 full-time teaching staff and approximately 850 students, of which 87% were female.[4]



The origins of the school lie in the Bureau of Educational Experiments, which was established in 1916 by Lucy Sprague Mitchell, her husband Wesley Clair Mitchell, and Harriet Merrill Johnson; Lucy Mitchell's cousin Elizabeth Sprague Coolidge provided financial support.[5][6] The bureau was intended to foster research into, and development of, experimental and progressive education, and was influenced by the thinking of Edward Thorndike and John Dewey, both of whom Mitchell had studied with at Columbia University. The bureau was run by a council of twelve members, but Mitchell was its most influential figure until the 1950s.[5] The name of the institution derives from its 1930–1971 location at 69 Bank Street in Greenwich Village.[7]

In 1919 the bureau started a nursery school for children from fifteen to thirty-six months old; Harriet Johnson was the director. The school fed in to the Play School for three- to seven-year-olds run by Caroline Pratt; eight-year-olds were taught in a special class by members of the bureau.[5]

Bank Street College of Education served as an academic consultant during development for Multiplication Rock, the first series of Schoolhouse Rocks![8]

In 1958, the college received a $1,000,000 grant from the Department of Health, Education and Welfare for a five-year study on how schools for younger children could improve mental health development.[9]

The personal computer word processing application Bank Street Writer (1981) was developed by the college and marketed to school and home computer markets. Its brand extension Bank Street Music Writer (1985) was a music composition application.

Doug Knecht is the current Dean of Children's Programs and Head of the School for Children.[10]





Since 1960 the school has been accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.[11] Bank Street School for Children is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools.[3]

Head Start


It is one of about hundred schools in the Manhattan area which participate in the national Head Start Program of the Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.[12]

Bank Street School for Children


The Bank Street School for Children is a private coed preschool, elementary school, and middle school within the Bank Street College of Education.[13][14] The school includes children in nursery through eighth grade,[14] split into three divisions: the lower school, for nursery through first grade; the middle school, for second through fourth grades; and the upper school, for fifth through eighth grades.[15] There are 451 children enrolled as students,[15] approximately 50% of which are students of color.[16] The instructors are often current or past students of Bank Street's graduate school, which shares a campus with the School for Children—including more than half of the teachers who are alumni.[17]

The School for Children is accredited by the New York State Association of Independent Schools and is a member of the National Association of Independent Schools.[15][18]

Bank Street Bookstore


The Bank Street Bookstore was an Upper West Side community bookstore that sold children's books and educational toys and games. It opened in 1970 in the lobby of Bank Street College, and moved to its second location on 112th Street and Broadway shortly thereafter. Its final location was on Broadway and West 107th Street until its closing in August 2020, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.[19] The bookstore also hosted readings, daily story time, and celebrity events, with past guests including Stephen Colbert, Julianne Moore, and author Jeff Kinney.



Graduate school


School for Children

  • Shuwanza Goff, Deputy Director of the Office of Legislative Affairs for President Joe Biden[23]


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2019. "U.S. and Canadian 2019 NTSE Participating Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2019 Endowment Market Value, and Percentage Change in Market Value from FY18 to FY19 (Revised)". National Association of College and University Business Officers and TIAA. Retrieved September 13, 2020.
  2. ^ "Bank Street College of Education". College Navigator. National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Bank Street School for Children". New York State Association of Independent Schools. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Bank Street College of Education. Peterson's LLC. Accessed February 2020.
  5. ^ a b c Antler, Joyce (2000). Mitchell, Lucy Sprague (1878-1967), educator. doi:10.1093/anb/9780198606697.article.0900513. ISBN 978-0-19-860669-7.
  6. ^ Lucy Sprague Mitchell. In: John Arthur Garraty, Mark C. Carnes (editors) (1988). Dictionary of American Biography, supplement eight: 1966-1970. New York, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons; London: Collier Macmillan Publishers. ISBN 9780684186184. (subscription required).
  7. ^ "History".
  8. ^ Kamp, David (May 12, 2020). Sunny Days: The Children's Television Revolution That Changed America. Simon and Schuster. ISBN 978-1-5011-3780-8.
  9. ^ "Educator to Direct Kindergarten Group"New York Times, October 2, 1958
  10. ^ "Doug Knecht". Bank Street College of Education. Retrieved February 21, 2021.
  11. ^ "Bank Street College of Education". Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Retrieved February 8, 2020.
  12. ^ Bank Street College of Education - 02CH010795. Early Childhood Learning & Knowledge Center, U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Accessed February 2020.
  13. ^ "A Guide to the Best Manhattan Private Schools: 2019-20". www.newyorkfamily.com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  14. ^ a b "Bank Street School For Children Profile (2021) | New York, NY". Private School Review. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  15. ^ a b c "New York State Association of Independent Schools (NYSAIS): Bank Street School for Children". www.nysais.org. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  16. ^ "How to help your youngest students talk about and navigate differences: A profile of Bank Street School for Children | EAB". eab.com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  17. ^ Lewis, Crystal. "Grooming Teachers, Bank Street Puts Stress on Basics and a Belief in Kids". The Chief. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  18. ^ "NAIS Bookstore". my.nais.org. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  19. ^ "Coronavirus Shutters Longtime NYC Children's Bookstore". PublishersWeekly.com. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  20. ^ Salamon, Julie (October 26, 2003). "FILM; A Filmmaker Who Chooses to Live Behind Bars". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  21. ^ "School for Children Alum, Ben Lerer, Featured in The New York Times – Morningside Area Alliance". October 25, 2020. Archived from the original on October 25, 2020. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  22. ^ Brown, Dennis. "Angelica Torn, the daughter of Rip Torn and Geraldine Page, forges her own stage path". Riverfront Times. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  23. ^ Parker, Adam. "Shuwanza Goff, with Georgetown roots, to join President-elect Biden's White House staff". Post and Courier. Retrieved August 9, 2021.
  24. ^ "Ally Sheedy". IMDb. Retrieved August 9, 2021.

Further reading

  • Fisher, Patricia, and Anne Perryman. "A brief history: Bank street college of education." (2000) online.
  • Nager, Nancy, and Edna Shapiro. "A progressive approach to the education of teachers: Some principles from Bank Street College of Education." Occasional Paper Series (2007) #18 online