Thomas Jefferson High School (Brooklyn)
|Thomas Jefferson High School|
|400 Pennsylvania Avenue
Brooklyn, New York 11207
Thomas Jefferson High School was a high school in the East New York section of Brooklyn, New York. It was the alma mater of many people who grew up in the Great Depression and World War II and rose to prominence in the arts, literature, and other fields. In 2007, the New York City Department of Education closed the school and broke it into several small schools because of low graduation rates.
Thomas Jefferson High school, located at 400 Pennsylvania Avenue, had its groundbreaking in 1922 with New York City mayor John Francis Hylan officiating. Thomas Jefferson was the number one public high schools in New York to receive a M. P. Moller pipe organ in the 1920s.
In 1991, Darryl Sharpe, a ninth-grade student who was an innocent bystander, was shot to death in the school. Another youth was trying to help his brother in a fistfight, drew a gun, and opened fire in the crowded hallway. The three shots killed the 16-year-old student and critically wounded a teacher, Robert Anderson, who was approaching to intervene. At the time, education officials in New York called it "one of the school system's worst crimes" and noted that besides an accidental shooting in 1989, it was the first killing of a student in a school in more than a decade.
In the photograph above the main entrance of TJHS is clearly engraved a quote from Abraham Lincoln, "May reverence for the laws become the political religion of the nation." For 90 years students, and perhaps faculty, have wondered why the authorities were unable to find an appropriate quotation from Thomas Jefferson himself to grace the entrance to his namesake school.
Since 2007, the school building is known as the Jefferson Campus, and is the home of:
- The High School for Civil Rights
- The FDNY High School for Fire and Life Safety
- The Performing Arts and Technology High School
- The WATCH (World Academy for Total Community Health) School
In 2015, two of the new schools were graduating about 70 percent of their students and the other two have graduation rates in the 50s. In New York City overall in 2015, just over 78 percent of New York State students who entered high school in 2011 graduated on time according to state officials. However, the percentage is 88 percent for white students and only 65 percent for black and Hispanic students during the same time period.
- Ralph Bakshi, animator
- Sandy Baron, comedian and stage, film, and television actor
- Roy C. Bennett, popular music composer
- Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs
- Riddick Bowe, boxer
- John Brockington, Ohio State Buckeyes' 1968 undefeated national championship football team; running back for the NFL Green Bay Packers
- Dorian Daughtry, American baseball player and criminal
- Shawon Dunston, major league baseball player
- Leroy Ellis, former NBA center, 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers championship team
- Sylvia Fine, lyricist
- Jack Garfinkel, former Boston Celtics player
- Hy Gotkin, basketball player
- Sidney Green, NBA player
- Sharon Jones, soul singer
- Danny Kaye (born David Daniel Kaminsky), actor
- Ezra Jack Keats (born Jacob Ezra Katz), illustrator and author of children's books
- Daniel Keyes, author: Flowers For Algernon
- Steve Lawrence (born Sidney Leibowitz), popular music singer
- Al Lewis, actor, political activist
- Lil' Fame, rapper and member of M.O.P.
- Irving Malin, literary critic
- Paul Mazursky, Hollywood director
- Jim McMillian, former NBA forward, 1971–72 Los Angeles Lakers championship team
- Alan B. Miller, founder, Chairman and CEO of Universal Health Services
- Linda November, singer
- Martin Pope, physical chemist
- Phil Sellers, former NBA player
- Jimmy Smits, actor
- Shelley Winters, actress
- Max Zaslofsky, NBA guard/forward, one-time FT% leader, one-time points leader, All-Star, ABA coach
- Howard Zinn, historian, political activist
- Hesh Kestin, author
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- Kolodner, Meredith (September 29, 2015). "Once sold as the solution, small high schools are now on the back burner". The Hechinger Report. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
- Harris, Elizabeth A. (January 11, 2016). "New York City's High School Graduation Rate Tops 70%". The New York Times. Retrieved 24 February 2016.
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