John Dewey High School is no more. Named after John Dewey, an education reform activist whose guiding philosophy emphasized independent and progressive academics, the school had to change course after a panel for the Board of Education voted to close the school and reopen it under NYC’s new turnaround program.
When the school reopens, it will be christened the Shorefront High School of Arts and Sciences at John Dewey Campus.
The name change was a part of the turnaround plan’s policies. All of the 24 schools involved are slated to open under different names, with a $1.5M cash injection for each.
“We were all pretty stuck on John Dewey, and I don’t think it would have been a problem except that this name means so much in education,” said new principal, Kathleen Elvin to the New York Times. “It stood for something innovative.”
Elvin tried many variants like the John Dewey Community High School and the the John Dewey High School of Arts and Sciences, but the board did not approve of the too-similar sounding names. After Elvin found the school referred to as Shorefront on some old architectural documents, she settled on that.
Readers, do you think people will refer to the school as Dewey, as they have for about 50 years, or the newer name of Shorefront?