“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Brooklyn in Kings County, New York — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Edmonds Playground


Edmonds Playground Marker image. Click for full size.
By Devry Becker Jones, September 10, 2021
1. Edmonds Playground Marker
Ronald R. Edmonds (1935-1983) was an African American educational expert known for his commitment to improving public schools. NYC Parks and the Board of Education (now the NYC Department of Education) opening the jointly operated JHS 294 playground in March 1959. Bounded on three sides by Adelphi Street, Dekalb Avenue, and Carlton Avenue, the fourth side faces the Ronald Edmonds Learning Center. The Department of Education renumbered the school JHS 113 Ronald Edmonds, and former NYC Parks Commissioner Henry J. Stern renamed the playground for Edmonds in 1986.

Ronald R. Edmonds was born on May 24, 1935 in Ypsilanti, Michigan. He received his bachelor's degree in history from the University of Michigan in 1964 and a master's degree from Eastern Michigan University. In 1973 he received a certificate from the Administrative Career Program at Harvard University.

From 1970 to 1972, Edmonds served as an assistant superintendent in the Michigan Department of Public Instruction. In 1973 he joined the education faculty of Harvard University and later became the director of its Center for Urban Studies. Edmonds was appointed
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senior assistant for instruction under New York City Schools Chancellor Frank J. Macchiarola in 1978, where he served for three years.

Edmonds initiated the School Improvement Project, which focused on discipline and management. He believed that improving schools for the poorest children would raise the performance of all children. In his last annual report, Chancellor Macchiarola wrote that New York City public school had undertaken reforms based on Edmonds' "seemingly obvious but actually revolutionary concept that all children can learn…" At a time when many educators questioned the validity of testing, Edmonds felt that standardized reading and math tests gave students important information about their performance and indicated to educators and administrators the quality of the education being offered at the school.

In addition to his lasting influence on city schools, Edmonds wrote two books, The Negro in American History (1955) and Black Colleges in America (1978). He returned to Michigan in 1981, where he served as a professor in education at Michigan State University until his death on July 15, 1983.
Erected by New York City Parks.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansArts, Letters, Music
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EducationParks & Recreational Areas. A significant historical month for this entry is March 1959.
Location. 40° 41.352′ N, 73° 58.308′ W. Marker is in Brooklyn, New York, in Kings County. Marker is on Carlton Avenue just south of Dekalb Avenue, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 Dekalb Ave, Brooklyn NY 11238, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fort Greene Historic District (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); a different marker also named Fort Greene Historic District (about 400 feet away); Marianne Moore (about 500 feet away); Eastern White Pine (about 600 feet away); European Beech (about 800 feet away); English Elm (about 800 feet away); Osage-orange (approx. 0.2 miles away); Prison Ship Martyrs Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Brooklyn.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2021. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 31 times since then. Photo   1. submitted on September 12, 2021, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia.
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Oct. 25, 2021