Cities Journal

15 Best High Schools In New York

Brooklyn Latin School
Photo credit: photophilde / Flickr

15. Brooklyn Latin School

Located in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, the Brooklyn Latin School is considered to be one of the top High Schools in New York, and is listed 35th among 21,000 public high schools in the U.S. by U.S. News and World Report’s list of the Best High Schools in America, one of 10 New York City Schools that made it to the top of the list of the best 100 high schools in the country.

U.S. News & World Report 2014 report considers the Brooklyn Latin School to be third among New York City’s public high schools.

While other top performing New York schools are strong in science and math, Brooklyn Latin School features a classical, liberal arts curriculum, where English, history, Latin, world language, and art history find an equal voice with math and science.

Brooklyn Latin School states that its mission involves helping all students to achieve the ability to “write, speak,” and effectively “communicate”, preparing its students to become future leaders. In addition to studying modern languages, students at Brooklyn Latin School are required to study four years of Latin.

Writing skills and strong oratory skills are developed through public speaking programs unique to the school. Students memorize literature, speeches, and poetry, reciting them before fellow classmates as part of their public speaking training.

Located in one of Brooklyn’s working class neighborhoods, Brooklyn Latin School has succeeded in educating a largely minority alumni to reach high levels of academic achievement. The graduation rate runs at about 99%, with an average SAT score of 1740, and with a post-secondary enrollment of 86%.

One of New York’s eight specialized schools, admission to the school also requires outstanding achievement in the SHSAT. The student-teacher ratio is 17:1, and approximately 500 students are accepted to the school annually.

Unlike specialized New York City high schools which can trace their roots back 50 to 100 years or more, Brooklyn Latin School opened its doors in 2006 to an ethnically diversified group of only 63 students, recounts the school’s website. The school’s name is based on the first high school to be opened in the United States, the Boston Latin School.

Founded in 1635, as related in Brooklyn Latin School’s History page, the original Boston Latin School achieved status as one of the best college preparatory schools in the United States. Brooklyn Latin School endeavored to imitate that pattern of achievement, and succeeded.

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