Cities Journal

15 Best High Schools In New York

Brooklyn Technical High School
Photo credit: martymarkowitz / Flickr

8. Brooklyn Technical High School

Minutes from the graceful pinions of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Technical High School in Fort Greene allows students, after their sophomore year, to choose their major, similar to college, with options such as Bio Medical Engineering and Media Communications, reports Business Insider.

The School’s focus is on science, biology, medicine, engineering, and technology. Brooklyn Tech is a public magnet school that traces its roots back to 1912, over 100 year ago.

Unlike other specialized schools in New York that opened their doors to only a small number of students, when Brooklyn Tech first opened it became home to 2,400 students. Brooklyn Tech started as an all-boys school, and it wasn’t until 1970 that females were admitted.

U.S. News ranks Brooklyn Technical High School as 60th in the United States and 10th in the State of New York, with a male student majority of 58%. Brooklyn Tech is New York’s largest specialized school with over 5,500 students, reports the New York Daily News. Similar to other magnet public schools, only about 20% of those who apply are accepted to the School.

Randy Asher, the School’s current principal (2014), motivates students with the fact that Brooklyn Tech has been the nurturing ground for “Nobel Prize laureates, astronauts, corporate executives, distinguished scientists, engineers, and architects,” in addition to other high-achievers in the sectors of business, finance, publishing, and the arts.

Brooklyn Tech was the brainchild of Dr. Albert L. Colston, states the Brooklyn Technical School History page, who, after World War I, discerned that the U.S. needed a better-trained technical workforce. He presented a proposal to the Brooklyn Engineer’s Club in 1918, recommending a new technical school for boys.

The school finally opened in 1922 and has run continuously since that time. Marked by notable stability, Brooklyn Technical School has been graced by the services of only two principals in the 21st Century, Dr. Lee D. McCaskill, who served as principal until February 2006, when the current principal (2014) Randy J. Asher took and kept the helm.

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