Brooklyn Technical High School

An Insideschools pick
29 FT GREENE PLACE
BROOKLYN NY 11217 Map
Phone: (718) 804-6400
Website: Click here
Admissions: Exam
Principal: Randy Asher
Neighborhood: Fort Greene
District: 13
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Jesse Capello Colon
Science & Math
Wheelchair Accessible
Vocational
Screened

Buses: B103, B25, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B62, B63, B65, B69

What's special:

Challenging academics and lots of high tech, hands-on learning

The downside:

Hard to receive individual attention in the sea of 5,000 students

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Brooklyn Tech has achieved the rare feat of remaining true to its original goal of forming "a more technically literate workforce," while staying up-to-date with the latest technology and skills. The largest and most diverse of the city's specialized high schools, Tech offers an exciting environment for students who like to design, build and work with their hands.

Principal Randy Asher believes that when students can "touch, feel and do," they enjoy learning more. This was evident in classes across all subject areas, but most obvious in the workshops and labs of the 18 technical or scientific "majors." We saw aerospace engineering majors practicing on flight simulators, watched law and society majors conducting a forensic analysis of hairs left at a "crime scene," and walked through the two-story house the architectural engineering majors were building inside one massive classroom.

The first-floor hallway lined with an alumni Hall of Fame reminds students of the school's lauded history and high expectation of success, but Tech lacks the sense of pressure and competition that pervades the other specialized high schools in the city.

"There are a number of kids here whose parents are elected officials or high-powered business executives, as well as a number of kids whose parents work in restaurants," said Asher. "The cool thing about the kids here is that it just doesn't matter to them." He credits their sense of teamwork and the fact that students all start off together in two core technology classes—design and drafting for production and digital electronics—which teach them to work together using industry-standard drafting software, reading blueprints, wiring their own computer "bread boards," and printing prototypes on one of the school's many 3-D printers. These two courses are meant to introduce kids to the problem-solving and design skills they will need in any college major or career they pursue.

In the spring of their sophomore year, students rank all 18 majors according to preference, and those with the highest grade point average are given first choice. Some majors are more demanding than others and cannot be changed or dropped once assigned. Social science research, for example, requires a sequence of six AP courses over two years. Other majors, like software engineering, allow more flexibility because they only require two AP courses and two other computer-related courses. The wide array of Advanced Placement course offerings are open to all students, as are the school's 15 music, dance and drama electives.

Majors require a sequence of four to eight courses that students must complete over two years in addition to fulfilling graduation requirements in math, English language arts and social studies. Tech is generally stronger in math and science than in the humanities.

We observed students working collaboratively in most classes, guiding their own projects, while the teacher walked around to support them. Even the math class we saw was focused on research and students were designing original projects around the concepts they were learning.

Some classrooms are just as they were when the building opened; others have been recently renovated, like the mock courtroom, complete with a judge's booth, jury benches and portraits of Supreme Court justices on the wall.

The school, founded in 1922, moved in 1933 to its current campus adjacent to Fort Greene Park. The massive building has wide hallways, several elevators and many huge classrooms renovated to keep up with new technological demands. The 3,000-seat theater is one of the largest in the city, and is used for school plays as well as public events. Students in the "Stageworks" club manage the lighting, sound and sets for events.

There are 42 sports teams and 140 extracurricular activities, including drama, salsa dancing, quilting, photography and a robotics team which won a national championship in 2014. The robotics team captain proudly told us that the students designed, printed parts and built their entire robot in house, not relying on corporate partners as most school teams do. At a school full of budding engineers, though, it is hard to make the cut amongst the 400 applications for a spot on this 28-member team. A robust alumni network actively supports the school.

Tech's 22 guidance counselors work with individuals or small groups at key transition points, like freshmen year and during the college admissions process. Their offices are located near the cafeteria, so students can drop in and visit during lunch hour. Still, at this biggest of all city high schools, it's hard to provide individual attention to each student.

About one-third of graduates go to private colleges, the rest go mostly to schools in the CUNY or SUNY systems, including the Macaulay Honors College.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: Fewer than 1 percent of students receive special education services.

ADMISSIONS: Students take the SHSAT (Specialized High School Admissions Test) in the fall of their 8th- or 9th-grade year and are admitted solely based on their test scores. Ninth and 10th grades are the only two entry points. (Nicole Mader, March 2015)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 5447

Average Daily Attendance 96%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
61%

Black

  
8%

Hispanic

  
8%

White

  
20%

Free Lunch

  
65%

Special ed

  
1%

English Language Learners

  
0%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.78 2.40 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

33 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

52% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

73% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

88% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

96% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

7% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

98% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

98% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

98% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

88% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

99% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

0% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

79%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

99%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

99%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

98% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

609
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

96% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

680
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

77% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

100% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

100% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

100% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

91% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to New York City residents

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Science Engineering

Test

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Chinese Language and Culture, Comparative Government and Politics, Computer Science A, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, European History, French Language and Culture, Human Geography, Italian Language and Culture, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, Physics B, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, Physics C: Mechanics, Psychology, Spanish Language and Culture, Statistics, Studio Art: 2-D Design, Studio Art: 3-D Design, United States Government and Politics, United States History, World History

Online: Microeconomics, Physics B

Language classes: Chinese (Mandarin), French, Italian, Spanish

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Academic Decathalon, Amateur Radio, Animal Rights, Anime, Art, ASPIRA, Beta, BETA Honor Society, BTHSNEWS, Chess, Chinese Culture, Civil Air Patrol, CSI Team, Dance, Debate Team, DECA, Drama, Film, Find The Cure, Future Business Leaders of America, Gospel Choir, Habitat for Humanity, Horizons Literary Magazine, Jewish, Key Club, Korean Student Association, Lady Dragons & Organized Chaos Step Teams, Math Team, Mentoring, Mock Trial Team, Mu Alpha Theta, Mural Painting, Muslim Student Association, National Honor Society (Arista), Opera, Paleo, Progressive Student Awareness, Radish Satirical Newspaper, Robotics Team, Salsa, Save Darfur, School Newspaper, Science Bowl, Science Olympiad, Scrabble, Seekers, SING, Spring Musical, Straight & Gay Alliance, Student Government, Student Magazines, Survey School Newspaper, Tech Internet Radio Project, US FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics, Web Design, Weight Training, World Summit, Yearbook, Young Entrepreneurs Association

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Football & JV Football, Golf, Handball, Hockey, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball & JV Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Double Dutch, Fencing, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Other schools sports: Cheerleading

Source: High school directory 2014-2015

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