Brooklyn Technical High School

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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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

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.

The school is founded on the belief that students enjoy learning more when they can touch, feel and do things. 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 hallways lined with an alumni Hall of Fame remind 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 former principal Randy Asher, who gave us our tour.  "Tge cool thing about the kids here is that it just doesn't matter to them." [Asher left the school in January 2017 when he was tapped by the central Department of Education to lead up its effort to reduce the number of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool. David Newman, an assistant principal, was named interim acting principal.]

Asher 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 teaches them to work together using industry-standard drafting software, reading blueprints, wiring their own compueter "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; upated with new principal January, 2017)



About the students

Free or reduced priced lunch
Students with disabilities
English language learners

About the school

Shared campus?
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Metal detectors?
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


Average daily attendance
87% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
37% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
74% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 9 dedicated spaces for Music, Theater, and Media arts
This school has 23 licensed arts teacher in Music (part-time), Theater (part-time), Visual arts (part-time), Music, Theater, and Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
36% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
37% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
60% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
66% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
59% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Science Engineering
Admissions Method: Test
Program Description

Admission to this Specialized High School is based solely on the score obtained on the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test (SHSAT). Students should speak to their school counselors in the Fall to register for the SHSAT.


Language Courses

French, Italian, Latin, Mandarin, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP Computer Science, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP European History, AP Human Geography, AP Macroeconomics, AP Microeconomics, AP Physics, AP Psychology, AP Research, AP Seminar, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP U.S. History, AP World History


Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Fencing, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Cricket, Golf, Stunt

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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29 Ft Greene Place
Brooklyn NY 11217
Fort Greene (District 13)
Trains: 2, 3, 4, 5 to Nevins St; A to Hoyt & Schermerhorn; B, Q, R to DeKalb Ave; C to Lafayette Ave; D, N to Atlantic Ave-Barclays Center; G to Fulton St
Buses: B103, B25, B26, B37, B38, B41, B45, B52, B54, B62, B63, B65, B67, B69


David Newman
Parent Coordinator
Elmer Anderson

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