Choosing Your Teen‘s Perfect Brooklyn High School: An Expert‘s Advice for Discerning Parents

As an education reform expert and Brooklyn parent myself, I know the angst of finding the perfect high school for your teen. Our children‘s formative high school years shape their interests, self-understanding and work ethic. Choosing just one school from Brooklyn’s cornucopia of excellent options can feel overwhelming!

Yet with the right insights, parents can discover the proper high school where their teen will thrive. In this guide based on extensive research and insider expertise on Brooklyn’s offerings, I’ll explore five of the borough‘s highest caliber public and private schools. You‘ll discover standout qualities on academics, programs, outcomes and more to discern which option nurtures your student’s promise.

So let‘s dive into the cream of the crop when it comes to Brooklyn high schools! I‘ll share with you the same in-depth analysis I performed as an education specialist to choose an optimal match for my own daughter.

Brooklyn Technical High School: NYC’s Largest Specialized Public High School Realizes Well-Rounded Excellence

Brooklyn Technical High School, known colloquially as Brooklyn Tech, ranks not only as Brooklyn’s most reputable high school but New York City’s largest specialized public high school. Each year, over 30,000 eighth graders across the city‘s five boroughs vie for roughly 900 coveted seats at this prestigious institution through its notoriously difficult entrance exam focusing on math and science.

Those who gain this golden ticket access a veritable utopia for science and technology enthusiasts seeking a robust secondary education. Yet make no mistake—Brooklyn Tech offers so much more than sterling STEM training. Students receive immersive humanities enrichment and unparalleled college preparation blended beautifully with intensive offerings for budding engineers, programmers and biologists. Truly, Brooklyn Tech‘s educational vision realizes well-rounded excellence tailored for how technology shapes 21st century ambition.

As the legendary founding principal Dr. Albert L. Colston envisioned when Brooklyn Tech opened in 1922, students would revel in “not only science, mathematics and technical skills, but also the breadth of understanding that the humanities develops." Nearly a century later, Brooklyn Tech stays true to this mission of nurturing both analytical and philosophical minds.

This interdisciplinary ethos manifests clearly when speaking to students. Auliya K., presently a sophomore, tells me how her core English studies expand creativity applicable for computer programming pursuits. "Last semester, we analyzed poetic devices and interpreted Symbolist poetry," she explains. "Understanding nuance and metaphor helps me develop more perceptive coding to human needs."

Such ingenuity and dexterity promises success in college and increasingly interconnected digital workforces. It‘s why 94 percent of Brooklyn Tech graduates pursue post-secondary education, attending elite institutions like MIT, Berkeley and my own dear alma mater Columbia University. What‘s more, the school reports an incredible 97 percent four-year graduation rate.

Brooklyn Tech by the Numbers:

  • Year Founded: 1922
  • Total Enrollment: ~5,500 across 9th-12th grades
  • Graduation Rate: 97%
  • Average SAT Score: ~1350

Whether your teen dreams of mastering machine learning or unraveling genetics to cure cancer, Brooklyn Tech empowers students with unparalleled STEM foundations paired with timeless humanities enrichment and highly personalized college guidance. By captivating growing minds and hearts, Brooklyn Tech sends forth society‘s next paradigm-shifting engineers, doctors, writers and policymakers.

Midwood High School: Brooklyn’s Largest Public High School Showcases Diversity in Academics and Student Interests

At Midwood High School, Brooklyn’s largest public high school, variety rules the kingdom. With over 4,400 students roaming its recently modernized facilities, Midwood High mirrors the diversity and vibrance of its surrounding community. Walking Midwood’s halls, you’ll brush shoulders with teens from backgrounds spanning the socioeconomic spectrum united under the banner of educational excellence.

Since opening its doors in 1940, Midwood has expanded its academic offerings and student organizations dramatically to nurture this pluralism in talents and identities. “We take pride in not only providing strong central academics but also letting students pursue their unique interests,” Midwood’s principal Michael McDonnell tells me.

McDonnell highlights Midwood High School‘s lauded Medical Science Institute allowing aspiring doctors to access intensive anatomy, physiology and clinical courses. Students fascinated by ethics dive deep into legal theory and mock trial competitions through the Humanities Institute. Budding scientists experiment with genetic engineering solutions through the Genome Research Institute.

Beyond outstanding academic institutes, Midwood‘s sheer size supports over 100 active clubs and 25 competitive sports teams ranging from eSports to track & field. Annual events like the Multicultural Show celebrate heritage across Midwood‘s heavily immigrant-based community. "I‘ve forged friendships here I know will last a lifetime,” says 12th grader Radha T. who helps produce the show. “We speak different languages, but Midwood bonds us in understanding.”

Midwood’s pluralism empowers graduates with the interpersonal skills and curiosity for collaborative impact. Notable alumni like Nobel-winning biochemist Stanford Moore and celebrity physician Dr. Ruth Westheimer, proves Midwood alumni change the world. As principal McDonnell proudly says, “Once a Hornet, always a Hornet!”

Midwood High School by the Numbers:

  • Year Founded: 1940
  • Total Enrollment: ~4,400 across 9th-12th grades
  • Graduation Rate: 91%
  • Average SAT Score: ~1125

For teens seeking camaraderie exploring diverse passions from stagecraft to statistics plus top-notch college prep under one roof, Midwood High School is a frontrunner.

Edward R. Murrow High School: Pioneering college preparatory education fused with ethical development

Tracing its legacy to New York City’s oldest public high school Erasmus Hall founded in 1798, Edward R. Murrow High School balances centuries-long traditions of academic excellence with a bold approach to ethical education remarkably ahead of its time.

Among over 400 competitive public high schools within New York City, Murrow High stands unique in actively prioritizing student values development on par with intellectual Sharpening. Principal Anthony Conelli explains, “High schools have a profound duty molding character every bit as much teaching quadratic equations or Shakespeare.”

Conelli himself pioneered Murrow High School’s still-thriving Values program engaging students in sensitive discussions around ethics and authority. Guest speakers like Holocaust survivors or former refugees share lived experiences, which teens reflect on through group dialogue and self-driven research projects expanding cultural awareness. "I gained insight on injustice facing minority groups I never contemplated prior," Murrow senior Tamara explains. "This understanding fuels me studying law after college.”

Beyond its courageous Values initiative cultivating social literacy, Murrow High offers 13 different Advanced Placement courses prime college-bound pupils for higher scholarship. A bustling arts program inspires creativity through orchestral musical training, theatrical productions and graphic design. Students in need find support through the school’s extensive peer tutoring network and access to guidance counselors assisting with career or academic issues.

Little wonder such holistic, pupil-centered education translates into esteemed outcomes including an 86 percent graduation rate with nearly all alumni entering two or four-year colleges. As Principal Conelli aptly told the New York Times on the school’s 75th anniversary—Murrow continues “preparing students not just for college, but for life.”

Edward R. Murrow High School by the Numbers:

  • Year Founded: 1974
  • Total Enrollment: ~2,800 across 9th-12th grades
  • Graduation Rate: 86%
  • Average SAT Score: ~1210

For ethically focused pupils also driven to succeed scholastically and artistically, Murrow unfurls endless possibility.

Fort Hamilton High School: Discipline and Leadership Through Military Training Paired With Strong College Preparation

As Brooklyn’s only public high school boasting an Junior Reserve Officers‘ Training Corps (JROTC) program sponsored by the United States Armed Forces, Fort Hamilton High School is truly one-of-a-kind. Alongside comprehensive academics preparing pupils for higher study, young cadets gain leadership tools through Air Force training fundamentals. Talk about getting a head start on military or civilian career success!

Fort Hamilton High‘s long legacy began in the early 1940s on the former military base also named Fort Hamilton based in Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge area. Originally catering toward careers in the armed forces, Fort Hamilton High has since developed strong college preparation offerings through 13 Advanced Placement Courses and diverse electives. Principal Daniel Vinson insists military-style discipline and liberal arts exploration can beautifully coalesce for well-rounded graduates.

“Our JROTC program administrated by active-duty Air Force officers instills focus and leadership but also choice on whether to pursue a service career,” Vinson explains. Cadets manage early morning drills and military history lessons while enjoying art, advanced sciences and world languages rounding out requisites for four-year colleges.

The statistics speak for themselves—while a portion of cadets enter military academies or enlist after graduation, over 80 percent of graduates head to two and four-year colleges. Alumni like former NASA Administrator Major General Charles Bolden and Troy Brown, Boston Red Sox baseball star, showcase how well-established values from Fort Hamilton High empower diverse pursuits.

Fort Hamilton High School by the Numbers:

  • Year Founded: 1941
  • Total Enrollment: ~2,100 across 9th-12th grades
  • Graduation Rate: 83%
  • Average SAT Score: ~1050

For youth seeking structure and leadership development anchored in military trappings plus strong college preparation, Fort Hamilton soars.

Brooklyn Latin School: Esteemed Liberal Arts Education Prepares Pupils for Elite College Scholarship

While most high schools teach core subjects like algebra, chemistry and European history as disparate disciplines, the pedagogical culture at Brooklyn Latin School interweaves these topics into an integrated dialogue. Modeled after the legendary Boston Latin founded in 1635, Brooklyn Latin provides classical training in liberal arts and sciences through critical dialogue centered around seminal “Great Books” by Plato, Locke and Hegel.

Rather than passive absorption of content through lectures or busy textbook work, teachers lead Socratic seminars through thorny philosophical excerpts. Students connect concepts across ethics, mathematics, governance and literature learning how spheres of understanding relate. By graduation, pupils demonstrate nimble perspective-taking and contextualization skills coveted in higher scholarship and leadership roles.

Head of School Dr. Jason Griffiths purposefully designed Brooklyn Latin’s rigorous curriculum to prepare students for elite college admissions and responsibly shape society. “We believe passionately that words and ideas matter,” Dr. Griffiths explains. “Our graduates will safeguard democracy and justice as future stewards.”

Indeed, with seven student teachers for every eight pupils plus required music, arts, even chess pursuits supplementing core academics, graduates enter prestigious universities already equipped for success. Brooklyn Latin proudly reports a 100 percent college acceptance rate—with most attending Ivy League or top-tier liberal arts programs including Yale, University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University.

Brooklyn Latin School by the Numbers:

  • Year Founded: 2006
  • Total Enrollment: ~675 across 7th-12th grades
  • Graduation Rate: 100%
  • Average SAT Score: ~1310

For philosophical pupils entering high school, Brooklyn Latin proffers profound opportunity to enter elite academic conversations with confidence.

Discovering Brooklyn‘s Best High School Fit for Your Teen

For Brooklyn parents like myself determining the right high school for our teens, insight on school offerings only provides part of the equation. We know our children uniquely—their true passions and learning styles determining success academically and into adulthood. Keep your teen’s personal goals and needs front and center when researching schools.

Schedule campus visits together to witness student and faculty dynamics in action. Many schools discussed in this piece offer open houses for prospective families. Attend academic fairs and events citywide to speak with representatives from various institutions.

Most importantly, include your teen in this discovery process. While parental wisdom guides this important choice, students themselves know their interests and aspirations best. Discuss what excites or concerns them about particular schools and programs.

Brooklyn boasts no shortage of incredible public and private high school options like the exemplars profiled above. Our exceptional borough overflows with diversity and excellence when it comes to secondary education. Trust yourself along with the child you know so intimately to discover the optimal match.

No matter what destination your teen embarks on after four years, they will thrive with such esteemed Brooklyn high school training behind them!

Wishing you and your scholar tremendous success,

[Your name] Education Reform Expert and Brooklyn Parent

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