Dear Survey readers,
It has been a while since you have had the opportunity to pick up a print issue of The Survey, leaf through its pages, maybe get a couple ink stains on your fingers, and learn about your community. Some of you may know, we’ve dedicated much of our effort this year to establishing and running our website, www.surveybths.com.
After 90 years of only producing print issues, this was obviously a new development for The Survey, one that excited many of the alumni we met at Homecoming on April 20th. Our online capabilities allow us to constantly improve and add to our content, as opposed to our previous system that relied solely on print.
However, the reason The Survey made this move to the online format was because we received news of our budget from the Student Government Organization in February of 2013, instead of September of 2012.
The SGO and its advisors need to be held accountable for this standstill in funding. I asked classmates in the SGO what was going on, and the response I got every time was vague and discursive. They had the money, but they were failing to appropriate it.
We depend mostly on the money we receive from the SGO to print our paper. The supplemental funds we raise ourselves do not suffice the cost of 2,000 print copies of one twelve-page issue.
You may have noticed that I said 2,000, when there is more than double that number of students in this school. The funding we receive limits us to that small amount, which leads to a lack of recognition of the newspaper.
Some people claim they have never heard of The Survey, but that’s because we have been limited to distributing copies through English classes, because the administration fears that handing them out by the school entrances or in the cafeteria would result in a mess. The English class system should theoretically work. Every student must have an English class each semester. But many English teachers do not want to deal with disrupting their classes to hand them out.
As you can tell, it was a great feat for us to get this 24-page issue out this year. The budget we received in February was just enough for us to create this issue. To make up for months of not printing, we decided to do a year-in-review section behind the May issue. In this section you will find articles we felt highlighted important events this year and were worthy of special publication.
On a different note, one of my first editorials as Editor in Chief was about what I saw, as a sophomore, as an apparent lack of school spirit. In late April, the US News & World Report released its rankings for the nation’s top public high schools. When I saw the headline on the Tech website, it reminded me of my editorial.
Tech is ranked at #69. Some may see that as high in comparison to our fellow specialized high schools, but this ranking is wholly based on numbers. As Principal Randy Asher notes in the website announcement, the system used to compile this ranking system disregards Tech’s “courses beyond Advanced Placement and our entire engineering program.”
Also, as one of the largest schools in the nation, Brooklyn Tech loses points because of its sheer size. Our student to teacher ratio is much larger than those of the schools ranked above us.
The Dallas School for the Gifted and Talented, which was given the honor of first place, has a student body of 240. Obviously, 240 students are easier to manage than 5,400. With 5,400 students, there is a greater statistical chance that grades will drop, fewer APs will be taken, and standardized test mastery won’t be achieved, all of which are factors taken into consideration by US News & World Report.
The methodology used and, as always, our size, are the reasoning for our ranking. This perennial issue on the growing enrollment numbers at Tech deserves its own editorial. A few sentences here do not do the topic any justice.
Take this ranking in stride and know that our school’s value isn’t be determined by its numbers. As Asher points out, the ranking doesn’t accurately reflect Tech’s best qualities.
Editor in Chief