By Demetrios Ventouratos
Brooklyn Technical High School is the largest high school in New York City and the tenth largest in the whole country. Brooklyn Tech is so large in fact, that if all the students lived within the school it could be classified as not one, but two urban clusters. According to the US Census Bureau, an urban cluster is basically an urban area of greater than 2,500 people and less than 50,000 people. In simpler terms, Brooklyn Tech could be considered an urban city. Tech is also over half the population of the lowest populated country, Tuvalu, a small island in the Pacific Ocean with a population of 9,876 people.
As I have established, Brooklyn Tech is a huge high school, but is that a good thing? The enormous size means that the average class size would be larger than a standard high school, but it also means that teachers and staff are less likely to know all the students, and students are less likely to know their entire graduating class. When asked about the size of the school, Alexander Mitrofanov’17 says that, “I kind of wish that our school was a little bit smaller so I could know more people from our grade.” While on the other side of things, students like Sadat Tashin’17 state that, “Tech gives us more room to socialize with other students.” Though different students have different perspectives, Sadat’s idea seems to be particularly on point considering that having more students creates more opportunities to socialize and form close knit groups. The raw size of tech also allows anyone to find a club or group of people who have similar preferences or niches. However, Alexander’s argument still holds ground in that students and faculty are not as closely connected as they would be in a smaller high school.
Outside the realm of socializing, Brooklyn Tech provides great educational opportunities and college readiness which are attributed as advantages to being a large school. A myriad of AP classes are offered to students within a diverse set, ranging from the common courses of AP English Language and Composition and AP United States History, to the less common AP Principles of Computer Science. Other than the AP classes, interesting classes like Sociology, Organic Chemistry, and Criminal law are offered through the major system. The reason why so many courses can exist is due in part to our large student population. The school is comprised of about 5,500 students, so even if 1% of them are interested in a subject or club, a class or club could still exist around it. In smaller schools of 100 students, a class like AP Spanish or AP Chemistry would be hard to institute because around ten to twenty students need to be interested. That’s a larger percentage of the student population of a small school when compared to the percentage of the student population of Brooklyn Tech, thus making it unlikely that enough students would register to take the class.
Despite the complaints about Brooklyn Tech’s large student body, the large population still stands as a benefit to the school. It allows for more diversity in the subjects taught, in the clubs that can exist, and in the types of people an individual could meet. Ultimately, Brooklyn Tech assembles a unique out of its large and diverse population among the other high schools of New York City.