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High School Guide: The specialized Elite 8

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High School Guide: The specialized Elite 8

New York City’s eight specialized high schools consistently rank among the best-performing secondary schools in the nation. Each year, around 25,000 of the city’s top students sit for the Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT), the standardized test that is the sole criterion for admission to these “elite eight.” Offers are extended to the 4,798 of them who score highest.

BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE

75 West 205th St., The Bronx
Enrollment: 2,936
Four-year graduation rate: 100%

With a world-record eight Nobel Prize winners among its illustrious alumni, this legendary high school’s designation as a “Historic Physics Site” by the American Physical Society is well-earned. Top students flock to Bronx Science for its 26 AP courses, but that’s just the beginning: An extensive slate of “post-AP” classes like advanced genetics, games development, actuarial mathematics, and quantitative analysis is waiting for highly accomplished students. Independent research in all disciplines is encouraged via a three-year sequence of courses that support students as they formulate, develop and publish original projects in sociology, economics, psychology, engineering, astrophysics and other social and physical science disciplines. A huge array of extracurriculars include some that would be unimaginable anywhere else, like clubs dedicated to parthenogenesis research and topological crochet. More than 40 sports teams, including volleyball, fencing, and girls’ flag football, keep students’ bodies as active as their minds.

BROOKLYN LATIN SCHOOL

223 Graham Ave., Brooklyn
Enrollment: 808
Four-year graduation rate: 97%

The Brooklyn Latin School stands apart as the only one of the “elite eight” that requires uniforms (khaki pants or skirts, white shirts, and striped purple neckties), and the only one that mandates four years of Latin as part of a classical curriculum rooted in declamation and rhetoric. Only Brooklyn Latin students call one another “discipulus” and call out greetings of “salve!” as they walk through the atria (not the hallways) to get to their next class. And only Brooklyn Latin skips AP courses altogether in favor of the challenging International Baccalaureate program, which all students — sorry, discipuli — follow. In 2019, 49 percent of graduating seniors earned an IB diploma after completing hours of community service and a capstone project or research paper. After class, kids compete on nine sports teams, including intramural badminton and PSAL volleyball, and participate in clubs like Stoked, which sponsors skateboarding and snowboarding activities and helps members build their own hand-tooled skateboards.

Brooklyn Technical High School is the nation’s largest specialized high school for STEM education.
J.C. Rice

BROOKLYN TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL

29 Ft. Greene Pl., Brooklyn
Enrollment: 5,921
Four-year graduation rate: 96%

The nation’s largest specialized high school for STEM education celebrates its centennial in 2022. Nearly 6,000 gifted students pack the halls of Brooklyn Tech’s massive nine-story building, which occupies most of a full city block in downtown Brooklyn. Almost all of them participate in the school’s extensive AP program — billed as the world’s largest — which offers 30 different classes. A unique college-like system guides sophomores to choose one of 19 majors, each with a demanding list of required courses, that helps them earn special certifications in fields like mechatronics and robotics, law, architecture and media. Specialty classrooms, including a fully functioning mock-trial courtroom and an aerospace lab equipped with flight simulators, cater to these academic concentrations. Kids are just as active after school, with 187 clubs and activities — everything from anatomy to ukulele, aerospace to yoga — to choose from. Cricket, stunt (competitive cheerleading), golf and swimming (which takes advantage of the in-house four-lane pool) are just a few of the school’s 37 PSAL sports teams.

HIGH SCHOOL OF AMERICAN STUDIES AT LEHMAN COLLEGE

2925 Goulden Ave., The Bronx
Enrollment: 382
Four-year graduation rate: 100%

The smallest of the city’s specialized high schools is the only one dedicated to the study of history, and it’s one of the toughest to enter. In 2019, nearly 16,800 eighth-graders applied for HSAS’s 124 seats, a staggering 135-to-1 ratio. Once they arrive at the cozy school building at the edge of CUNY’s Lehman College campus, students find an atmosphere that’s more cooperative than competitive, where no one goes unnoticed. HSAS scholars devote three years to an intense chronological study of American history, culminating in the AP US History test, as well as two years of AP World History and required courses in government and economics. Throughout, they rely on primary source documents (often drawn from Lehman’s Leonard Lief Library, to which they have free access) to understand history from multiple points of view. The result: College-level skills in research and analysis. Regular trips to key historical sites in NYC and throughout the northeast enrich their writing and research. Juniors and seniors can take credit-bearing college classes and seminars at Lehman College.

HIGH SCHOOL FOR MATH, SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING AT CCNY

240 Convent Ave., Manhattan
Enrollment: 496
Four-year graduation rate: 100%

Students at tight-knit HSMSE tackle a challenging math-based curriculum within the imposing stone walls of Baskerville Hall, a castle-like fortress of learning at the edge of the City College campus in Harlem. All freshmen and sophomores take the first two years of the school’s nationally validated preengineering program, which encompasses design and drawing, civil engineering and architecture; most take German, the language of science, to fulfill their four-year foreign language requirement. Sophomores choose a major concentration — higher mathematics, biomedical research or advanced engineering — as their area of focus for their last two years. The selective biomedical program leads some students to internships in cardiology, oncology, obstetrics or the autopsy suite at Mount Sinai Hospital; engineering majors can snag paid research slots at CCNY’s Grove School of Engineering. Running is the sport of choice: The “Flying Dragons” cross-country and track team attracts more than 10 percent of the student body, making it the school’s top extracurricular activity. Two dozen clubs, including groups devoted to chess, baking, photography and Rubik’s Cube, also keep kids busy.

The Post's guide to the best public high schools in the city.
The Post’s guide to the best elite high schools in the city.

QUEENS HIGH SCHOOL FOR THE SCIENCES AT YORK COLLEGE

94-50 159th St., Queens
Enrollment: 511
Four-year graduation rate: 100%

Students have the run of CUNY’s York College campus when they attend this Jamaica school, with access to its food court, pool, library, gym, theater, labs and College Now courses in psychology, sociology, genetics and more. The close relationship also gives QHSS students the chance to assist York College professors with research projects. The science- and math-heavy curriculum of QHSS aims to prepare students for college and career in a small setting where no one is lost in the crowd; it boasts a 100 percent AP participation rate, with 17 AP classes on offer. Most students here are bilingual, the children of recent immigrants from more than a dozen countries, including India, Korea, China, Russia and Pakistan. The school’s 31 clubs reflect that diversity: Groups like the K-pop Club, 1000 for Yemen, and QHSS Taalam encourage students to share their cultures with one another. PSAL sports include swimming, handball and bowling.

STATEN ISLAND TECHNICAL HIGH SCHOOL

485 Clawson St., Staten Island
Enrollment: 1,336
Four-year graduation rate: 100%

Bright minds from Staten Island, south Brooklyn and beyond are drawn to this lively, crowded New Dorp school, where kids pursue both the arts and the sciences with a passion. About a third of the student body joins one or more of the school’s seven music ensembles, and nearly half of the entire school typically participates in SING, the annual student-run musical theater project. The challenging college prep curriculum is centered on math — everyone takes four years of it, including calculus, plus two years of preengineering coursework — and applied science, with a full roster of AP classes in physics, biology and more. Uniquely, the school offers only Russian as its foreign language, making it one of the largest secondary Russian language programs in the nation. With a commitment to work-based, hands-on learning, Tech makes extensive use of its makerspace/business incubator lab and forges community partnerships that give students real-world experience. This fall, students investigated actual unsolved cold cases with the Staten Island District Attorney’s office.

Stuyvesant High School
Stuyvesant High School is the nation’s best-known specialized high school.
Helayne Seidman

STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL

345 Chambers St., Manhattan
Enrollment: 3,342
Four-year graduation rate: 99%

The nation’s best-known specialized high school resides in a 10-story building overlooking the Hudson River in lower Manhattan. Founded in 1904, Stuyvesant is dedicated to the formation of the nation’s up-and-coming engineers, mathematicians and research scientists, but doesn’t skimp on the humanities. The 27 AP classes on offer cover subjects like music theory and studio art, as well as advanced physics and calculus. New this year is a reduced homework policy designed to ease stress within the high-achieving student body as kids return from a strained year of remote learning. With a 30-minute daily assignment limit for each class, they now have more time to compete on Stuyvesant’s 42 PSAL sports teams — from badminton to volleyball and everything in between — and to dive into its impressive array of 200-plus extracurricular activities, including unusual choices like paper craft, henna, entomology and true crime clubs. Stuy students frequently win honors of all sorts: Last year, one senior won the national Genes in Space contest with his proposal for a medical experiment to be run on the International Space Station.

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

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Sports world reacts to John Madden’s death

Legendary NFL coach and broadcaster John Madden died Tuesday morning at 85, the NFL announced. News of the football icon’s passing hit Twitter on Tuesday evening, and athletes, coaches and broadcasters from across the sports world reacted.

Fellow broadcasting legend Dick Vitale, who is currently battling cancer, called Madden “the greatest analyst of all time of any sport” in his Twitter tribute.

Former Yankees pitcher and notable Raiders fan CC Sabathia said “your legacy will live forever.” Madden coached the then-Oakland Raiders from 1969-78, a couple of years before Sabathia, a Vallejo, California native, was born. Lakers star LeBron James had similar words about Madden’s lasting legacy, adding an infinity emoji.

Former tennis star and social justice activist Billie Jean King recalled meeting Madden as a “privilege.”

Radio voice of the Rangers Kenny Albert, a five-sport broadcaster who’s been with FOX Sports since its inception in 1994, shared a photo circa 26 years ago to remember Madden.

ESPN’s Bomani Jones took a bit of a shot at current color commentators, noting that Madden “set an unreachable standard.”

Frank Caliendo, who’s made a career out of impersonations, including one for Madden, said he was surprised how emotional he felt.

Several football players, and others, including Saints running back Mark Ingram II and former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant, credited Madden with being part of the reason why they love football.

Rams wide receiver and NFL MVP contender Cooper Kupp quote the late coach in his tribute: “The road to Easy Street goes through the sewer.”

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

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Miles McBride’s Knicks role will lessen with Kemba Walker’s resurgence

MINNEAPOLIS — The Knicks got back another body in rookie point guard Miles McBride, who was cleared from protocols Tuesday and rejoined the team in Minnesota.

But there is no longer any hype for the rookie’s return. Kemba Walker is back as the starting point guard and coming off winning Eastern Conference Player of the Week honors with four standout games, including his Christmas Day spectacular. The Knicks have gone 2-2 since Walker regained the starting job.

“It’s great,’’ coach Tom Thibodeau said. “He had a great week. He’s playing great basketball. The team winning helps him get recognized and he was a big part of driving that winning. It’s great for the team.’’

McBride was also spectacular in his last outing before getting COVID-19, when he played the entire second half Dec. 16 in Houston and seemingly earned a spot in the rotation. In fact, McBride had strung together two decent outings before he was ruled out. But things have changed since his emergence and McBride is likely back to being a bit player.

Without a practice, McBride wasn’t even expected to see time when the Knicks faced the Timberwolves to kick off a four-game road trip.

Miles McBride
NBAE via Getty Images

Of course, with Walker’s arthritic knee, anything is possible. The Knicks play Detroit on Wednesday in a back-to-back, so it’s uncertain whether Walker will complete both contests. In addition, Immanuel Quickley is out of COVID-19 protocols but Thibodeau wasn’t sure he was ready for meaningful minutes.

That left Walker against the depleted Timberwolves, who were missing their three top players (Anthony Edwards, Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell), all because of COVID-19 .

Kemba Walker
Kemba Walker
USA TODAY Sports

When McBride got sidelined by the virus and Derrick Rose needed ankle surgery, Walker was resurrected by Thibodeau and it’s been a stunning comeback story.

Though Thibodeau has clear reservations about Walker based on his nine-game banishment due to his defensive malaise as an undersized point guard, he admitted after the Christmas Day triple-double against Atlanta that Walker is playing “much more aggressive.”

Walker’s triple-double that featured 10 points, 12 assists and 10 rebounds was a lot different than his prior outing, when he scored 44 points against Washington.

“I thought his passing was terrific,’’ Thibodeau said before the Knicks resumed their schedule.

“Kemba had control of the game. The game tells you what to do. That’s what I loved about the way he played. I don’t think he forced anything. They puts size on him and were aggressive in their pick-and-roll coverage. He didn’t fight it. He attacked pressure the way you like to attack pressure. You don’t fight pressure with pressure. Don’t try to split it. Get rid of it, go to the backside. Let the game tell you what to do.’’

The Knicks coach is finally seeing all the elements of what Walker can do. Before his demotion, Walker was nothing more than a no-defense, 3-point shooter whose plus-minus was an abysmal minus-122.

Thibodeau was also concerned about his durability in sitting out two of the three back-to-back sets. The last load management game in Atlanta in late November triggered Thibodeau’s decision.

But now it’s only superlatives from Thibodeau in judging the last four games.

“Sometimes it’s going to be his shooting, sometimes it’s his penetration and getting in the paint to force a collapse and sometimes they’re being aggressive with their traps get rid of the ball quickly,’’ Thibodeau said. “The overall play, his rebounding. When your guards rebound, those are key to fast breaks. The more guard rebounding we get the better we can be. ‘’

The Knicks still have three players in protocols — centers Nerlens Noel and Jericho Sims and the newly infected Wayne Selden. Quickley and Kevin Knox were cleared on Christmas but were held out for conditioning.

No matter. The Knicks go as Kemba goes.

“He’s much more aggressive,’’ Thibodeau said. “That was the challenge. At the beginning of the year he and Evan were two new starters. Sometimes guys are trying to fit in. he’s being very aggressive which is the way we want him to play. Not deferring at all. When he and Julius [Randle] are aggressive like that our team is different.’’

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Bar raises dramatically for Zach Wilson in matchup with Tom Brady, Buccaneers

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Zach Wilson and Tom Brady

When Zach Wilson stares across the MetLife Stadium field at the opposite sideline this Sunday, it won’t be Trevor Lawrence he’ll be looking at as his game-day counterpart.

Lawrence, drafted by Jacksonville one spot before the Jets selected Wilson at No. 2 overall last April, is a contemporary.

This Sunday at MetLife, the Jets rookie quarterback won’t be staring at a contemporary on the other sideline. He’ll be staring at the GOAT.

Tom Brady.

The bar raises dramatically for Wilson and the Jets, who are coming off of their feel-good, get-well win over the woeful Jaguars and Lawrence this past Sunday.

Brady and Buccaneers, who are 11-4, NFC South division champions and seeking to repeat as Super Bowl champions, play the Jets, who are 4-11 and seeking more signs of development from their rookie quarterback.

To say this is a step up in competition for Wilson and the Jets going from Lawrence and the Jags to Brady and the Bucs is as obvious as pointing out that Tampa Bay receiver Antonio Brown has had a few off-the-field incidents during his otherwise stellar NFL career.

There hasn’t been a lot to keep the interest of the Jets fan this season — other than watching Wilson’s development. That took an unfortunate pause for the four games Wilson missed with a knee injury, but he’s been back for five games and has looked like a better quarterback, throwing only two interceptions in those games (none in the last three) since returning from his injury.

The problem, though, is that Wilson hasn’t been producing enough touchdowns, throwing for three of them and rushing for four others in the past five games.

Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
Zach Wilson and Tom Brady
N.Y. Post: Charles Wenzelberg; AP

Baby steps, though.

Wilson was the better quarterback this past Sunday when matched up with Lawrence, who threw for more yards than Wilson did, but Wilson ran for 91 yards, including his electric 52-yard scoring jaunt, and made key throws when he needed them.

Wilson will not win Sunday’s game against Brady and the Bucs throwing for the 102 yards he had against the Jaguars. He and the Jets will need more.

Consider this: Brady enters the game having thrown 37 TD passes and for 4,580 yards this season and averages a league-high 305.2 passing yards per game.

Then this: The Buccaneers average 29.5 points per game this season, second most in the NFL.

And this: Wilson doesn’t have a single 300-yard passing game, averages 183 passing yards per game and has thrown seven TD passes in 11 games.

Seven TD passes is a pedestrian two-game total for Brady.

Wilson and the Jets are playing with house money anyway in what always has been a developmental season, so Sunday against Brady should, at its very least, be a great measuring-stick learning experience for Wilson, who’s studied Brady on tape.

Wilson revealed this month that he watched film of Brady before the Jets played the Eagles on Dec. 5 in an effort to pick up tips on how Brady worked against the Eagles defense when he played them earlier in the season.

“I thought it was really cool to see kind of how he went through his whole process, how he navigated the pocket, different things like that,” Wilson said at the time.

On Sunday, Wilson gets to see that process up close as Brady tries to dissect a Jets defense that has yielded 29.9 points per game this season, the most in the NFL.

That puts an added onus on Wilson to produce on the other side of the ball, because he knows Brady is going to get his. Wilson will likely need to produce four TDs — any way he can — for the Jets to simply remain competitive with the Super Bowl champs.

That’s a lot to ask of a 22-year-old kid who’s produced just 11 TDs in his 11 starts, up against Brady, who’s thrown 618 TD passes and for 83,784 yards in his remarkable career.

It, too, is a lot to ask playing against an aggressive Tampa Bay defense that’s ranked No. 9 in the NFL in points allowed (20.8 per game) and is led by former Jets head coach Todd Bowles, who’d surely like to send a holiday message to his former employer.

If you don’t think Bowles will be blitzing the bejesus out of Wilson, then you probably think Antonio Brown is a living saint.

The good news for the Jets is that Wilson has shown incremental improvements, particularly when it comes to his decision-making and quicker releases on his throws.

“He’s coming along, he’s getting more comfortable, he’s calmer back there,’’ Jets coach Robert Saleh said Monday. “He’s in a great headspace and it’s going to be fun to watch him grow, continue to grow.’’

A big part of that growth will take place this Sunday as he watches the GOAT operate from the opposite sideline at MetLife.

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