Franklin K. Lane High School

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Franklin K. Lane High School
Franklin K. Lane High School
999 Jamaica Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11208
Cypress Hills
Brooklyn, New York, Queens/Brooklyn, 11208
United States
Coordinates 40°41′35″N 73°52′08″W / 40.693°N 73.869°W / 40.693; -73.869Coordinates: 40°41′35″N 73°52′08″W / 40.693°N 73.869°W / 40.693; -73.869
School board New York City Department of Education
School number K420
Principal Marlon D. Bynum
Enrollment 3536
Campus Urban
Mascot Knights

Franklin K. Lane High School (FKLHS) is a defunct public high school in New York City, United States.

The school was administered by the New York City Department of Education as H.S. 420. Today the school is the campus site for five different high schools: The Academy of Innovative Technology, The Brooklyn Lab School, Cypress Hill Prep Academy, The Urban Assembly School for Collaborative Healthcare, and Multicultural High School.


The campus is located in Brooklyn at the bottom of a steep hill at the corner of Dexter Court and Jamaica Avenue. The school is named for Franklin Knight Lane, United States Secretary of the Interior during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson.[1] The county line separating Kings (Brooklyn) and Queens counties divides the school in half, running along Eldert Lane from Atlantic Avenue, through the school and the cemetery in front of it.

The high school is named for the American Democratic politician. He served as Secretary of the Interior (1913–1920) during the administration of President Woodrow Wilson. One of the accomplishments of his tenure was the formation of the National Park Service.[1]

At the time Franklin K. Lane High School was built, it was one of the largest high school buildings in the world. Each of the four floors is one-quarter mile; walking four times around one floor equals one mile.

The school building was a project of the WPA during the Roosevelt Administration.

The boys' large gymnasium is named for 1938 alumnus William "Red" Holzman. The library is named for Sam Levenson, another alumnus, Class of 1930. The Guidance Suite of offices is named for Franklin Thomas, former President of the Ford Foundation and a graduate of Lane High School.

During the 1960s/1970s, Franklin K. Lane High School fell on hard times. A large part of this period was documented in " RACE WAR IN HIGH SCHOOL: The Ten Year Destruction of Franklin K. Lane High School in Brooklyn," a book By Harold Saltzman, a social studies teacher and union leader at the school during that period. Parents and teachers brought a legal action in regard to the racial imbalance and poor performance at FKLHS. In 1974 Judge John Dooling of the Federal Court's Southern District of New York ruled that education at the school was inferior and ruled that the school racial imbalance was to be addressed by redistricting and redesigning the school program. The "new" Franklin K. Lane opened in September 1976 with a 40% white, 30% Hispanic and 30% African-American student body. The school thrived for a period and became known in some circles as "the miracle on Jamaica Avenue".

In 1978, Franklin K. Lane High School was one of ten schools across the nation cited by the United States Congress in the Safe School Study. The school was included in many case studies produced by the United States Government as well as private foundations, for its turnaround and for its safety in the midst of urban decline and deterioration.

In the 1970s and 1980s numerous programs were available to assist and enhance students' academic performance: College Bound Program, Career Development Program (CDP), Co-Op Program, Study to Employment Program, (STEP), and Toward Upward Mobility Program (TUM). To address the problems of students with difficulty attending school, the SOAR program was initiated and recognized by the Federal Government for excellence. The school's General Equivalency Diploma (GED) program was one of the most successful in the city with a code of 421. Later, a parent suit brought into question the school's methods of counseling students who were not attending classes regularly. Eventually, these disruptive students were allowed to attend the school again, causing security problems. During the 1980s and 1990s, the school's magnet Law Studies Program attracted students from various parts of New York City, some of whom went on to attend prestigious universities, such as Columbia, Cornell, NYU, and Syracuse. Some of Lane's Honors Program alumni also fared well.

On March 8, 2004, the NY Daily News front page headline "City's Worst School" led to a story in the newspaper regarding the poor academic performance, low graduation rates, violence and students transferring out in large numbers due to those problems. In December 2007, the Department of Education announced that Franklin K. Lane would be phased out due to consistently poor performance. The school stopped accepting 9th graders in 2007 and graduated last seniors in 2012. Not all of the replacement schools have received acceptable ratings.


Ethnic Group Percentage
Hispanics 52%
Blacks 43%
Asians 4%
Whites 0%
Native Americans 1%

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Franklin K. Lane". Institute of Governmental Studies. Retrieved January 27, 2009 
  2. ^ "Franklin S. Lane (Brooklyn,NY) Baseball". The Baseball Cube. Retrieved February 14, 2011. 
  3. ^ Berkow, Ira. "Red Holzman, Hall of Fame Coach, Dies at 78", The New York Times, November 15, 1998. Accessed September 15, 2008.


External links[edit]