Edward R. Murrow High School

An Insideschools pick
1600 AVENUE L
BROOKLYN NY 11230 Map
Phone: (718) 258-9283
Website: Click here
Admissions: educational option/audition
Principal: Allen Barge
Neighborhood: Midwood
District: 21
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: Rosalind De Innocentiis
Performing Arts
Visual Art & Design
Communications
Wheelchair Accessible
ESL Focus
Screened

Buses: B11, B49, B68, B9

What's special:

Huge variety of courses and activities; free student periods

The downside:

Overcrowding

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

Edward R. Murrow High School is a massive school that works. It is a diverse and inclusive place that serves a broad range of students who all benefit from the school’s impressive array of courses, facilities and specialized programs. Though known best for its music, theater and art departments, Murrow caters to all types of students: budding scientists, lawyers and entrepreneurs as well as insecure teens unsure of their interests and most recently, athletes. In 2012, Murrow introduced PSAL sports teams for the first time in the school’s history.

What the school does best is keep kids engaged by giving them lots of options and the space to explore them. A student, for instance, doesn’t have to choose between studying art and conducting science research or taking business courses. Students not enrolled in one of the arts programs still have access to arts classes and performance opportunities. There are roughly 18 Advanced Placement (AP) and a myriad of honors courses as well as class settings for students who are struggling. Rather than taking a traditional two-semester course, students needing extra support in classes such as algebra and living environment are taught the subjects over three semesters.

Instruction that we observed in core subjects reflected a mix of teaching styles. Group work and projects dominate in some classes, while teacher-directed lessons are the norm elsewhere. Regardless of the class structure, we saw a lot of teachers build in time for student discussion and reflection.

Students with qualifying grades and test scores may be considered for MSTAR (Murrow Science Technology and Research), the school’s honors math and science program that grooms students for the Intel Science Talent Search and other science competitions. Roughly 40 percent of students in MSTAR are also enrolled in one of the screened arts programs, according to the principal, Allen Barge, a longtime history teacher at Murrow who took over in 2012.

Students interested in business and computer applications can participate in Virtual Enterprise (VE), a certified CTE (Career and Technical Education) program where students run all facets of a mock company and participate in local and national VE competitions. Other themed programs include medicine, law, dance and writing.

Murrow’s performing and fine arts programs are topnotch and attract a lot of talented students. The music department hosts 10 performance groups ranging from gospel and madrigal choirs to concert, jazz and symphonic bands. Theatrical performances take place throughout the year in the school’s 980-seat main theater, and the more intimate black box theater—both equipped with professional lighting and sound technology that are maintained by students in the technical theater program. Students create the sets and costumes for all theatrical performances and run the school’s box office. Visual arts studios and classes abound; a lot of impressive student artwork is on display throughout the building.

Despite overcrowding, the school manages to maintain a complex scheduling structure. Though scheduling conflicts are inevitable, in general students are not locked into a set of courses, and locked out of others because of the program they’re admitted to in 9th grade. Classes meet four times a week at different times on different days, each for 50-minute periods called “bands.” Students have free bands built into their schedules to give them time to relax, work independently and collaborate with their peers.

Classes in Murrow's seven gyms range from martial arts to yoga, and a newly updated television production room hosts film and broadcasting classes. Environmental science classes, after-school clubs and the hydroponics program make use of the school’s greenhouse. Astronomy, one of the school’s most popular classes, is taught in the state-of-the-art planetarium which draws a live data feed from the American Museum of Natural History’s Rose Center for Earth and Space. Many students spend their free time in the school’s student center, where there’s plenty of space for students to socialize, eat, work, relax or even play a game of ping pong or air hockey.

An eclectic mix of more than 50 student clubs and activities ensures there’s something for everyone. Students also participate in all kinds of competitions including art, performance, writing, math and mock trial. Murrow’s chess team is among the best in the country and routinely wins or ranks high in local, state and national championships. The school plans to add more PSAL sports.

There’s a dedicated college office and starting in the 11th grade guidance counselors visit classes to walk juniors through the college admissions process. Graduating students go on to CUNY and SUNY schools as well as highly selective private colleges and universities. Schools such as Cooper Union, Parsons, Pratt, School of Visual Arts and Rhode Island School of Design are popular among visual and fine arts students.

Special education: Murrow has self-contained and ICT classes, SETSS, physical and occupational therapy and adaptive physical education classes. There is an alternative assessment program that provides life skills and academic instruction for special needs students who are unable to take a traditional academic load because of severe disabilities. Special classes and push-in support are provided to English language learners (ELLs). Bilingual instruction is provided for native Spanish and Mandarin Chinese speakers.

Admissions:  Open to Brooklyn students and residents. Students are admitted to the communications arts program via the educational option formula. Those who live in the school’s zone are guaranteed admission if they list Murrow first on the application. The arts programs require an audition or special application. Bilingual instruction programs are open to native Mandarin Chinese and Spanish speakers only. (Laura Zingmond, November 2014)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 3968

Average Daily Attendance 92%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? No

Students at this school

Asian

  
27%

Black

  
23%

Hispanic

  
22%

White

  
27%

Free Lunch

  
62%

Special ed

  
17%

English Language Learners

  
8%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 2.72 2.40 CITYWIDE AVERAGE


1 = Far below grade level 2 = Below grade level 3 = At grade level 4 = Above grade level

Safety & vibe

ARE CLASSES BIG?

Number of students in an average english class

31 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

60% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

88% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

How many students say they feel safe in hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?

80% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained in the school?

85% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

19% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2014

How many students graduated within 4 years?

81% 73% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

85% 80% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many students graduated within 4 years?

78% 65% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

29% 11% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated within 6 years?

82% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many graduates dropped out within 4 years?

5% 10% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

College prep

Does this school offer a college preparatory curriculum?

How many students took an AP or IB class and scored at least a "3" on the AP exam or a "4" on the IB exam?

23%

How Many Students took a College Course and Got a "C" or Higher?

37%

How many students passed a Regents exam for algebra 2, physics or chemistry?

36%

Are students ready for college?

How many students graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

45% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

475
418 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 497 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many students graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

80% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT math scores

499
426 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 513 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

How many students say that this school provides helpful counseling on college or job-seeking?

67% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students graduated within 4 years?

45% 47% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students graduated within 6 years?

49% 54% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many students with disabilities spend most of the day with non-disabled peers?

57% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many teachers say students with disabilities are included in all activities?

97% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners graduated within 4 years?

37% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners graduated within 6 years?

56% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. For Audition Programs only: Open to Brooklyn students or residents
  2. For K57A only: a. Priority to residents in Brooklyn Area A (beginning at the intersection of Bedford Avenue and LIRR to Avenue P to Coney Island Avenue, to Avenue K, to East 16th Street, to Avenue J, to East 15th Street to LIRR, to point of origin) b. Then to residents in Brooklyn Area B c. Then to Brooklyn students or residents
  3. For K57B only: Open only to students whose home language is Chinese (Mandarin)
  4. For K57C only: Open only to students whose home language is Spanish

Source: High school directory

Communication Arts

Ed. Opt.

Advanced Placement and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers.

Bilingual Chinese (Mandarin) Communication Arts

Screened: Language

Same program as listed above but taught in Bilingual Chinese (Mandarin).

Bilingual Spanish Communication Arts

Screened: Language

Same program as listed above but taught in Bilingual Spanish.

Vocal Music

Audition

A discipline-based music education that includes large ensemble, small ensemble, solo performance and musicianship training.

Fine and Visual Arts

Audition

A discipline-based visual art education which includes drawing, painting, sculpture, mixed media, digital media, fashion, art history and portfolio development.

Instrumental Music

Audition

A discipline-based music education that includes large ensemble, small ensemble, solo performance training and musicianship.

Studio Theatre

Audition

A sequential course of study focusing on acting, scene study, dramatic literature, playwriting, and performance.

Academics

AP COURSES: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Environmental Science, European History, French Language and Culture, Human Geography, Macroeconomics, Music Theory, Physics B, Physics C: Electricity and Magnetism, Physics C: Mechanics, Spanish Language and Culture, Spanish Literature and Culture, Statistics, United States Government and Politics, United States History

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: The Magnet Literary Magazine, 'The Network' Newspaper, Anime, ASPIRA, Big Brother Big Sister, Holiday Concert, Chess Team, Council for Unity, Debate Team, Directors' and Playwright's Workshop, Girls Learn International, Guitar Fest, Intel Science Talent Search, Italian-American Association, Key Club, Leadership Council, Math Team, Mecca, Mock Trial, Moot Court, Murrow Cares (Charity Drives), Murrow Speakers' Bureau, National Honor Society, Peer Mediation/Conflict Resolution, Photography and Digital Art, Poets' Corner, SING, Student Alliance, Technical Theatre (Stage Crew), Two Dramatic Productions, Two Musical Productions, Virtual Enterprise, Vocal Fest, Vocal Tech, We The People, Winter and Spring Concerts, Yearbook; Students can choose to join over 50 different clubs and organizations

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Cross Country, Volleyball

Other schools sports: We offer a variety of after-school recreational and athletic activities, e.g. Badminton, Basketball, Cricket, Soccer, Volleyball, Weight Training

Source: High school directory

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