James Madison High School

An Insideschools pick
3787 BEDFORD AVENUE
BROOKLYN NY 11229 Map
Phone: (718) 758-7200
Website: Click here
Admissions: neighborhood school/ed opt programs
Principal: Jodie Cohen
Neighborhood: Midwood
District:22
Grade range: 9-12
Parent Coordinator: LARAINE IZZO
Computer Science & Technology
Law & Government
Zoned
Wheelchair Accessible

Buses: B100, B2, B31, B44, B49, B7

What's special:

A wide variety of classes, activities and sports

The downside:

Few spaces for students who don't live in the school's zone

InsideSchools Review

Our review:

The alma mater of senators, a Supreme Court justice, Nobel Prize winners and Chris Rock, James Madison is a popular high school with a wide array of classes, sports and activities. Sometimes viewed as the weakest of Brooklyn's 3Ms -- the other two are Midwood and Murrow -- Madison has received mediocre scores for student progress and performance on recent school progress reports. But by most accounts, it is a safe, successful school with a high graduation rate and many enthusiastic staff members and students.

Although enrollment has shrunk from a high of 4,200 in 2006, with more than 3,000 students Madison still ranks among the city's biggest schools. It has a 9-period day with students coming and going at different times but no double sessions.

Most seats go to students living in the surrounding residential Midwood neighborhood though the school has two small programs called houses open to children from elsewhere in Brooklyn: Information Technology and Law. Both programs get many more students than they can admit; in 2013, 2,670 students applied for 34 seats in Information Technology. Zoned students also can select these programs.

Madison has six other houses, all with a guidance counselor and core of teachers to address students' interests and abilities. The International House has programs for English language learners and includes the school's many foreign language offerings: Spanish, Russian, Chinese, French and Italian. The Academy of Citizenship and Community Service offers instructional support, including a double period of English, for incoming students with low tests scores. Children in the zoned program select their academy upon admission to Madison with guidance from staff who consider grades, interests and needs. Students take many - but not all -- of their classes with others in their house.

"If a kid is motivated and wants to do well, this is a great school, and we try to motivate all kids," a counselor told us. But, she added, "If you're unhappy, you have to speak up."
Students participating in an open house for prospective students seemed enthusiastic, particularly about the specialties of their respective houses. Those in Information Technology, which attracts a large number of girls with an interest in computers, were particularly eager to discuss their studies.

Madison offers about a dozen Advanced Placement classes and a range of instrumental and vocal music and visual arts classes.

Students told us the school is not excessively difficult. "You just have to keep on task and stay focused," one 9th grade boy said. "There's not a lot of homework." Two junior girls, both in the law program, said the work can be difficult, but one added, "Teachers help you so you don't fail out of it."

In 2013, Jodie Cohen, who had been assistant principal of administration, became principal, replacing Joseph Gogliormella, a former Madison teacher who had served as principal since 2003.

Attendance is fairly high for a large high school, and the suspension rate low. Despite a spate of tabloid stories several years ago about alleged sexual improprieties by teachers, the school scores above average for safety and respect on its annual survey.

Students must pass through a metal detector, meaning, one girl said, they have to learn to get along without their cellphones. Two students told us they thought the school was too strict, citing a policy where students who are late to class are sent to a special room for that period.

After school: The school fields about 30 interscholastic varsity and junior varsity teams for boys and girls. Students stage a number of performances, including SING, a musical competition, and can participate in a variety of clubs.

Special education: Madison has team teaching and self-contained classes. Students with IEPs are placed in the Instructional Support House.

College admissions: Madison's college office is staffed by a full-time counselor. Different colleges visit the school every Wednesday and graduates go to a wide range of colleges.

Admission: Zoned school. Two programs accept students from elsewhere in Brooklyn. Information Technology has about 34 openings for incoming 9th graders, and the Law Institute has about 100 places. Applicants must have grades of at least 90 percent in major academic subjects, good attendance and have gotten a 3 or 4 on their 7th grade standardized tests. (Gail Robinson, November 2013. Open house, web reports and interviews.)

InsideStats

Click tabs above to see school stats

At a glance

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building

Number of Students 3055

Average Daily Attendance 91%

Uniforms? No

Metal detectors? Yes

Students at this school

Asian

  
21%

Black

  
17%

Hispanic

  
16%

White

  
46%

Free Lunch

  
61%

Special ed

  
13%

English Language Learners

  
13%

INCOMING STUDENTS' PROFICIENCY: 3.00 2.80 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

33 25 CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO STUDENTS LIKE THE TEACHERS?

How many students say their teachers inspire them to learn?

54% 63% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

DO TEACHERS LIKE THE PRINCIPAL?

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?

97% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

IS THIS SCHOOL SAFE?

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

70% 82% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

 
 

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

95% 77% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

HOW IS
ATTENDANCE?

How Many Students are Chronically Absent?

18% 38% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Who graduates

Class of 2013

How many 2009 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

75% 70% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2007 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

79% 78% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Previous Years

How many 2008 freshmen graduated within 4 years?

71% 66% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen earned an advanced regents diploma within 4 years?

25% 12% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2006 freshmen graduated within 6 years?

78% 75% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2008 freshmen dropped out within 4 years?

12% 11% 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?

12%

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

36%

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

41%

Are students ready for college?

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?

42% 27% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

SAT reading scores

450
414 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 496 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

How many 2009 freshmen graduated in four years and enrolled in college?

67%

SAT math scores

481
425 CITYWIDE AVERAGE 514 NATIONWIDE AVERAGE

Is the guidance counseling helpful?

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

68% 76% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Special ed & ELL

How well does this school serve students with disabilities?

How many special ed students starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

48% 45% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many special ed students starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

52% 53% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

88% 68% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

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

99% 89% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How well does this school serve English language learners?

How many English language learners starting school in 2008 graduated within 4 years?

40% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

How many English language learners starting school in 2006 graduated within 6 years?

58% CITYWIDE AVERAGE

Programs and Admissions

School admission priorities:

  1. Open to Brooklyn students or residents
  2. For Zoned Program only: priority to students who live in the zoned area

Source: High school directory

Law Institute

Screened

The Law Institute, a four-year Honors program, introduces students to legal concepts and terminology that include, but are not limited to, Constitutional Law, Criminology, International Law and Family Law.

Selection Criteria

  • English (85-100) , Math (85-100) , Science (85-100) , Social Studies (85-100)
  • Math Levels: 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 3-4

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Information Technology

Screened

Explore the world of technology through a challenging and comprehensive sequence of courses. Course of study includes: Computer Applications, Web Design, Graphic Arts/Digital Photography, Digital Music, Multimedia, Advanced Placement, Java, and Animation.

Selection Criteria

  • English (85-100) , Math (85-100) , Science (85-100) , Social Studies (85-100)
  • Math Levels: 3-4 ; English Language Arts Levels: 3-4

There may be additional selection criteria, see the High School Directory for more information

Zoned

Zoned

Academic Comprehensive Program.

Academics

AP COURCES: Biology, Calculus AB, Calculus BC, Chemistry, Computer Science A, Economics: Macro, Economics: Micro, English Language and Composition, English Literature and Composition, Government and Politics: United States, Spanish Language, Statistics, United States History, World History

Online: N/A

Language classes: Chinese, French, Italian, Russian, Spanish

Source: High school directory

Sports/Clubs

EXTRACURRICULAR: Arista, Cheerleaders and Boosters, Euro Challenge, Fidelitas, First Aide Club, Flag Squad, Key Club, Law Journal, Letters to Heroes, Marching Band, Math Honor Society, Math Team, Mock Trial, Model United Nations, Multicultural, Science Honor Society, Senior Yearbook, SING, Spring Musical, Step Team, The Challenge, The Mouse Squad, Twirlers, We the People

BOYS PSAL SPORTS: Baseball & JV Baseball, Basketball & JV Basketball, Cross Country, Football & JV Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

GIRLS PSAL SPORTS: Basketball & JV Basketball, Cross Country, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball & JV Softball, Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball & JV Volleyball

Other schools sports: N/A

Source: High school directory

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