Frederick Douglass Academy IV Secondary School

Phone: (718) 574-2820
Website: Click here
Admissions: selective
Principal: Elvin Crespo
Neighborhood: Bushwick
District: 16
Grade range: 08 thru 12
Parent coordinator: JOYCE OATES

What's special:

College prep school modeled on the original FDA in Harlem

The downside:

No permanent home yet; new teaching staff

Middle School Stats


High School Stats


Our review

Frederick Douglass Academy IV was founded in 2002 modelled after the rigorous and respected original Frederick Douglass Academy. The goal of the FDAs, as the schools are known, is to prepare high-performing kids from poor neighborhoods for college. Students wear smart navy blue uniforms blazers, scarves for girls and ties for boys, gray trousers or skirts. Everybody recites the school's creed in the morning.

Housed on the third floor of PS 26, a small elementary school, FDA IV opened with selective admissions for 6th graders and met with early success. It grew a grade each year, and more than 90 percent of the first class of 12th-graders graduated in 2009.

However, rapid turnover of teachers and administrators -- there were three principals in the two years prior to 2010-2011 school year - along with subpar attendance and safety and discipline problems have dogged the school.

Founding principal Marion Bowden resigned in a cloud in 2009 after the state cited her for having inadequate facilities for special education students. Five weeks into the 2010 school year, students were still without textbooks, the Daily News reported. The interim principal assigned to replace Bowden retired and Elvin Crespo took over as principal.

The high school's graduation rate dropped to 73 percent in 2010 and then to 65 percent in 2011. Average high school attendance fell below 80 percent; middle school attendance, at 90 percent in 2011, was lower than the city average. Standardized test scores fell significantly between 2009-2011. Half of the teachers said there was trouble maintaining order and discipline at the school, according to the 2011 Learning Environment Survey. Parents complained about the revolving door in the principal's office.

In 2011, citing failing marks on the middle school's Progress Report and low scores on standardized exams, the Department of Education decided to phase out the middle school. The high school will remain but after the 2013-2014 school year, there will be no more FDA IV middle school students.

Madiba Prep Middle School opened in the building in 2012.

Admissions: No new admits for 6th grade. Priority for continuing 8th-graders for high school, then Brooklyn students who attend an information sessions. (Pamela Wheaton, web reports, March 2012)


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