Medgar Evers College Preparatory School

Grades 6-12
Staff Pick
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What’s Special

Fast-paced academics for hard-working kids

The Downside

Some may prefer less test prep, more class discussion

Our Review

Medgar Evers College Preparatory School offers a super-fast-paced curriculum, a wide array of Advanced Placement classes, and an unusually large program devoted to the study of Mandarin. A source pride in the African-American community, this combined middle and high school sends its graduates both to the Ivy League and to historically black colleges such as Howard University and Spelman College.

Longtime Principal Michael Wiltshire boasts that children begin their high school studies almost soon as they arrive in 6th grade; many pass Regents exams in Algebra 1, Geometry, Living Environment,  US History and Global History before they finish 8th grade. “By the time they get to 10th grade, they have finished their high school requirements,” says Wiltshire, who has a doctorate in math education. That gives students ample time to take Advanced Placement classes (21 are offered) or classes at Medgar Evers College next door; some even earn an associate’s degree.

All 6th, 7th and 8th graders take Mandarin, and many continue in the high school. There are four Chinese teachers who offer what Wiltshire calls the largest non-heritage Mandarin program in the city—that is, a program for students who are not of Chinese ancestry. At the time of our visit, 10 students had just won scholarships from the Asia Society to study in Beijing for the summer.

Students in grades 6 to 9 commit to a six-week long summer school, which is designed to give them a head start on their demanding studies. Children typically have two to three hours of homework a night and some attend extra tutoring sessions after school and on Saturday.

On our visit, we saw a lively Chinese class in which children sang songs in Mandarin. A drama class recited Gwendolyn Brook’s poem “We Real Cool.”  A physics class studied resistance and circuits. A history class discussed America’s disillusionment after World War I. An English class read excerpts from the Hindu epic “Mahabharata.” Most of the classes have desks in rows, with the teacher at the front delivering instruction.

“We really are a traditional high school,” says Wiltshire.

The school’s strength is in math and science, with AP classes offered in physics, chemistry, environmental science, calculus, statistics and computer science. The high school math and science classes are organized so that each teacher has three sections, or about 100 students in total, rather than the five sections of 34 students typical in high school. In history and English, most teachers have four sections of 34 children, and, like a lot of public schools, they don’t assign many long writing projects because their student load is high. On the positive side, AP classes are much smaller.

One parent complained that the school is too focused on memorization and test prep, without a chance for analysis and class discussions, especially in the humanities. Many of the readings involve worksheets and brief excerpts of books, rather than full texts.

Wiltshire says the staff is introducing time for children to read novels or other books for pleasure each day; teachers are also looking for ways to introduce more writing, more research and more critical thinking into the curriculum.

Housed in a cinderblock and concrete building adjacent to the Medgar Evers College campus, the school’s facilities are clean and bright. There are portable classrooms adjacent to the main building. Classrooms are mostly bare; teachers travel from room to room and generally aren’t assigned their own rooms which they can furnish with books and supplies. Classrooms have college-style seating, with chairs equipped with armrest rather than desks. There is no auditorium.

For physical education, middle school students take dance in a mirrored dance studio. There is no gym. High school sports take place on the college campus.

SPECIAL EDUCATION: The school has limited special education services. In recent years, the Department of Education has assigned 9th grade students with special needs, including some who read at a 5th grade level, to the high school outside of the regular admissions process. Wiltshire said the staff is still grappling with how best to serve them.

ADMISSIONS: There are 120 seats in 6th grade, and the school expands to serve 240 in the 9th grade. While most come from Brooklyn, some come from southeast Queens, taking the Long Island Railroad to Atlantic Avenue and then the subway.  “The kids who do well are the ones who have a sense of independence and maturity,” says Wiltshire. The school looks not only at grades and test scores but also attendance, punctuality, special artistic or athletic talents, and parents’ level of commitment--needed to ensure get kids to school on time and help with the heavy homework load. Parents and children are interviewed and children are given a diagnostic test. (Clara Hemphill, April 2017)

 

About the students

Enrollment
1252
Asian
2.8%
Black
88.2%
Hispanic
4.9%
White
0.6%
Other
3.5%
Free or reduced priced lunch
71%
Students with disabilities
6%
English language learners
0%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
Yes
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
180%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
90%
90% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
30%
27% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
91%
74% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
19%
22% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
77%
82% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
44%
48% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
14.9
5.8 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
72%
77% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
97%
82% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
81%
78% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
82%
70% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
98%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
97%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
84%
83% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Test scores

How many students scored 3-4 on the state math exam?
65%
30% Citywide Average
How many students scored 3-4 on the state ELA exam?
82%
35% Citywide Average

Arts offerings

This school has 3 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music and Visual arts
This school has 6 licensed arts teachers in Dance, Music, Theater, and Visual arts

Engaging curriculum?

How many students say this school offers enough programs, classes and activities to keep them interested?
75%
68% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
47%
52% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
66%
68% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for high school?

Accelerated courses offered for high school credit
Global History, US History, Algebra I, Geometry, Living Environment
How many 8th graders earn high school credit?
90%
38% Citywide Average
How many graduates of this school pass all their classes in 9th grade?
97%
87% Citywide Average
What high schools do most graduates attend?
Medgar Evers College Preparatory School and Brooklyn Technical HS
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
95%
83% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
33%
13% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
1%
4% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
67%
38% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
76%
48% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
84%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How does this school serve English Language Learners?

How many former English language learners score 3-4 on the State ELA exam?
0%
7% Citywide Average

How does this school serve students with disabilities?

This school offers self-contained classes
This school offers team teaching (ICT)
How many students say that students with disabilities are included in all activities?
60%
64% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
85%
85% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
86%
89% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
86%
87% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Math and Technology
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Three years of computer science or information technology leading to A+/and or Networking Certification and internships. Excel Program leads to Dual Enrollment at Medgar Evers College.

Science and Research
Admissions Method: Screened
Program Description

Students must complete a research project for submission to a major science competition and take AP and/or undergraduate courses in science and research.

Academics

Language Courses

Chinese (Mandarin), French, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Biology, AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese, AP Comparative Government and Politics, AP Computer Science, AP English, AP Environmental Science, AP Human Geography, AP Physics, AP Statistics, AP US Government and Politics, AP US History, AP World History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Swimming

Girls PSAL teams

Basketball, Cross Country, Indoor Track, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Swimming, Volleyball

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on the NYCDOE’s School Finder
NYC Department of Education: School Finder

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