Edward R. Murrow High School

Grades 9-12
Staff Pick
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Location

1600 Avenue L
Brooklyn NY 11230
Midwood (District 21)
Trains: Q to Avenue M
Buses: B11, B49, B6, B68, B9

Contact

Phone
718-258-9283
Principal
Allen Barge
Parent Coordinator
Rosalind De Innocentiis

What’s Special

Huge variety of courses and activities; free student periods

The Downside

Overcrowding

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 schools 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 schools 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, doesnt 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 schools 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.

Murrows 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 schools 980-seat main theater, and the more intimate black box theaterboth 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 schools 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 theyre 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 schools greenhouse. Astronomy, one of the schools most popular classes, is taught in the state-of-the-art planetarium which draws a live data feed from the American Museum of Natural Historys Rose Center for Earth and Space. Many students spend their free time in the schools student center, where theres 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 theres something for everyone. Students also participate in all kinds of competitions including art, performance, writing, math and mock trial. Murrows 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.

Theres 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 schools 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)

About the students

Enrollment
3894
Asian
25.4%
Black
23.0%
Hispanic
21.5%
White
26.8%
Other
3.3%
Free or reduced priced lunch
69%
Students with disabilities
18%
English language learners
9%
Male
41%

About the school

Shared campus?
No
This school is in its own building.
Uniforms required?
No
Metal detectors?
No
How crowded? (Full is 100%)
123%
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Attendance

Average daily attendance
92%
85% Citywide Average
How many students are chronically absent?
21%
42% Citywide Average

Is this school safe?

How many teachers say order and discipline are maintained at this school?
86%
77% Citywide Average
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
32%
37% Citywide Average
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
86%
85% Citywide Average
How many students say most students treat each other with respect?
70%
57% Citywide Average

About the leadership

Years of principal experience at this school
4.3
5.3 Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
88%
80% Citywide Average
How many teachers say the principal has a clear vision for this school?
94%
85% Citywide Average
How many teachers trust the principal?
84%
80% Citywide Average

About the teachers

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
92%
73% Citywide Average
Teacher attendance
96%
97% Citywide Average
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
94%
81% Citywide Average
How many teachers think the staff collaborate to make this school run effectively?
92%
86% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

Arts offerings

This school has 20 dedicated spaces for Dance, Music, Theater, Visual arts, and Media arts
This school has 18 licensed arts teacher 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?
84%
72% Citywide Average
How many students say they are challenged in most or all of their classes?
57%
54% Citywide Average
How many students say the programs, classes and activities here encourage them to develop talent outside academics?
82%
71% Citywide Average
Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average

How many graduate?

How many students graduate in 4 years?
82%
77% Citywide Average
How many graduates earn Advanced Regents diplomas?
22%
11% Citywide Average
How many students drop out?
3%
10% Citywide Average

Are students prepared for college?

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
50%
32% Citywide Average
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
62%
41% Citywide Average
How many graduate and enter college within 18 months?
78%
63% 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 English language learners graduate in 4 years?
68%
65% 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?
77%
68% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
90%
87% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achive the goals of their students' IEPs?
93%
91% Citywide Average
How many parents of students with disabilities say they are satisfied with the IEP development process at this school?
91%
90% Citywide Average
How many special ed students graduate in 4 years?
52%
60% Citywide Average
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data

Programs and Admissions

Communication Arts
Admissions Method: Ed. Opt.
Program Description

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

Bilingual Chinese (Mandarin) Communication Arts
Admissions Method: Screened: Language
Program Description

AP and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers and taught in Bilingual Chinese (Mandarin).

Bilingual Spanish Communication Arts
Admissions Method: Screened: Language
Program Description

AP and research classes in all major curriculum areas in preparation for college and careers and taught in Bilingual Spanish.

Vocal Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

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

Fine and Visual Arts
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

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

Instrumental Music
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

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

Studio Theatre
Admissions Method: Audition
Program Description

Academics

Language Courses

Chinese (Mandarin), French, Italian, Russian, Spanish

Advanced Placement (AP) courses

AP Calculus, AP Chemistry, AP Chinese, AP Computer Science, AP Economics, AP English, AP Italian, AP Music Theory, AP Physics, AP Spanish, AP Statistics, AP US Government and Politics, AP US History

Sports

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Bowling, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Cross Country, Soccer, Table Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Golf

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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