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Our Insights

What’s Special

A wide variety of classes, activities and sports

The Downside

Few spots for students outside the school's zone; metal detectors

The alma mater of senators, a Supreme Court justice, Nobel Prize winners and Chris Rock, the almost century-old James Madison is a popular high school with a wide array of classes, sports and activities. It is one of the city's biggest schools. It boasts good attendance and a high graduation rate.

Perks here include three gymnasiums, a football field, a swimming pool and tennis courts. It is “a good school for a kid who is independent and can find their own way,” a parent wrote on our site. “Get involved in something right away—theater, sports, a club. There you will meet other focused kids.”

Most seats go to students living in the surrounding Midwood neighborhood, though the school has two small “screened” programs open to children from elsewhere in Brooklyn: Information Technology and Law Institute. Both programs attract dozens of applicants per seat. Zoned students also may select these programs.

Children in the zoned program select one of seven “houses” upon admission, with guidance from staff, who consider grades, interests and needs. The International House is for kids learning English and includes the school’s foreign language offerings: Spanish, Russian, Chinese, French and Italian. The Academy of Citizenship and Community Service offers a double period of English for incoming students with low tests scores. The Instructional Support House welcomes students with disabilities. Academy of Finance, Liberal Arts House and Bio-Medical Institute round out the offerings. Students take many—but not all—of their classes with others in their house.

Madison offers more than a dozen Advanced Placement classes. According to the school's yearly plan, teachers make sure all eligible students have access to these classes by hosting a fair and conducting assessments to determine ability and willingness for participation.

The school fields about 30 interscholastic varsity and junior varsity sports teams for boys and girls. Students stage a number of performances, including SING!, a musical competition, a Shakespeare Festival and an “oratory olympics,” in which kids learning English perform recitations from the canon of English poetry and prose. Other activities include robotics, math club, gardening, newspaper and band.

Attendance is fairly high for a large high school. Students who are late to class are sent to a special room for that period. Some children raise concerns about safety and bullying on school surveys. Principal Jodie Cohen said she and her staff take feedback from surveys seriously. The school has seen improvement in these areas, including fewer suspensions, according to the yearly plan. "The past three years has been an upward trend," Cohen said. 

All students must pass through a metal detector.

College representatives visit the school every week, and graduates go to a wide range of colleges. Some win scholarships to competitive programs, such as CUNY'S Macaulay Honors College. (Lydie Raschka, web reports & interview, February 2018) 

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School Stats

Citywide Average Key
This school is Better Near Worse than the citywide average


How many students graduate in 4 years?
How many students with disabilities graduate in 4 years?
How many English language learners graduate in 4 years?
Average daily attendance
How many students miss 18 or more days of school?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school offers enough activities and services for their children's needs?
How many parents of students with disabilities say this school works to achieve the goals of their students' IEPs?
From the 2021-22 School Quality Guide and 2020-21 NYC School Survey


Number of students
Citywide Average is 615


Low-income students
Students with disabilities
Multilingual learners
From the 2022-23 Demographic Snapshot

Safety & Vibe

How many students were suspended?
How many students say they feel safe in the hallways, bathrooms and locker rooms?
How many students think bullying happens most or all of the time at this school?
How many students say that some are bullied at their school because of their gender or sexual orientation?
How many teachers say they would recommend this school to other families?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey and 2019-20 NY State Report Card

Faculty & Staff

How many teachers say the principal is an effective manager?
Years of principal experience at this school
Citywide Average is 7
Number of students for each guidance counselor or social worker
Citywide Average is 157

Teachers’ Race/Ethnicity

How many teachers have 3 or more years of experience teaching?
Are teachers effective?
From the 2020-21 NYC School Survey, 2021-22 School Quality Guide, 2019-20 Report on School-Based Staff Demographics, 2021 Guidance Counselor Report, and this school's most recent Quality Review Report

Advanced Courses

Which students have access to advanced courses at this school? Learn more



Computer Science




Advanced Foreign Language


AP/IB Arts, English, History or Social Science


AP/IB Math or Science



From unpublished, anonymized data from the 2021-22 school year provided by the New York State Education Department, brought to you by

College Readiness

How many students graduate with test scores high enough to enroll at CUNY without remedial help?
How many students take a college-level course or earn a professional certificate?
How many students who have graduated from this high school stay in college for at least 3 semesters?
From the 2020-21 and 2021-22 School Quality Guide
How many students filled out a FAFSA form by the end of their senior year?
From the 2022-23 FAFSA data released by Federal Student Aid, brought you by Visit Understanding FAFSA for help with the FAFSA and financial aid.
For more information about our data sources, see About Our Data · More DOE statistics for this school

Programs & Admissions

From the 2024 High School Directory

Medical/Health Professions (K25B)

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

Explore the world of Science through a challenging and comprehensive sequence of courses, including focusing on careers in the medical/health professions. Courses of study will include: AP Biology, Living Environment Honors, AP Chemistry, Physics Honors, Anatomy and Physiology, AP Psychology, Forensics and AP Environmental Sciences.

Law Institute (K25D)

Admissions Method: Screened

Program Description:

This is 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.

Zoned (K25Z)

Admissions Method: Zoned Guarantee

Program Description:

Guaranteed offer to students who live in the zoned area.


From the 2024 High School Directory

Language Courses

Arabic, French, Italian, Mandarin, Russian, Spanish

Advanced Courses

Algebra II (Advanced Math), AP Art History, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP Chemistry, AP Computer Science A, AP Computer Science Principles, AP English Language and Composition, AP English Literature and Composition, AP Environmental Science, AP European History, AP Human Geography, AP Macroeconomics, AP Physics 1, AP Physics 2, AP Psychology, AP Research, AP Seminar, AP Spanish Language and Culture, AP Statistics, AP United States Government and Politics, AP United States History, AP World History: Modern, Calculus (Advanced Math), Chemistry (Advanced Science), Comp Sci/Math Tech (College Course [Credited]), Econ/Gov (College Course [Credited]), ELA (College Course [Credited]), Math (College Course [Uncredited]), Other (College Course [Uncredited]), Physics (Advanced Science), Science (College Course [Credited]), Social Studies (College Course [Credited]), World Languages (Advanced World Languages)

Boys PSAL teams

Badminton, Baseball, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Football, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Rugby, Soccer, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Girls PSAL teams

Badminton, Basketball, Bowling, Cross Country, Flag Football, Golf, Handball, Indoor Track, Lacrosse, Outdoor Track, Soccer, Softball, Swimming, Table Tennis, Tennis, Volleyball, Wrestling

Coed PSAL teams

Golf, Stunt

Read about admissions, academics, and more at this school on NYCDOE’s MySchools

NYC Department of Education: MySchools

Contact & Location


3787 Bedford Avenue
Brooklyn NY 11229

Buses: B100, B2, B31, B41, B44, B44-SBS, B49, B7, B82, B82-SBS, BM3, BM4


Principal: Jodie Cohen

Parent Coordinator: Rita Troiso


Other Details

Shared campus? No

This school is in its own building.

Uniforms required? No
Metal detectors? Yes

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