I am a soon to be 8th grade student in the media talent program at Mark Twain and its an okay school. I mean it has its cliques and the rich kids and the druggies, but overall its not as good as its hyped up to be. If you are looking for some of the best teachers then here is a great place. The staff genuinely care and the education is great. They do put academics before your talent, so keep that in mind. We aren't allowed to take any "extra curricular" classes, I mean you do have your health and STEM class as what I like to call "filler classes" but they don't matter to your GPA. You can't switch your talent (so be careful that what you test into is something you want to do for the next 3 years of your life) Honestly in my experience Mark Twain is better than your local public middle school, but don't expect it to be "the best ever middle school" because it isen't, its just a school with extra programs with a more in-depth learning program. The students still copy homework from one another and rush homework the period before (or even in) the class that its due in. Its not a large amount of school work (maybe 30mins-2hrs at most) but when teachers want to cram, oh boy do they cram.
Very good school: safe, fun, teachers are respectful to students, students have interests. A lot of good programs. It's GNT school - require testing. Talent class is a separate daily class - otherwise all subjects are thought in the same class, to students tested for different talents. Computer/math talent is 100% computer talent - no additional math taught. Math class (and ELA and Social Studies and Science) taught to class build from all talents - math, drama, dance, journalism, etc. Starting from 7th grade advanced classes and Regents classes are offered - and it's not directly related to talents, only to grades in 6th grade regular classes. Overall I highly recommend the school - with 2 kids who graduated it and 3rd one currently a student in the school
My kids are going through 6th and 8th grades correspondingly in math talent in this school. The teachers are great and environment is very friendly to learning. My only wish would be that math talent would actually teach more math, in reality this is a computer talent and had been for many years. Kids in math talent become really computer programming savvy, but I would rather explicitly name this talent as computer talent to set the right expectations.
Although Mark Twain is considered to be one of the best (if not the best) public middle school in Brooklyn, I'm very disappointed in this school. First, teaches don't check homeworks. I've seen class after class, my son getting 100% on his hw assignment, and then very low grades on quizzes and test. In some classes, teachers ask students to check each other's homeworks. Second, there are no text books in many math and science classes, which makes it almost impossible for children, much less their parents, to follow class curriculum. Third, in English and literature classes students, in the same class, read different books, which makes testing almost impossible. Fourth, too much reliance on computers. Many hw assignments and projects are online, therefore students almost always need access to computers. And of course what would 9-12 year-olds do, but watch youtube and play games all the time. And, it is impossible to block child's access to computer because they constantly need it for "homework assignments". To top all this, the school gave tablets to all seniors. Now, even if I prohibit my kid from using computer, he plays games or watches youtube on his school tablet, which I cannot take away. All this is extremely frustrating. Lastly, since MT is considered to be a specialized middle school, it is expected that many kids will take SSAT and apply to specialized high schools, like Styversant, Brooklyn Tech, etc. However, school does nothing to prepare students for this exam. For example, English teaches could give kids assignments to study SSAT vocabulary, reading comprehension passages etc., and in math classes do more SSAT level math problems. Overall, Mark Twain was a big disappointment. I hope they can improve.
Mark Twain school is very good , but only for kids who want to learn. Overall teachers are knowledgeable. Good programs are available for students who want to take advanced classes. Teaching/learning process well organized . School is safe. Probably still the best public middle school in Brooklyn . Cons : Not all advanced classes really teach on advanced level. Classed are over crowded - as result no individual attention to students, no push to get the best out of student, as long as student performance is acceptable . Communication to parents is very limited , unless parents have ability to check school website.
Twain admits 5th-graders not on the basis of their standardized test scores but on their performance on a test or try-out in any one of 11 talent areas. There have been accounts of bullying, though the Learning Environment Survey indicates it remains less of a problem at Twain than at many other schools. A parent told us 6th-graders get about a half an hour of homework a night. A large number of Twain students get admitted to specialized high schools, particularly La Guardia High School, Brooklyn Tech, Stuyvesant and Staten Island Tech. Many also go on to other screened schools, such as Midwood Medical Science Institute, Leon M Goldstein High School for the Sciences Edward R. Murrow and Bard High School Early College.
I just graduated from Mark Twain and I miss it a lot. The teachers are supportive, kind, funny, and best of all, good at teaching. Unfortunately, some of my favorite teachers have retired, but the talent system is one to live by. By 8th grade, everyone was extremely developed in their talents and also maintained high GPA's. Most of the students are extremely hard working, hence why we are the largest feeder for specialized high schools (in Brooklyn)! Mark Twain was a great experience and has impacted my life forever. Stay great.
I just started Mark Twain and so far I have no complaints. The teachers are very nice. I have learned a lot and I have been in this school for less than one month. The only negative aspect about this school is that the tests are too hard. Although they are hard and you may not do well, they try their bset to help you. I am in Math\Computer talent and I am having a great time there. So far I'm learning programming and the teacher, Mr.Rubin is making it go very smoothly. In Mark Twain, the homework load isn't bad. Mark Twain has enrichment classes wich are fun. That keep students from being bored. If you are planning to go to the school, you have to work a lot. There is a lot of competition and you won't get in with luck. Work hard and you could be a student in this wonderful school.
The teachers in general are great, and I learned, but I don't think I'm being challenged enough. Also, the classes aren't organied very well. There's a new cluster that only has two classes and two teachers, while all the other clusters have four classes and four teachers, so there are two teachers teaching the four core subjects. This particular cluster is also picked on a lot by the other clusters. Really, other than my creative writing talent class, I don't think I'm learning very much from this school than I would from any other school. The teachers do try very hard, but I still think this school is overrated.