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Old 05-20-2011, 05:23 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
2,333 posts, read 5,330,562 times
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Oh, boy! It's that time again, when I get to point out how flawed this methodology is. (BTW, this is the same yearly ranking formerly published by Newsweek .)

Quote:
The formula is simple: Divide the number of Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate or other college-level tests a school gave in 2010 by the number of graduating seniors.
mSooner has already flagged one way the rankings get skewed - subsidized test-taking, which artificially boosts the numerator of that equation.

The other elephant in the room? DISD's massive dropout rate, which reduces the denominator of that equation.

When 1/3 to 1/2 of your freshmen don't graduate, your school looks much smaller in terms of that formula than it actually is.
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Old 05-20-2011, 06:35 PM
 
16,090 posts, read 33,574,587 times
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That elephant is roaming all over Texas and other parts of the nation. How much blame can you assign to teachers and schools when some parents actually encourage their kids to drop out? Herculean efforts are applied and have been applied for decades and it doesn't seem to change. A school which has a high percentage of these students and economically disadvantaged and yet manages very high AP / IB participation should be applauded and that's part of what the Challenge Index tries to measure.
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Old 05-20-2011, 07:04 PM
 
Location: la hacienda
2,259 posts, read 8,171,787 times
Reputation: 1137
Impressive are the Rio Grande Valley schools:

Texas Rankings
#7 - Science Academy of South Texas - Mercedes TX
#10 - South Texas High School for Health Professionals - Mercedes TX
#18 - South Texas Business, Education and Technology Academy - Edinburg, TX

These students may be coming from homes below the poverty level, from migrant families, families that might not value education as well as students having to work to help support their family and maintain grades. #18 has 76% of their students on subsidized lunches.
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Old 05-21-2011, 09:38 AM
 
359 posts, read 874,726 times
Reputation: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
Somehow you forgot to mention Highland Park HS coming in at #35 in the nation

Other area schools on the list were:
Westlake Academy - Westlake, TX #19

Grapevine HS - #267
Paschal HS - Fort Worth ISD - #299
JJ Pearce HS- Richardson ISD - #338

RL Turner HS- Carrollton ISD - #525
Coppell HS- #595

Newman Smith HS- Carrollton ISD - #652
Garland HS - Garland ISD - #658
Plano Senior - Plano ISD - #762
Southlake HS- Carroll ISD- #789
Hebron HS- Carrollton ISD- #845
Plano East HS- Plano ISD - #863
LD Bell HS- Hurst ISD- #864
Flower Mound HS- FM ISD- #911
Bernker HS- Richardson ISD- #933
Centenial HS- Frisco ISD - #980

Frisco HS- Frisco ISD- #1124
Wakeland HS- Frisco ISD- #1155
Trinity HS- Euless ISD- #1274
Marcus HS- Flower Mound ISD- #1295
Creekview HS- Carrollton ISD - #1321
Allen HS- #1322
Lake Highlands HS- Richardson ISD- #1356

I stopped looking at rank #1500.

What I found interesting is that other Texas suburban high schools where the population & suburbs compare to Collin County ranked MUCH higher than the CoCo schools-->

Austin Westlake (Eanes ISD) - #58
Austin Westwood - #94
Clements (Sugarland ISD, Houston area) - #229
Memorial HS (Houston) - #263
Stratford (HOuston) - #398
Cinco Ranch (Katy ISD, Katy/Houston area)- #444
Woodlands College Park (Woodlands ISD) - #538
Stephen F Austin (Sugarland ISD, Houston area) - #539
The Woodlands (Woodlands ISD) - #578
Cedar Park (Cedar Park ISD/ North Austin suburbs) - #585
Clear Lake (south Houston suburbs) - #600

Congrats to Westlake Academy - just graduated our first senior class in 2010 -
I'm looking to seeing us move to the top!!!!
We're #6 in the state!!
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Old 05-21-2011, 10:45 AM
 
5,727 posts, read 6,411,113 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
That elephant is roaming all over Texas and other parts of the nation. How much blame can you assign to teachers and schools when some parents actually encourage their kids to drop out? Herculean efforts are applied and have been applied for decades and it doesn't seem to change. A school which has a high percentage of these students and economically disadvantaged and yet manages very high AP / IB participation should be applauded and that's part of what the Challenge Index tries to measure.
Win.....

At some point we, American society, must re-stigmatize academic failure. Quite frankly the culture of failure and ignorance borders on a nation security problem.
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Old 05-21-2011, 12:22 PM
 
2,835 posts, read 4,114,026 times
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And then, you have stuff like this going on:

Circus For Grown-Ups | Mr. Teachbad's Blog of Teacher Disgruntlement

I absolutely HATE ratings like this because 95% of people who read them don't bother to look at the statistical methods behind them and truly understand them.

Same thing goes for "Best Colleges" reports and the U.S. News & World Reports Best Med School List.

We saw the effects of the med school list when the husband was applying a couple years ago. The schools dump so much focus on them when they could be doing things to improve their institutions in ways that really matter, but wont show up on a survey.

Baylor & UTSW squabbled over who gets to count MD Anderson's research money in their submission to the US News & World Reports rankings because it was catapulting Baylor up to the Top 20 on the research side. Forget that students at Baylor never really saw any direct benefit from that money.

Oh...and as far as DISD Magnet schools being at the top--think again. Buried in the info for the ranking is this little gem:

Quote:
We do not include any magnet or charter high school that draws such a high concentration of top students that its average SAT or ACT score exceeds the highest average for any normal-enrollment school in the country. This year, that meant such schools had to have an average SAT score below 1970 or an average ACT score below 29 to be included on the list.
So actually--the "best" schools are left off the list. I've read that the author tries to weed these out because they have "strict" admission requirements? And DISD magnet schools aren't hard to get into? Nope--they are, they just still don't get to the level of some of the East Coast Magnets. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but it cheapens the "Victory" for the top schools and boy, would I be pissed if I attended one of the schools left off the list.

This method is SO EASILY manipulated for such a high reward. If you don't think schools are aware of this and aren't using it to their advantage, you are kidding yourself. Students should be encouraged to take AP classes, and those in the classes should be encouraged to take the appropriate test. But encouraging everyone to take them--that is just madness! Would you encourage your college student to show up for the final exam of a class they hadn't been in all semester? That is the equivalent.

Last edited by mSooner; 05-21-2011 at 12:32 PM..
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Old 05-21-2011, 06:01 PM
 
13,180 posts, read 11,492,404 times
Reputation: 4521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spree View Post
Impressive are the Rio Grande Valley schools:

Texas Rankings
#7 - Science Academy of South Texas - Mercedes TX
#10 - South Texas High School for Health Professionals - Mercedes TX
#18 - South Texas Business, Education and Technology Academy - Edinburg, TX

These students may be coming from homes below the poverty level, from migrant families, families that might not value education as well as students having to work to help support their family and maintain grades. #18 has 76% of their students on subsidized lunches.
You know when I see ranking like this it's glaringly obvious you get extra credit for being a Hispanic or African American school. Sure enough, I go to the Science Academy of South Texas 2005 SAT scores and they are on par with Grapevine-Colleyville ISD (4500 High schoolers) for that same year. (A "good" district in the DFW area.) The difference is, these cherry picked, 667 magnet students of which only 98 took the test are primarily Hispanic, not white, so they get the bar lowered from them. What's the saying? "The soft bigotry of lowered expectations."?

So take these rankings with a grain of salt....they are not measuring output or final product...but some fuzzy measure of incremental learning growth, having much to do with what racial group the students belong to.

Last edited by padcrasher; 05-21-2011 at 06:21 PM..
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:05 PM
 
359 posts, read 874,726 times
Reputation: 233
Quote:
Originally Posted by padcrasher View Post
You know when I see ranking like this it's glaringly obvious you get extra credit for being a Hispanic or African American school. Sure enough, I go to the Science Academy of South Texas 2005 SAT scores and they are on par with Grapevine-Colleyville ISD (4500 High schoolers) for that same year. (A "good" district in the DFW area.) The difference is, these cherry picked, 667 magnet students of which only 98 took the test are primarily Hispanic, not white, so they get the bar lowered from them. What's the saying? "The soft bigotry of lowered expectations."?

So take these rankings with a grain of salt....they are not measuring output or final product...but some fuzzy measure of incremental learning growth, having much to do with what racial group the students belong to.
With the above in mind, how do you explain Westlake Academy being ranked #6? According to Forbes Magazine, it's the wealthiest town in the nation.

North Texas Has America's Richest Neighborhood (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/011911-north-texas-has-americas-richest-neighborhood - broken link)
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:52 PM
 
19,308 posts, read 39,390,721 times
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the most select group and the smallest I imagine
since the only students guaranteed enrollment are those from Westlake township--one of the highest-income towns in TX and very high in US as well I imagine
the other students come from a lottery now--but in the beginning I don't know that there were enough applicants that they had to use a lottery

statistically children of high income parents are likely to do much better on standardized tests at almost any age than children from lower income parents

small groups of motivated students--even ethnic/low-income students--will do better than larger groups of unmotivated students of same ethnic makeup

this sounds great--and in some cases there is great teaching going on--
but you have to make sure that you know what you are rating

as I said on different thread--
these stats aren't claiming that a Honda Civic can outrace a Ferrari unless the engine has been juiced up way beyond the norm...
it would seem that even students in the magnet schools with high minority/low-income students have been there for a while since these are seniors that are being tested--and thus have been developed over time with the weaker students being weaned out along the way probably
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Old 05-21-2011, 07:56 PM
 
13,180 posts, read 11,492,404 times
Reputation: 4521
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mommy24kids View Post
With the above in mind, how do you explain Westlake Academy being ranked #6? According to Forbes Magazine, it's the wealthiest town in the nation.

North Texas Has America's Richest Neighborhood (http://www.myfoxdfw.com/dpp/news/011911-north-texas-has-americas-richest-neighborhood - broken link)
Since there a few minorities at this school I imagine they did on criteria that had nothing to with minority achievement. Did I say the rankings ONLY had to do with the racial makeup of the student body?
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