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Old 01-25-2012, 01:05 PM
 
11 posts, read 29,260 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi,

My son is currently in 8th grade. After a lot of debate and research he has decided to take AP in PISD. He is currently in Geometry and is planning on taking CBE for Algebra 2. Is that a good idea?

Next:
He has scored closed to 1900 in SAT in his DUKE TIP. How can he improve his scores? (IS Karen Dillard good or Princeton Review good or self-study)
His ACT/Explore score was 24 out of a 25. He is very nervous about ACT. How can he improve on that?
He is planning to take
Human Geography
Biology
Humanities/since he is in PACE
Algebra 2 or Pre Cal if he skips Algebra 2
Orchestra (he is in Chamber right now)He is also taking ABRSM music exams from a private instructor
Spanish (started Spanish in 6th grade)
He is planning on going to the medical field and wants to take Clinical Rotations in 11 and 12th. We have heard that it is very difficult to get into Clinicals. Is that true? What is the eligibilty for Clinical Rotations?
He wants to do Medical Terminology this year and do Medical Science class which will be a prerequisite for HOSA next year. Is that a good idea.
He is also planning on taking 2 semesters of PE in summer school and finishing Communications in E school.

Since we have not had our education in this country, everything is so confusing as parents. WE have a conference next week to decide on the courses that he will be taking. I would really appreciate any input on this. I just want to help my son and my daughter achieve their dreams.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,797,204 times
Reputation: 2284
I'm assuming you'll be at Jasper or Shepton, since I believe those are the only 2 campuses that offer Pre-Calc live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodi1 View Post
Hi,

My son is currently in 8th grade. After a lot of debate and research he has decided to take AP in PISD. He is currently in Geometry and is planning on taking CBE for Algebra 2. Is that a good idea?

In general, no. Each case is different, though. You have to decide for yourself how valuable the extra time slot gained is, and weigh the negatives against the positives of the alternative class to be taken instead.

First, you'll take a GPA hit. A CBE credit is included in the GPA calculation as a "regulars" class, rather than a honors class.

Second, the math department (at least at PSHS - I assume PWSH has the same stance) strongly discourages doing CBE (unless you're doing it to validate a summer course at Duke TIP or TAMS) because their experience has been that CBE kids have gaps in their knowledge that show up when they take the next class in the sequence at the honors or AP level.

Finally, if you advance to Pre-Calc in 9th grade, you then have no way to take Calculus AB or BC in 10th grade, short of possibly driving your kid to the senior high.

Having said that, my kid's 4-year plan might have him doing Pre-Calc by CBE in 10th grade, since his campus only offers it via TV . Plus, it clears a space for AP Euro History.

Quote:
He has scored closed to 1900 in SAT in his DUKE TIP. How can he improve his scores? (IS Karen Dillard good or Princeton Review good or self-study)
I would just go with self-study. That 7th grade score puts him in the Grand Recognition range. That means he's a shoo-in for National Merit Semi-Finalist, as long as he can perform at that same level (relative to the class as a whole) in 11th/12th grade. That also means that he's close to topped out. That is, even if he just continued on his current path, he'd get a 2300+ on the SAT. Now, you can do 6 months of Karen Dillard torture, but that stuff is more designed to pull a 1700 to a 2000, or a 1900 to a 2100. At his performance level, he'd only get 30 or 40 extra points out of it. Since he'd already be above the average SAT score of every school in the country, an admit/reject decision would be very unlikely to hinge on the exact score.

Quote:
His ACT/Explore score was 24 out of a 25. He is very nervous about ACT. How can he improve on that?
Just don't take the ACT, then. You don't have to do both. Figure out which one plays to your kid's strengths and run with that.


Quote:
Human Geography
Biology
Humanities/since he is in PACE
Algebra 2 or Pre Cal if he skips Algebra 2
Orchestra (he is in Chamber right now)He is also taking ABRSM music exams from a private instructor
Spanish (started Spanish in 6th grade)
That's a pretty standard "brainiac" 9th grade PISD schedule.

Quote:
He is planning on going to the medical field and wants to take Clinical Rotations in 11 and 12th. We have heard that it is very difficult to get into Clinicals. Is that true? What is the eligibilty for Clinical Rotations?
He wants to do Medical Terminology this year and do Medical Science class which will be a prerequisite for HOSA next year. Is that a good idea.
For 9th/10th, you have space for one more elective, and those are as good as any, and better than most.

There are only a limited number of spaces for the Clinicals program, so yes, it is difficult to get in. If he's aiming for med school, his time in 11th/12th might be better spent on AP Bio and AP Chem then in the Clinicals program. Then again, Clinicals will let him learn whether or not the medical field is for him.

Quote:
He is also planning on taking 2 semesters of PE in summer school and finishing Communications in E school.
I don't think they offer Comm. Apps. in eSchool, you'd have to do that in summer school. They do have Health and, believe it or not, PE (!) in eSchool. Keep in mind, eSchool classes don't go on the GPA, so take as many required non-weighted classes as possible on eSchool. Clearing all that junk off the fall/spring schedule is typical for the academic top tier at PISD.

Quote:
Since we have not had our education in this country, everything is so confusing as parents. WE have a conference next week to decide on the courses that he will be taking. I would really appreciate any input on this. I just want to help my son and my daughter achieve their dreams.
That's a great attitude.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:55 PM
 
350 posts, read 618,876 times
Reputation: 306
I'm an AP student in Plano. Given your son's background, I'm assuming a good GPA/Rank is a priority. CBE for algebra 2 could be good in that it would let you have AP Calculus (and the higher GPA that comes with it) as a sophomore. However, when he gets to the Senior Highs, there won't be many math classes left to take. Other than that, at this point make sure that you're taking the higher-level (Honors for Bio/spanish and Human Geography). I can't tell you much about clinicals, but I can't imagine there are really no honors classes you can replace the Medical Science class with, so that should not be a problem. Hope that helped.
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Old 01-25-2012, 03:59 PM
 
350 posts, read 618,876 times
Reputation: 306
Quote:
Originally Posted by Big G View Post

First, you'll take a GPA hit. A CBE credit is included in the GPA calculation as a "regulars" class, rather than a honors class.

Second, the math department (at least at PSHS - I assume PWSH has the same stance) strongly discourages doing CBE (unless you're doing it to validate a summer course at Duke TIP or TAMS) because their experience has been that CBE kids have gaps in their knowledge that show up when they take the next class in the sequence at the honors or AP level.

Finally, if you advance to Pre-Calc in 9th grade, you then have no way to take Calculus AB or BC in 10th grade, short of possibly driving your kid to the senior high.

For the record, CBE does not count towards GPA or class rank. Also, you can take Calculus at Plano West if you are a sophomore. West has around 14 or 15 kids from Shepton and Jasper in 7th period BC Calculus. It's definitely possible, but I agree that there could be potential gaps of knowledge from CBE.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:09 PM
 
7,293 posts, read 8,131,285 times
Reputation: 5381
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dodi1 View Post
Hi,

My son is currently in 8th grade. After a lot of debate and research he has decided to take AP in PISD. He is currently in Geometry and is planning on taking CBE for Algebra 2. Is that a good idea?

Next:
He has scored closed to 1900 in SAT in his DUKE TIP. How can he improve his scores? (IS Karen Dillard good or Princeton Review good or self-study)
His ACT/Explore score was 24 out of a 25. He is very nervous about ACT. How can he improve on that?
He is planning to take
Human Geography
Biology
Humanities/since he is in PACE
Algebra 2 or Pre Cal if he skips Algebra 2
Orchestra (he is in Chamber right now)He is also taking ABRSM music exams from a private instructor
Spanish (started Spanish in 6th grade)
He is planning on going to the medical field and wants to take Clinical Rotations in 11 and 12th. We have heard that it is very difficult to get into Clinicals. Is that true? What is the eligibilty for Clinical Rotations?
He wants to do Medical Terminology this year and do Medical Science class which will be a prerequisite for HOSA next year. Is that a good idea.
He is also planning on taking 2 semesters of PE in summer school and finishing Communications in E school.

Since we have not had our education in this country, everything is so confusing as parents. WE have a conference next week to decide on the courses that he will be taking. I would really appreciate any input on this. I just want to help my son and my daughter achieve their dreams.

As he wants to be a doctor, it will help him greatly to have a long track record of community service with lots of verified hours.

Best of luck.
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:35 PM
 
Location: Dallas, TX
2,346 posts, read 5,797,204 times
Reputation: 2284
Thanks for jumping in. It's good to get some on-the-ground intel. Any thoughts on the Karen Dillard/SAT/ACT questions from your perspective?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PISDstudent View Post
I'm an AP student in Plano. Given your son's background, I'm assuming a good GPA/Rank is a priority. CBE for algebra 2 could be good in that it would let you have AP Calculus (and the higher GPA that comes with it) as a sophomore. However, when he gets to the Senior Highs, there won't be many math classes left to take.
Well, he could take AP Comp Sci and/or AP Stats, although the latter would be a snoozefest after AP Calc BC. He could also pick up an additional AP science class instead of taking math one or both years.

Quote:
Other than that, at this point make sure that you're taking the higher-level (Honors for Bio/spanish and Human Geography).
Yep, I assume the OP's kid is 100% honors if he's in PACE. Human Geography is only AP - the honors/regular course is called something else.

Quote:
I can't tell you much about clinicals, but I can't imagine there are really no honors classes you can replace the Medical Science class with, so that should not be a problem.
At the 9/10 level, I believe there is exactly ONE elective course that carries any additional GPA weight - AP European History. If the OP wants to 100% engage in GPA maximization, he should take that over Medical Science. Then again, I find it hard to believe that someone extremely interested in Medical Science would have the same level of passion for AP Euro History. At some point, you have to take what you're interested in, not what gaming the system leads you to.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PISDstudent View Post
For the record, CBE does not count towards GPA or class rank.
You're right - I stand corrected. The exam grade goes on your transcript as the class grade, but is not used for class rank.

Quote:
Also, you can take Calculus at Plano West if you are a sophomore.
Exactly - you can take calc, but not at your own campus. You have to hassle with getting from Jasper/Shepton to PWSH (unless PISD provides a bus - do they?), then you have to ride home on the PWSH buses, and you miss out on after-school activities at the 9/10 campus. My kid has stuff going on 2-3x/week after school for this class and that club.., so that kind of noise wouldn't work for him at all.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:32 PM
hsw
 
2,144 posts, read 6,203,280 times
Reputation: 1507
Figure out what can be learned online via khan academy, udacity, Stanford/MIT online, etc etc

Figure out what are texts for intro courses at Stanford in math, stats, computer sci....and at Wharton undergrad in finance and accounting...start reading and self-learning on own (no smart, productive prof at any elite college ever wants to teach...been that way for 50+yrs, so self-teaching has been way of life for many gens)

May want to reconsider career choices and pathways

For past 10+ yrs, most lucrative and intellectually challenging careers in world have been found in software engineering at leading cos. and leading tech start-ups...and most of the top engineers are self-taught (no matter which elite college they may have attended)....strong foundations in CS and finance/stats/macro&microecons allow one a myriad of lucrative career pathways in tech or hedge funds

Elegance of tech (basic PC, Net and kindle/youtube) is that it is largely disintermediating Luddite education at K-12 or college level...and dramatically reducing costs of education for clever kids....and increasing earnings power for clever kids who can enter workforce at far younger ages than in pre-Net era (@$200K/yr starting pay)....and remain relevant in ever-innovative fields by constant self-learning
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Old 01-26-2012, 07:03 AM
 
7,293 posts, read 8,131,285 times
Reputation: 5381
Quote:
Originally Posted by hsw View Post
Figure out what can be learned online via khan academy, udacity, Stanford/MIT online, etc etc

Figure out what are texts for intro courses at Stanford in math, stats, computer sci....and at Wharton undergrad in finance and accounting...start reading and self-learning on own (no smart, productive prof at any elite college ever wants to teach...been that way for 50+yrs, so self-teaching has been way of life for many gens)

May want to reconsider career choices and pathways

For past 10+ yrs, most lucrative and intellectually challenging careers in world have been found in software engineering at leading cos. and leading tech start-ups...and most of the top engineers are self-taught (no matter which elite college they may have attended)....strong foundations in CS and finance/stats/macro&microecons allow one a myriad of lucrative career pathways in tech or hedge funds

Elegance of tech (basic PC, Net and kindle/youtube) is that it is largely disintermediating Luddite education at K-12 or college level...and dramatically reducing costs of education for clever kids....and increasing earnings power for clever kids who can enter workforce at far younger ages than in pre-Net era (@$200K/yr starting pay)....and remain relevant in ever-innovative fields by constant self-learning


I think anytime we speak about top so and so in such and such field we are only talking about a few thousand people at most - that's just too narrow.

I couldn't find it just now but only yesterday a Yahoo (pretty sure it was Yahoo) piece outlined that the most lucrative degree paths were:

1. Biology/pre-med etc.
2. Economics
3/4. IIRC Finance was 3. and IT/compsci. was 4.


Given the huge number of Texas MDs retiring over the next many years, our aging population, the exceptional values offered by Texas area medical schools and the fact that urban Texas docs earn well - whats not to like?
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Old 01-26-2012, 10:48 AM
 
Location: North Texas
2,487 posts, read 5,579,737 times
Reputation: 1690
FYI- clinical for 12th grade is mostly intership. Make sure you start looking and applying to them during the summer before 12th grade. The class gives you a list at the start of the year- but they are limited and sometimes stop taking "under age" internships. Children Dallas has a great program along with Scottish Rite in dallas.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:10 AM
 
7,293 posts, read 8,131,285 times
Reputation: 5381
I forgot to mention that the OP's kiddo should, once he's 16, apply for volunteer jobs a local hospitals and bust his rear once there. I can't emphasize enough how much earning one of these positions, busting it every day doing whatever was asked - hauling trash, replacing hard drives, showing people around, getting coffee whatever - with as a smile on his face. The payback was the lady that rans that program wrote him a fabulous recommendation for a great internship (about 300 apps. 7 slots) that he got last summer. My son has volunteered at that same hospital for 5 summers.
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