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Old 06-27-2013, 11:34 AM
 
13 posts, read 15,540 times
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Default Frisco small high schools versus Allen one big high school

Hello Folks,

Can you folks validate the information we got about Allen high school

As you all know that Frisco uses the approach of smaller schools and that is somehow its secret sauce for its exemplary status. Whereas Allen has one big high school and I have heard that there is more focus on Sports than academics. Also Allen high school being large, it becomes more of like College like environment, where you dont have control on who your kids socializes with. Since school size is large, focus is somehow lost.

Can somebody enlighten me by providing the comparison between Frisco high schools and Allen high school.

This will largely help us in our home buying decision.

Thanks
Niel
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Old 06-27-2013, 11:56 AM
 
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Athletics may be more competitive at Allen than Frisco; however Allen's academics rank higher than Frisco ISD as well. Onlu Frisco Centennial comes within reach of Allen's academics. Exemplary status doesn't count for much; it's a measure of the state standardize tests, drop out rate, and attendance records. The more important metric is SAT scores, as the SAT is a national test and has proved to be the best indicator of college readiness over many decades.

Here is how the high schools stack up with 2012 SAT scores:
Allen - 1096, ranks 12th of area non-magnet/charter high schools
Frisco Centennial - 1085, ranks 15th
Frisco HS - 1078, ranks 18th
Frisco Liberty - 1063, ranks 22nd
Frisco Wakeland - 1027, ranks 34th
Frisco Lone Star - not on recap (maybe no seniors yet?)


The other best indicator of college preparedness is passing an AP exam. Unfortunately, Frisco ISD's policy is to only allow students who have 1) taken the AP course and 2) done well in class to take the exams which artificially inflates the pass rate. At an elite school like Highland Park HS, 61% of students passed the AP exam, but a whopping 85% of juniors and seniors took at least 1 AP exam. The HPHS policy mandates all students enrolled in an AP class take the exam, PLUS any student can take any other Ap exam regardless of whether or not the class is offered at HPHS or whether the student was not enrolled in an AP section at HP. I am not sure of Allen's AP test policies. Just wanted to caution you that some of Frisco's high pass rates (80% pass at Liberty HS with only 29% of juniors and seniors taking 1 ap exam) is very artificially inflated.
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Old 06-27-2013, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Funky town
687 posts, read 484,192 times
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Actually Liberty has way more NMSF than other schools on frisco. Average SAT is just that ... An average! And probably the best approximation in the absence of median and standard deviation. So combining the two data points, I would personally pick liberty over any other school in frisco. My 2 cents!
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Old 06-27-2013, 01:49 PM
 
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IMO, the SAT scores that turtle posted between Allen and the other Frisco schools are not that big of a difference to warrant a comparison. I was about to buy into Allen, but having only one high school in the town didn't feel right to us as our kids will be competing with thousands of other kids. Imagine having your child placed 1500 in his class.... To me, either district is good. Its up to us as parents to guide our kids to achieve their academic goals, so having a good school district is half of the equation. Also, Allen taxes are much higher than Frisco so that was another deciding factor.
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Old 06-27-2013, 02:25 PM
 
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I wouldn't put my kids in either. I bought a couple of years ago and had $500-600k budget and could've bought " more house" or taken advantage of " more bang for the buck" but only two districts I seriously considered were HPISD and PISD. There weren't many homes available in HPISD at that time so we stayed with our second pick of West Plano. In all honesty, schools really paid for the decision. This has been a place where our children thrived, learned and became intellectuals. Its just mesmeriszing to see how a group of hard working peers can lift basic standard for everyone.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:11 PM
 
Location: Frisco, TX
289 posts, read 243,966 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
The HPHS policy mandates all students enrolled in an AP class take the exam, PLUS any student can take any other Ap exam regardless of whether or not the class is offered at HPHS or whether the student was not enrolled in an AP section at HP.
How common is this policy at other schools, though? To me it would seem that allowing kids to take AP exams for subjects that they aren't even enrolled in would lower the number of kids that passed the exams. I would never take a Biology AP exam unless I really knew that subject. And I feel I wouldn't really know that subject unless I took the AP-level class.

For what it's worth, the school I attended didn't have a policy that required us to take the AP exam if we were in an AP-level class, but several teachers told us they expected us to take the exams and pushed us to sign up. But my school also paid for the AP exams which I think is more rare these days.
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Old 06-27-2013, 03:38 PM
 
8,120 posts, read 10,774,150 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephwin View Post
How common is this policy at other schools, though? To me it would seem that allowing kids to take AP exams for subjects that they aren't even enrolled in would lower the number of kids that passed the exams. I would never take a Biology AP exam unless I really knew that subject. And I feel I wouldn't really know that subject unless I took the AP-level class.

For what it's worth, the school I attended didn't have a policy that required us to take the AP exam if we were in an AP-level class, but several teachers told us they expected us to take the exams and pushed us to sign up. But my school also paid for the AP exams which I think is more rare these days.
Every district seems to have it's own policy. I researched a bunch of them a few years ago which is where I learned about Frisco's policy. Personally, I don't care for the districts who dissuade kids who took the AP class from taking the exams as it doesn't project an accurate picture about the quality of the school's AP program.

I love HPHS' policy. The care more about maximizing students' chances of gaining college credit (the REAL purpose of the AP exam) than having the highest pass rate in Dallas....which they definitely don't have.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:09 PM
 
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Most of the folks I talk too, prefer the collegiate atmosphere for allen as a superb prep for the real thing. They become used to getting to class on time, adhering to a schedule, time management etc. Also, the school is broken down into a "school within a school" setting and untold amount of clubs and ways to plug in. With that kind of variety of kiddos, there is no chance your child will feel isolated due to the nature of having similar friends. I am a proponent of big school as a "Free" prep for college. Good luck.
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:30 PM
 
2,669 posts, read 1,963,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rob3240 View Post
Most of the folks I talk too, prefer the collegiate atmosphere for allen as a superb prep for the real thing. They become used to getting to class on time, adhering to a schedule, time management etc. Also, the school is broken down into a "school within a school" setting and untold amount of clubs and ways to plug in. With that kind of variety of kiddos, there is no chance your child will feel isolated due to the nature of having similar friends. I am a proponent of big school as a "Free" prep for college. Good luck.
I must be getting old- but getting to class on time and adhering to a schedule are now attributes only of elite schools?
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Old 06-27-2013, 07:52 PM
 
94 posts, read 74,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stephwin View Post
How common is this policy at other schools, though? To me it would seem that allowing kids to take AP exams for subjects that they aren't even enrolled in would lower the number of kids that passed the exams. I would never take a Biology AP exam unless I really knew that subject. And I feel I wouldn't really know that subject unless I took the AP-level class.
I attended a very highly regarded private school in the northeast. The school did not offer AP classes in English or history. But, juniors were not only allowed but encouraged to take the AP English Lit and AP US History exams. I would say that probably 95% of students took the English Lit exam and well over 50% took the US History exam, and almost everyone got 4's and 5's, with zero prep. Just a testament to the overall quality of the students and teachers at the school. I bet HPISD could pull off something similar...

We did have AP classes in math, science, and foreign languages, and for those subjects, I agree, I wouldn't take the test without taking the class.
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