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Old 09-17-2013, 05:19 PM
 
272 posts, read 712,724 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mSooner View Post
There are 5 kids in our family, 4 in or out of college. 2 of us got National Merit and got almost full rides to OU (it's not quite full, but close), one got commended and got a nice scholarship out of that, and the child still in high school is well on her way to being a NM scholar as well. That's a lot of scholarship money!
Your family has a better NMF percentage than any high school in the area -- and better absolute numbers than many to boot -- way to go!
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Old 09-17-2013, 06:26 PM
 
11,677 posts, read 21,250,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lakewooder View Post
I'm thinking you mean the TAG/SEM magnets.

That is fine for the single-minded student who is not interested in athletic and extracurricular activites. The district needs strengthen prep programs at W.T. White, Hillcrest and Woodrow and maybe Skyline (the comprehensive high schools most likely to have a pool of students with potential for NMSF and offering a full range of AP classes - plus IB at Woodrow) rather than running district-wide Saturday sessions at North Dallas HS.

We are already doing that at WW, where SAT prep is now a regular class and Princeton Review has been brought in as a contractor. Our foundation just announce prep help for those who cannot afford the private programs: Woodrow Wilson High School Community Foundation announces financial assistance | Dallasnews.com - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News
How many years has the SAT prep class been offered at Woodrow? To which grade level(s) is it offered?
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Old 09-17-2013, 07:59 PM
 
2,206 posts, read 3,795,140 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RonnieinDallas View Post
Duh

That was my point...

It has nothing to do with the schools. It's the kids. If you flipped flopped where the kids went to school you'd get different results, in each school.
No, it would be different. You need all three - expectations (parents/schools), peers ( critical mass of smart kids), and the curriculum ( program which builds on itself and teachers who support it.)

It begins in early grades and accumulates the advantages.

Its like saying you can take the Navy SEALs in the US and run them through the "elite" training in Brazil and get the same type of operator. Not so.
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Old 09-17-2013, 08:11 PM
 
146 posts, read 242,032 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TX75007 View Post
No, it would be different. You need all three - expectations (parents/schools), peers ( critical mass of smart kids), and the curriculum ( program which builds on itself and teachers who support it.)

It begins in early grades and accumulates the advantages.

Its like saying you can take the Navy SEALs in the US and run them through the "elite" training in Brazil and get the same type of operator. Not so.
I agree that those 3 things are important, but I think once you hit a certain stage in education, it doesnt really matter what school you are at. A solid education early on is so important to build a foundation for success.
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Old 09-18-2013, 07:37 AM
 
1,212 posts, read 1,771,167 times
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Originally Posted by EDS_ View Post
Are you aware of anyone who finances their kid's private school costs? I'm a long time private school parent and although I'm sure it does happen occasionally I'm not aware of a single family that has financed these costs.
I know several families that take out loans for private schools (they get scholarships and the school has a loan program as well). I was shocked the first time I heard it as well. These are very smart professional families, with "prestigious" jobs, but not high paying jobs. Moreover, these families each have multiple kids in private schools. (they might make 200-300k, but have two or three kids at private schools).

If junior scores a free college scholarship, it certainly was a decent business decision. If junior does not, they would have been better moving to plano, hpisd, etc.

However, I agree with the other poster, the more "common" financing occurs with credit cards, home re-fi, downsizing houses, etc.

Personally, I don't agree with this practice, but these are not my life decisions.
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:18 AM
 
16,092 posts, read 35,792,258 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TurtleCreek80 View Post
How many years has the SAT prep class been offered at Woodrow? To which grade level(s) is it offered?
This is the first year it has been offered as a regular class. I'm not sure which grade levels are allowed, but I know seven sections filled up immediately.

Also due somewhat to the influence of our community, the district will be paying for AP, IB, SAT and ACT tests. I don't know if that includes PSAT. IB was the big one for us because http://woodrowfoundation.com/about.php had been devoting a lot of time to raise money for this. Now they can concentrate on other things such as getting a couple of elementary schools involved. Last night at a meeting the executive director of the Woodrow feeder pattern, Tracie Fraley, confirmed the committment by the district to bring IB PYP to some of the feeders. Fraley is the former Booker T. Washington principal.

Last edited by Lakewooder; 09-18-2013 at 08:28 AM..
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Old 09-18-2013, 08:50 AM
 
11,677 posts, read 21,250,268 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by facebookdigg123 View Post
I agree that those 3 things are important, but I think once you hit a certain stage in education, it doesnt really matter what school you are at. A solid education early on is so important to build a foundation for success.
I would agree with this, but I think we disagree as the what grade that "certain stage" is. A competitive high school with an AB program is a BIG step up from even a competitive, challenging middle school. If you took a Plano West AP inbound senior and moved him/her into DISD Hillcrest or Skyline HS, yes, I would expect him to graduate top of the class. But a kid who maybe went to a Plano Elementary school and then transferred into a sub-par DISD high school, I wouldn't consider him/ her a shoo-in for valedictorian or NMSF AT ALL.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Wylie, Texas
1,552 posts, read 2,294,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mSooner View Post
I've posted this before, but I don't mind doing it again. FMHS has a very specific "bootcamp" style program that has been around over 10 years now and has consistently produced better and better results. All sophomores are required to take the PSAT. If you have a certain score, you are invited to join the "PSAT Team." To be on the team, you have to commit to 1 week of of "camp" in the summer and a 9 week course. You are also required to take practice tests a couple of Saturdays during the 9 week class. The classes were similar to any SAT prep course--focus on vocab, math, writing, and general test taking skills. My score improved 30 pts (300 SAT points) as a direct result. I'm not sure how much the program has changed since then, but I can ask my youngest sister--she is trying for the team this year!

The year I got NM, there were 22 semifinalists and they've gotten better and better. I've heard the teachers in charge of the program were mentoring teachers from other districts to help them set up their own program, but I don't know if it is true.

I cannot say enough good things about the program. There are 5 kids in our family, 4 in or out of college. 2 of us got National Merit and got almost full rides to OU (it's not quite full, but close), one got commended and got a nice scholarship out of that, and the child still in high school is well on her way to being a NM scholar as well. That's a lot of scholarship money!

Dont know if Plano ISD already does this, but if it doesnt, it's scary to think just how many more NMSFs that district could pump out if the program is implemented. Scary in a good way
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:27 AM
 
Location: Wylie, Texas
1,552 posts, read 2,294,344 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walter Benjamin View Post
The most straightforward way for DISD to rise in the standings would be to increase the number of slots in the TAG program, until every parent of a high-achieving child could feel confident that there was room for their child there. Presto - influx of NMSF-caliber students who would otherwise have left DISD for high school.

Except that the DISD leadership, who appropriately represent the interests of the 95 percent of DISD students who are mostly lower-income and not on the NMSF track, would understandably object to funneling resources to a second, separate track rather than going back to the neighborhood schools that almost all of the current students attend.

Hence, the only chance for this happening would be to somehow achieve mayoral control for the schools under a strong mayor, who with the interests of all Dallas families and taxpayers in mind, would have the political capital to make TAG expansion happen over the strong objections of the incumbents. Slim chances of that happening, right?
Cant see why that would be a good idea. Devoting considerable resources to benefit what would at most be maybe a couple of hundred extra kids to the detriment of the thousands of other kids who would have to lose out on those resources.

One of the issues I see here is that people keep ignoring a lot of the unique problems DISD faces (apart from corruption/inept leadership etc which we can talk about on another day). You have the magnets draining away top students, and on top of that, all the north dallas privates which draw mostly from DISD, and then all the charter schools in the city. All these together probably take the majority of the driven, dedicated kids who would have boosted those top level numbers. It's a bit of a vicious cycle...top kids run off to private/magnet/charter...DISD school performances drop as a result...top kids see lowered performances, continue to flee to other alternatives...DISD school keeps losing top students, keeps dropping further...and so on and so on.

I promise you that if you relocated all the top privates (St Marks, Hockaday etc) plus 3 or 4 of the Dallas Magnets, PLUS several of the top charters right in the middle of Plano, I guarantee you the three PISD schools lose most of their top students. That being said, there is no denying that Plano is a much better district overall than DISD regardless of the NMSF brain drain issue.
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Old 09-18-2013, 10:43 AM
 
Location: Dallas area, Texas
2,236 posts, read 2,760,622 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biafra4life View Post
Dont know if Plano ISD already does this, but if it doesnt, it's scary to think just how many more NMSFs that district could pump out if the program is implemented. Scary in a good way
I know that PISD has all sophomores take the PSAT, but I didn't hear about a boot camp.
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