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Old 07-17-2008, 11:33 AM
 
31 posts, read 47,195 times
Reputation: 14
Default Plano Schools - Most overrated?

I know I am going to upset somebody with the thread title. Forgive me.
I heard lot of good things about the Plano schools through some friends and read lot of these forums before I went there. I went there with my family to see how school system is and how the students are doing. I just returned after a brief stay in Plano. Things I noticed.
Good
1) Concentration of families whose main goal is their children education
2) Most children's upbringing is above average and has good start before joining the school
3) Expectations by parents/teachers/student themselves playing big role in academic success

Bad
1) The schools are overcrowded, no personal attention is possible if you child needs
2) Parents compete more than children to out do the other one, especially the Indian community over there. Just as a note, I am Indian.
3) The teachers work more on homework than teaching in the class
4) Students are pressured to memorize and reproduce for tests than understand and analyze.
I guess most credit goes to the families for their children academic success. May be its case every where. Plano is not all that different, except lot of these families gathered there.
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:08 PM
 
449 posts, read 1,115,977 times
Reputation: 244
I agree with all of your goods and some of your bads. Point by point, your bads:

1) The schools are really big, but I wouldn't call them "overcrowded". I still got lots of individual attention- for instance, we often had lunch with our calculus teacher. My sisters had lunch with their english teacher, and my biology teacher would come really early or stay late to accomodate the athletes. My experience may be colored by only AP/IB classes, but I really think it depends on the teacher.

2) Totally true. I don't think is representative of Plano schools though, this is just the community, and this is universal to indians, especially first generations indians. This is a hundred years of tradition- you're indian, you know that in india they publish high school rankings in the newspaper. This is just how we as a culture measure ourselves (for better or worse), especially since most of the indians that migrated here did it on the backs of education.

3) I never felt this. I remember taking copious notes in my science classes and english classes. At the senior high level, we'd have hw due once a week and would spend maybe half a class period going over it.

4) True to a certain extent. I never really had to really THINK until college. There are many classes - AP Physics and AP Calculus, which were good analytical classes.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:15 PM
 
Location: Plano, TX
2,061 posts, read 3,488,410 times
Reputation: 1785
Default Re:

Boy, I'm steaming mad now!

Nah, just kidding.

Quote:
1) Concentration of families whose main goal is their children education
2) Most children's upbringing is above average and has good start before joining the school
3) Expectations by parents/teachers/student themselves playing big role in academic success
You don't know just how critical these are until you find yourself in a situation where they aren't true. No amount of money can buy your kid a learning environment where most of his peers also value education.

Overcrowding. On the 9-12 level, I agree with you - I think the Plano schools become very impersonal at the upper grades. For elementary and even middle school, your child will not be "just a number".
Competiton - Eh, what's wrong with a little (or a lot of) competition? You don't succeed in life without putting out maximum effort. If Junior needs a push from Mom and Dad, no harm in that. Better than them not caring what the kid does.

Quote:
I guess most credit goes to the families for their children's academic success. Maybe it's the case everywhere. Plano is not all that different, except a lot of these families are gathered there.
Very true, although most people won't admit it. As a standard-issue white American, I view the heavy concentration of Asians and Indians in PISD as a huge plus. Without them around, my kid could sit on his rear end and be top of the class. They and their families perform a nice butt-kicking service.

One other thing that should be noted about the PISD. They have an unreal amount of resources available - people, buildings, and learning materials. For an over-the-top example, a PISD faculty member can get, for classroom use, a real-size flag for any country in the world - I mean any. They have a complete set of 200+ country flags. If they have that, you have to believe they have just about anything else a teacher could need or want.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:22 PM
 
1,192 posts, read 1,767,767 times
Reputation: 900
Just curious, what level of school were you observing at...elementary, junior high or high school?
I am not Indian, but have/had a number of friends that are, and to some degree, I always saw the "competition" as just part of their culture. But yes, outside that culture too, I think many parents put too much pressure on their children to perform to make themselves look good...it's just another sign of the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality that is so prevalent in today's society...sigh.

Thanks for the post...I'm yet to delve into school since my kid is still young, but you bring up some good issues.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:43 PM
 
216 posts, read 459,632 times
Reputation: 103
"4) Students are pressured to memorize and reproduce for tests than understand and analyze."

this is true for all school districts in Texas. There is too much at stake for educators (their jobs) and so alot of time is spent preparing for the TAKS.

If you compare plano schools to other districts strictly on TAKS performance then yes, i agree its overated. for 2007, it was rated acceptable, as was a whole bunch of other districts.

the confounding variable here as other posters have suggested is the parents, most of whom moved to plano because they believed it was a stand out school district
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:35 PM
 
3,680 posts, read 7,461,065 times
Reputation: 1627
Plano is a fairly wealthy district so on average the parents are high achievers and they expect the same from their kids. The only difference between the great districts and the not so great districts is parent involvement and expectations. The more you have the more you expect.
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