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Old 05-24-2011, 10:37 AM
 
21,187 posts, read 30,351,954 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakesq View Post
Sarasota is where we want to move. I understand they have good schools. It almost seems like educators do NOT want us to have a way to objectively quantify which schools are good and which are bad.

That's a common plight as most want to find good in all schools. I would balance between the FCAT scores (there is some usefulness there), the GreatSchools website and checking out the level of parental involvement for the particular schools you're interested in. Good luck!
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Old 05-24-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: New England
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thanks everyone for your thoughtful replies!
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:01 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blakesq View Post
Again, what are the objective facts that leads one to say Weston schools are better than any shcool in FL? How do you KNOW this?
Weston is one of the top rated school districts in the country with the highest average SAT scores in the state of CT. 587/596/610 http://www.westonk12-ct.org/uploaded...SAT_Scores.PDF


In Florida, the Alachua district had the highest average SAT scores in the State. 549/556/532 They lagged well behind Weston.
Alachua County students had the highest SAT scores in the state for the 3rd year | Gainesville.com

All kids take the same test. The national average is 1487. Weston's is 1793. Alachua's is 1637. The Florida state average is 1467. Not sure how much more objective "proof" you need.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
Keep in mind that there are good and bad in both. You aren't going to find a level of education that even comes close to what Weston offers anywhere in Florida.

But there are some schools in Florida that will offer an education that is better than what you'd get in many of the public schools in Hartford.

It's all relevant.
Great point and completely agree.
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Old 05-24-2011, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,095,286 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
All kids take the same test. The national average is 1487. Weston's is 1793. Alachua's is 1637. The Florida state average is 1467. Not sure how much more objective "proof" you need.
The test is the same; however the student populations taking the sat or ACT in each state are DEFINITELY NOT. In a typical year, the median state score on the SAT will be higher in Alabama/Missisisppi than it will be in New York, New Jersey, or CT. However, fewer than 20% the student body takes the SAT in AL/MS compared to something like 60% in NY/NJ/CT. And those AL/MS students who take the test tend to be the cream of the crop compared to the Northeastern kids, (the mid-level in the Midwest/Southeast is more likely to just take the ACT and skip the SAT) where the SAT takers include a good deal of average students.

Plenty of other optional high school tests have similar selection biases, it's just the SAT example is easist to remember. If you want an accurate assessment of school quality:

1. Set up a national test that's actually mandatory to get rid of the huge selection bias you get when you use ACT/SAT. This is, of course after 10-20 years of screaming about educational standards and getting, say, California and Texas to agree on social science curriculum and testable events. (and when that happens, start looking for the four horsemen)

2. Control for external factors- parental SES, languages spoken in the home, levels of developmental disability.

3. Set up a scoring/grading system that reflects actual mastery of those standards.

4. Continue to hear screaming about ebil fedr'ul mandates and the big black stompy boot of DC wrestling local control away from American schools in an attempt to brainwash America's youth.

5. Realize that we've spent $100 million on contracting out test development to Indian programmers (because it's assumed that the private sector is always better, eh?) and still don't have a viable product. Start again- first up is round #267 of theCalifornia v. Texas national history standards war.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:49 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beachmouse View Post
The test is the same; however the student populations taking the sat or ACT in each state are DEFINITELY NOT. In a typical year, the median state score on the SAT will be higher in Alabama/Missisisppi than it will be in New York, New Jersey, or CT. However, fewer than 20% the student body takes the SAT in AL/MS compared to something like 60% in NY/NJ/CT. And those AL/MS students who take the test tend to be the cream of the crop compared to the Northeastern kids, (the mid-level in the Midwest/Southeast is more likely to just take the ACT and skip the SAT) where the SAT takers include a good deal of average students.
Based on this logic, the kids in Weston are considerably better educated than those in Florida.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Niceville, FL
7,680 posts, read 16,095,286 times
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Though Weston is is small district, 2300 students from K-12 with one high school serving a very high SES population (Northeastern executives and professonals). You can't straight up compare those districts to a county school district where 2300 students is the 9th and 10th grade at one high school and the demographics vary hugely in that student body. If you want to try to compare like with like, I'll take Collegiate High School at Northwest Florida State College, which has been the highest ranking high school according to the Florida Department of Education a couple of times now. Parental SES is a little lower than Weston, but with a 3% free and reduced lunch rate, we're not talking a high poverty (ie. more barriers to achievement). So go to their web page at:

General Information :: Collegiate High School at NWF State College (http://www.nwfcollegiatehigh.org/pagedetail.cfm?page=3 - broken link)

Select 2009-10 annual report, and find that Collegiate's mean SAT composite is 1762. SAT participation rate is high at that school so call it comparable data sets.

So not a huge difference in the numbers, and we're talking a less wealthy SES situation, so with all the advantages Weston High School has on paper, why does it come out just barely ahead of a high school in podunkville, Florida?

Truth be told, this really isn't about which specific high school is better. It's an exercise in how you can cherry pick your comps to make any school look better or worse depending on what your agenda is.
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:52 PM
 
26,590 posts, read 54,577,614 times
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And if you go back and read, you'll see that I stated

Quote:
Keep in mind that there are good and bad in both. You aren't going to find a level of education that even comes close to what Weston offers anywhere in Florida.

But there are some schools in Florida that will offer an education that is better than what you'd get in many of the public schools in Hartford.

It's all relevant.
While the SAT scores are close in the district you cite, I'd like to know what schools those kids are accepted into, and perhaps more importantly outside of test scores, what other comparisons they are that are "whole student" concepts. What types of extra-curricular activities are offered, the number of languages and AP classes offered, the types of programs such as school trips that are offered. My guess is that as far as the whole student is concerned, the Weston kids have a far greater body on knowledge and experience that will help them succeed when they graduate.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:02 PM
 
371 posts, read 305,722 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annerk View Post
And if you go back and read, you'll see that I stated



While the SAT scores are close in the district you cite, I'd like to know what schools those kids are accepted into, and perhaps more importantly outside of test scores, what other comparisons they are that are "whole student" concepts. What types of extra-curricular activities are offered, the number of languages and AP classes offered, the types of programs such as school trips that are offered. My guess is that as far as the whole student is concerned, the Weston kids have a far greater body on knowledge and experience that will help them succeed when they graduate.
If you look at the schools some of the students are accepted into, CT will have a huge advantage because of is proximity to Yale, Harvard, U Penn etc. Even the brightest students from FL will attend local state schools because of the convenient location.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:20 PM
 
769 posts, read 1,824,842 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hashbrown View Post
If you look at the schools some of the students are accepted into, CT will have a huge advantage because of is proximity to Yale, Harvard, U Penn etc. Even the brightest students from FL will attend local state schools because of the convenient location.
Then the students from FL really are stupid. If they can really go to an Ivy League university (meaning they can get in and have a scholarship or way to pay) and choose a state university in FL instead they are not smart at all.
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