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Old 05-23-2009, 12:14 PM
 
916 posts, read 2,299,115 times
Reputation: 281

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Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhome View Post
Los Alamitos has 15% of its student body take an AP test. Wilson has 16.5% take an AP test. Yet Los Alamitos has much higher pass rates.

I would argue the AP Program is better at Los Alamitos. 74% of the AP tests taken at Los Alamitos were a passing score (score of 3 or better). 137 of the tests were a perfect score, a 5.

At Long Beach Wilson, only 54% of the tests taken were a passing score. Almost half of the tests taken were a waste of money on an $80 test and a failing score. Only 90 tests were a perfect score, a 5, even though Wilson had more test takers than Los Alamitos.

Sure Long Beach Wilson has MORE test takers and more exams taken (its a bigger school), but the consequence is that less of the exams taken are a passing score. Los Alamitos has 20% MORE exams that were a passing score. I believe that less students taking a test that actually pass is better than a bunch of students taking a program they can't handle or were not well prepared for and then failing.

All sources are directly from the California Department of Education's DATA QUEST:
http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/SAT/AP-4b.asp?cYear=2006-07&cSelect=Wilson^High^^^^^^^^^--Long^Beach^Unif--1964725-1939875&cChoice=AP4b&S=1
http://data1.cde.ca.gov/dataquest/SAT/AP-4b.asp?cYear=2006-07&cSelect=Los^Alamitos^High^^^--Los^Alamitos^Un--3073924-3033917&cChoice=AP4b&S=1
I'm not going to do as much math as you. I'm just going by the newsweek ranking that puts wilson above los al primarily I think because of the A/P program. Don't get me wrong, Los Al is a good school. But there are some around the Long Beach/Seal Beach area that think los al is significantly better than Wilson. I don't believe it is. What separates Los Al from Wilson is that Los Al has very few English learners where wilson has a bunch. This brings the overall API scores down. This doesn't really affect the learning of your non-english learning students at wilson because for the most part they aren't in classes together. Anyone with a kid in wilson will tell you it is like 3 schools in one. Now, some people don't like the diversity of wilson (put more plainly, there will be some african american and hispanics at the school) whereas los al is predominantly white. If you have a problem with that, don't go to wilson. But I stick by my claim that Wilson is every bit as good as los al, prepares students very well for college, and at the end of the day your child's education has a lot more to do with you as a parent than the school anyway.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 7,600,109 times
Reputation: 1528
I'm sorry, I just don't like the Newsweek list, even with it making my son's high school look pretty good at ranking 488.

My problem with the Newsweek list is that it doesn't focus on total test takers, but rather the total amount of tests. This allows students that take multiple tests to bring up the total for the whole school and make it like the AP rate is higher for a school. My son for example took 6 AP or IB exams this May. By the Newsweek list, it would be like 6 kids took a test, while in reality my son just took multiple exams. The same goes for other students who are taking multiple tests.

To make it basic:
Here is how Newsweek calculates-
If School A had 10 graduates. Two students took AP tests (6 each), so 12 tests were taken in total. Score is 12/10= 1.2

If School B had 10 graduates. 6 students took AP tests: Two student took 2 tests, two students took 3 tests, two took 1 test. so 12 tests were taken in total. Score is 12/10=1.2

As you can see, by the Newsweek Formula, these schools have the same score. School A has two very bright students who pull up the score for the rest of the students and make it look like the AP rate is very high. The fact is only two students took a test, but those two students took a ton. School B has several students taking AP Exams, but each student only took a few. I guess you can pick what you think is more important. Total amount of students at least being exposed to the AP tests or a few very bright kids that take multiple tests, inflating the AP rate.

That is why I just focus on total test takers and divide that by the WHOLE student population. You also have to remember students take AP classes even their freshman year! By sophomore year it is VERY standard to have students in AP classes. I don't understand why tests that sophomores and freshman take get credited to the senior graduating class on the Newsweek list. I just keep it more basic: 800 test takers in all grades out of a population of 4800 is 16.6% taking an AP test. Some may take multiple tests, some may take a few tests, some may just take one test, but you know 16.6% of the population is taking at least one AP class.


This list isn't that different than a crime rate list, often argued as not representative of an entire big place. If a ton of crimes happen in one small neighborhood, while 80% of the city lives in peace, the crime rate is really high for a city, but not representative of the entire city. Same for this Newsweek list: A few students can take a ton of AP tests, while 90% do not, yet the Newsweek list makes it like the AP program is huge.

Last edited by missionhome; 05-23-2009 at 12:44 PM..
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:41 PM
 
916 posts, read 2,299,115 times
Reputation: 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by missionhome View Post
My problem with the Newsweek list is that it doesn't focus on total test takers, but rather the total amount of tests. This allows students that take multiple tests to bring up the total for the whole school and make it like the AP rate is higher for a school. My son for example took 6 AP or IB exams this May. By the Newsweek list, it would be like 6 kids took a test, while in reality my son just took multiple exams. The same goes for other students who are taking multiple tests.

To make it basic:
Here is how Newsweek calculates-
If School A had 10 graduates. Two students took AP tests (6 each), so 12 tests were taken in total. Score is 12/10= 1.2

If School B had 10 graduates. 6 students took AP tests: Two student took 2 tests, two students took 3 tests, two took 1 test. so 12 tests were taken in total. Score is 12/10=1.2

As you can see, by the Newsweek Formula, these schools have the same score. School A has two very bright students who pull up the score for the rest of the students and make it look like the AP rate is very high. The fact is only two students took a test, but those two students took a ton. School B has several students taking AP Exams, but each student only took a few. I guess you can pick what you think is more important. Total amount of students at least being exposed to the AP tests or a few very bright kids that take multiple tests, inflating the AP rate.

That is why I just focus on total test takers and divide that by the WHOLE student population. You also have to remember students take AP classes even their freshman year! By sophomore year it is VERY standard to have students in AP classes. I don't understand why tests that sophomores and freshman take get credited to the senior graduating class on the Newsweek list. I just keep it more basic: 800 test takers in all grades out of a population of 4800 is 16.6% taking an AP test.
I'll let you and Newsweek fight out the methodology. But I think the rationale is they want to measure opportunity becasue that is all a school can provide. I don't think newsweek, the api scores, or any other of the measures are the end all be all. Just data points.

I really do think it's mostly about the parents and so you want a school with high parental involvement. That is hard to measure without gettiing to know the school in depth but I think that is how I would evaluate a school.

In net, the op was asking about schools. In my opinion Wilson is a good high school and they should feel proud to send their kid there if that is what they end up choosing.
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Old 05-23-2009, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Mission Viejo, CA
2,498 posts, read 7,600,109 times
Reputation: 1528
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaplesRes View Post
I'll let you and Newsweek fight out the methodology. But I think the rationale is they want to measure opportunity becasue that is all a school can provide. I don't think newsweek, the api scores, or any other of the measures are the end all be all. Just data points.

I really do think it's mostly about the parents and so you want a school with high parental involvement. That is hard to measure without gettiing to know the school in depth but I think that is how I would evaluate a school.

In net, the op was asking about schools. In my opinion Wilson is a good high school and they should feel proud to send their kid there if that is what they end up choosing.
hahaha, ok, good with me. I've always just had a thing with that Newsweek list and it always makes me light off like a fire cracker. hahaha. i should write them and tell them how I feel.

I totally agree with you on parent involvement!!!! I cannot emphasize that enough! We were allowed to pick a school for my oldest son due to a boundary change that year. We saw one school with outstanding parental support and a loving community and another school with robots and snobs. We picked the one with a loving community, even though its API was slightly lower and more mixed in diversity (for OC standards). I don't regret it at all because my kids are doing very well, have learned to appreciate people of all walks of life, and are in an enviornment where they are comfortable.

Parental involvement and the culture of a school can be light years ahead of a school with just high test scores. It really makes a school more than any data point. I totally agree!
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Old 05-24-2009, 02:26 AM
 
Location: LB/OC for now...
5,112 posts, read 12,135,924 times
Reputation: 1791
And to note NaplesRes, the Broad Prize is for urban education. I applaud Long Beach for consistently being ahead of the curve in urban education, but it is something that doesn't apply when you compare it with a suburban district because those schools aren't even eligible for it.
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Old 05-24-2009, 09:54 AM
 
916 posts, read 2,299,115 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bhcompy View Post
And to note NaplesRes, the Broad Prize is for urban education. I applaud Long Beach for consistently being ahead of the curve in urban education, but it is something that doesn't apply when you compare it with a suburban district because those schools aren't even eligible for it.
I agree with you regarding Broad. As an urban school district LB is one of the best if not the best. However, not all schools in LB are urban and the schools I referred and many more in the district stand up very well against good suburban schools.
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Old 05-24-2009, 04:26 PM
 
1,986 posts, read 2,309,913 times
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I know you guys have pride in your city but in my neutral, 3rd party opinion, LB is ghetto. II have a few friends there and I can tell you from firsthand experience, there are "thugs" everywhere.
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Old 05-24-2009, 08:26 PM
 
916 posts, read 2,299,115 times
Reputation: 281
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay100 View Post
I know you guys have pride in your city but in my neutral, 3rd party opinion, LB is ghetto. II have a few friends there and I can tell you from firsthand experience, there are "thugs" everywhere.
It has nothing to do with pride. The fact is Long Beach has some very exclusive neighborhoods, some upper middle class neighborhoods, some middle class neighborhoods, some working class neighborhoods, and some very tough neighborhoods. To say the whole city is ghetto undermines your credibility. Long Beach is larger than Atlanta. The 90803 zip code on its own has over 30,000 people. It is the size and population of many neighboring cities. You cannot generalize a city of 500,000 people and over 60 square miles and still claim an unbiased opinion.
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Old 05-28-2009, 05:19 PM
 
786 posts, read 622,515 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glinLongBeach View Post
Long Beach is a large city and part of a huge metropolitan area. It will be a major change from a wooded area in Texas.

1. Traffic in the greater L.A. area is not fun, but if you’re living and working in Long Beach, it shouldn’t be bad.

2. For the fifth time, the Long Beach Unified School District this year was named among the top five school systems in the nation by the Broad Foundation. Two schools (California Academy of Mathematics and Science and Hill Middle School) were named California “Distinguished Schools.” Most L.B. schools are ethnically and economically diverse.

3. Property values and rents tend to be high, especially in the better areas. That is by far the thing that raises the cost of living here (about 2.5 times prices in Dallas). Groceries and transportation will be about 10% higher here than Dallas, but utilities will be slightly less.

4. Long Beach has neighborhoods that are great for families and other neighborhoods that are dangerously crime-ridden. In general, the eastern side of L.B. and along the coast are “better” neighborhoods, but you’ll find pockets of nice neighborhoods elsewhere. There are a lot of activities for kids. The Parks and Recreation program has repeatedly won the gold medal for excellence from the National Parks and Recreation Society. There are programs for kids in sports, art, music, science, dance, history, you name it...

5. There might be a small amount of crime spillover in the northwestern-most part of L.B., but mostly I believe that Long Beach’s crime is home-grown.

6. Long Beach is a big place, the 36th largest city in the USA, covering about 66 square miles. It encompasses industrial areas, urban slums, downtown gentrification, transitional neighborhoods, working-class neighborhoods, suburban family tracts, and upscale gated communities. Any generalization would be inaccurate.

7. Los Angeles County beaches in general have some of the worst pollution in the state (per Heal the Bay’s annual pollution report), and Long Beach at the mouth of the Los Angeles river is one of the 10 worst. About half of the 25 monitoring stations in L.B. were graded less than A or B. The cleanest beaches are around Belmont Shores and Alamitos Bay

8. There are places in Long Beach where I’d be uneasy walking alone in the daytime and others where I feel safe walking alone at night. Where I live in the Los Altos/El Dorado Park South area, there are often women walking alone at night, and you can leave things out in your front yard without anyone walking away with them. Police cars are so rare that when one shows up, half the neighbors come out to see what’s happening. I don’t bother locking the house when I run to the store. Overall, the Long Beach crime level in 2006 was 3386 per 100,000 people, compared to a national average of 4479 per 100,000.

9. There are gangs in Long Beach, including Crips, Longos, and Asian gangs. It would be difficult to find a metro area in California without some gang activity. Most gang activity in Long Beach is centered in the central area (sometimes known as “Eastside”, from being just east of the L.A. river), west Long Beach, and parts of North Long Beach (roughly 90805 zip). No part of life in a gang neighborhood is going to be completely free from their influence, but gang activity tends to take place outside of schools. And the fact that there are gangs in Long Beach doesn’t mean that all schools are “full of problems and gangs.” Again, Long Beach is a big place; the amount of problems in the schools differs by neighborhood. Our neighbor with young kids’ biggest complaint about the schools is the large amount of homework assigned. Probably the biggest problem in Long Beach schools is the state budget; California ranks 47th in per pupil spending in the country.

This is a good description of LB, although I question the parts about crime being below the national avarage (although LB isn't all that dangerous), and the cost of living being 2.5 times that of Dallas (although I'm not familiar with Dallas either) Also, this person mentioned the Eastern side so I thought that I might point out that there are 2 "Eastsides" in Long Beach. The Eastside that is east of the traffic circle on PCH is pretty upity and safe. There is another Eastside that is east of the 710 freeway and West of Signal Hill. I lived in LB for a little over a year and I lived in this part of the city. It's not all that safe, but it's not like Compton either. I liked living there, especially after the only Tweeker in my building got evicted. My other neighbors were awesome and I became pretty good friends with alot of them.

LB is very diverse: latinos, blacks, whites, Asians, gays, lesbians ect. For me this is a good thing. Although LA traffic is hell in general, LB isn't all that bad. Most of the beaches are polluted and there aren't many waves (which may be a good thing or a bad thing) The Alamitos Bay beaches don't have waves and have clean water; they are really good for swimming and kayaking.

I hope all of this helps. I moved out from LB last October and I really miss it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:50 PM
 
Location: Long Beach ,CA
2 posts, read 4,068 times
Reputation: 14
Well some of the stuff these guy's above me said is well kinda true but not all the way true.
I'm born a raised here in Long Beach and I can tell you that it is a great city. Rated the most culturally diverse in the world in 2003. I live down town and have lived all over in different parts of this city.
If your the yuppie type you might like Naples and or Eldo park but the facts are people go to these areas to steel stuff all the time. Also Belmont shore is nice and maybe a 100 yards across Alamitos bay from Belmont shore but there also has been a real booze problem in these areas to which people have been killed by cars and even guns.
The nice places to live in LB in my opinion are near Wilson High by big rec park,and the lagoon.
Allot of down town is really nice still a bit of crime and parking sucks if you park on the street but the reason I say this is because the amount of police down town is crazy lots and lots that make crime not as bad and frequent. Also the Gay community here has a very nice neighborhood very quiet and well kept. I live on the border of the gay community and I have big respect for them they try and keep the place cleaner than the city does. Also with the amount of gay bars around here you would think it to be loud and crazy but it is not bad at all.
Seal Beach is Ok as most of the people never come out side it's like a ghost town even in the summer. Most of the people you see on the beach there are from other cities. All in all Long Beach is a pretty good city to live in.
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