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Old 01-26-2011, 05:30 PM
Location: Fairfax, VA
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I realize there are troubles with the methodology of the Newsweek and US News rankings, but our schools are still quite good in comparison to the rest of the country.
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Old 01-26-2011, 05:37 PM
25 posts, read 57,452 times
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Yeah, the schools here being "bad" is quite relative, IMO, because my husband and I are both in education (he is a teacher, I'm a school psychologist) and we moved here from jobs in the public school system in NYC. Enough said. The schools here are fabulous compared to up there, where we likely would have had to send our son down the road had we stayed (a big factor to our move as well). We would not have been able to afford private school in the city. Plus, I went to a school in Prince William County growing up that is considered not-so-great and I did quite well for myself, so I don't think it is all about the school...you do have to balance it out with parental involvement, student motivation, etc.

Anyway, Fairlington is great...I just can't help but wish for a bigger backyard, bigger rooms, etc. We have stuff for a king-sized bed from wedding gifts that are unopened since we lived in NYC where a king-sized bed would have never fit, and I keep wondering if we'll ever be able to use them! (we got married 2.5 years ago...)

Maybe we'll luck out and get a bigger condo in Fairlington that we can afford. I will check out those surrounding zip codes though. I agree that Fairlington is a great area...hence my inability to make up my mind!
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:14 AM
Location: among the clustered spires
2,380 posts, read 3,861,715 times
Reputation: 869
Originally Posted by JEB77 View Post
Some folks don't put a lot of stock in the Newsweek rankings. They only measure how many AP or IB exams students at a particular school took in a given year. They don't tell you how well the students did on those exams, or whether they actually received any college credit for the AP or IB courses. A kid could get the lowest possible score on an AP exam and he'd still make his school look good under the Newsweek methodology.

As a result, schools that want to boost their Newsweek rankings can encourage students to sit for AP or IB exams and pay the test fees. That has been common in the DC area in the past, but has started to change as budgets get tighter. I'm not sure it really tells you very much about how schools in Arlington ultimately match up against schools in Austin or other locations. It does keep Jay Mathews' name in the papers, though.
To be fair, (at least in the Post), they do put in the percentage of seniors who graduate with at least one '3' on an AP exam. I don't know if Newsweek includes those numbers.

I think in Clarke County there has been somewhat of a backlash against the emphasis put on AP/IB exams.
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Old 01-27-2011, 08:41 AM
Location: New-Dentist Colony
5,738 posts, read 8,943,215 times
Reputation: 3857
This very forum has a very useful ranking of area high schools by average SAT score. I know it's not the be-all/end-all of education--but I think it says a lot:

FCPS 2010 SATs
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