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Old 06-25-2020, 09:48 PM
 
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I’m failing to see the question here.

There are well-rated schools across the region. For example, Woodson High School in Fairfax, a very middle class area. It has an 8. Robinson is a 7. Fairfax High School tends to be where the poorer kids are zoned and it’s a 6. One of the rubrics for GS is how well low income students perform on tests compared to non-low income. Many high schools in NoVa don’t perform well in this area. Ones like McLean and Great Falls that have no low income students at all inevitably do better.
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Old 06-26-2020, 03:26 AM
 
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Yes, as I said in my first post there are still some great schools in the area but the number of them is shrinking fast.

Much of it is due to the rapid increase in poverty in the suburbs. Northern VA is becoming either rich or poor.

Remember when the suburbs used to be places to escape from the grit, grime, and poverty of the city? The number of kids who come from poor and disadvantaged families who struggle with issues at home and struggle with their English skills is increasing every year in Northern VA. The fault for the poorly rated schools increasing in Fairfax and Prince William Counties is not so much issues related to poor teachers and administrators but instead lots of poor people moving into the Northern VA suburbs.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:06 AM
 
1,950 posts, read 1,651,963 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by selling home View Post
Yes, as I said in my first post there are still some great schools in the area but the number of them is shrinking fast.

Much of it is due to the rapid increase in poverty in the suburbs. Northern VA is becoming either rich or poor.

Remember when the suburbs used to be places to escape from the grit, grime, and poverty of the city? The number of kids who come from poor and disadvantaged families who struggle with issues at home and struggle with their English skills is increasing every year in Northern VA. The fault for the poorly rated schools increasing in Fairfax and Prince William Counties is not so much issues related to poor teachers and administrators but instead lots of poor people moving into the Northern VA suburbs.
Yeah but this is happening to suburbs all over the country. Fairfax County and Prince William County are a microcosm of what’s happening at a larger scale. Cities are now considered the cool place to live and where people want to be so lots will pay tons of money to be in the city thus pushing poverty into the suburbs.

What will continue to happen around the country is what you see in Loudoun, FFX and PWC, I could be wrong and I haven’t looked in a long time but Lake Ridge still has a reputation for good and high rated schools. Dale City? Not so much. Ashburn has a reputation for good and highly rated schools. Sterling? No so much. As the suburbs continue to change, people will become more selective with where they choose to live, that’s not just a NoVa thing.
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Old 06-26-2020, 06:57 AM
Status: "Finally in Durham!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Durham, NC
24,910 posts, read 35,566,918 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spencgr View Post
Or maybe that school was great because there was a great teacher that taught them to love math, or reading books or chemistry. A good education is about specific teacher-student connections and parent involvement; not statistics and numbers.
I agree with this point. I don’t think my career would be the same today if I stayed in my HS in Southern VA which was in the top third of Virginia high schools rather than spend my last two years at TC Williams which was in the bottom third. TC definitely had issues that weren’t pretty but the business curriculum had offerings that would never have made it to Hampton Roads.
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Old 06-26-2020, 01:56 PM
 
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When greatschools changed its ratings methodology a couple of years ago and added an equity component, ratings changed for a lot of schools. The equity component is supposed to measure performance gaps of disadvantaged students compared to all students and is highly weighted in a school's overall rating. But what's really happening is that schools are assessed a penalty if test scores of its disadvantaged students do not match up with scores of all students. So schools with a homogeneous population without ANY socio-economic diversity are basically being given a pat on the back and the highest score in the equity segment for for simple fact that they have NO DIVERSITY, so of course there is no diversity achievement gap. OTOH if a school is actually diverse with different demographics represented, it will receive a poor equity score if the test scores of their disadvantaged students are not as high as those of the other students, just because that diversity exists. This is in addition to the test-scores component where the scores will already be higher for one group and lower for another. It's it's own separate new category that counts heavily towards the overall greatschools rating and has lowered the overall rating for many schools.

It's kind of funny that the schools with the smallest number of disadvantaged students will get the highest scores for equity.

A lot of information is out there about this with a search. Don't use greatschools.
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Old 07-05-2020, 06:43 AM
 
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The way Great Schools determines its ranking is very very flawed. There has been discussion about this in the past

https://www.city-data.com/forum/nort...-happened.html

In general NoVA schools are excellent. In fact, if you take a look at the average SAT scores for the region (I know I know, the SAT by itself is not an accurate indicator of a child's college preparedness, but it is something) and compare it to, say Anne Arundel County in MD (also located in the DC Metro area), the 2017 SAT data shows that Severna Park, the top performing school in Anne Arundel Co. in 2017, with an average SAT score of 1195 would put it at #15 when compared to the NoVA schools.

Also of note is that Great Schools has Severna Park in AAC scored as a 9, while South Lakes HS which had an average SAT that was slightly higher (23 pts) in FCPS scored as a 4

https://www.capitalgazette.com/educa...928-story.html

The SAT scores for NoVa schools (Class of 2017):

TJ 1492 (FCPS)
Langley 1288 (FCPS)
McLean 1283 (FCPS)
George Mason 1244 (FCCPS)
HB Woodlawn 1244 (APS)
Yorktown 1241 (APS)
Madison 1240 (FCPS)
Woodson 1238 (FCPS)
Marshall 1230 (FCPS)
Chantilly 1226 (FCPS)
Washington-Lee 1224 (APS)
Oakton 1222 (FCPS)
South Lakes 1218 (FCPS)
Robinson 1195 (FCPS)
Lake Braddock 1192 (FCPS)
West Springfield 1188 (FCPS)
Herndon 1183 (FCPS)
Rock Ridge 1183 (LCPS)
Briar Woods 1176 (LCPS)
Broad Run 1175 (LCPS)
Stone Bridge 1174 (LCPS)
Freedom 1169 (LCPS)
Riverside 1169 (LCPS)
Centreville 1168 (FCPS)
Fairfax 1166 (FCPS)
Loudoun County 1163 (LCPS)
Loudoun Valley 1163 (LCPS)
Patriot 1162 (PWCPS)
Westfield 1157 (FCPS)
Woodgrove 1155 (LCPS)
Dominion 1153 (LCPS)
Battlefield 1149 (PWCPS)
South County 1145 (FCPS)
Potomac Falls 1144 (LCPS)
Osbourn Park 1143 (PWCPS)
Forest Park 1140 (PWCPS)
Heritage 1138 (LCPS)
John Champe 1131 (LCPS)
Woodbridge 1123 (PWCPS)
Tuscarora 1117 (LCPS)
Hayfield 1115 (FCPS)
Falls Church 1113 (FCPS)
West Potomac 1112 (FCPS)
Edison 1092 (FCPS)
Lee 1084 (FCPS)
Annandale 1082 (FCPS)
Wakefield 1079 (APS)
Hylton 1078 (PWCPS)
Gar-Field 1073 (PWCPS)
Park View 1069 (LCPS)
Stuart 1060 (FCPS)
Stonewall Jackson 1053 (PWCPS)
UNITED STATES 1044
Potomac 1034 (PWCPS)
Mount Vernon 1029 (FCPS)
Freedom 992 (PWCPS)
TC Williams 977 (ACPS)

Last edited by novaman; 07-05-2020 at 07:04 AM..
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Old 07-07-2020, 01:37 PM
 
5,103 posts, read 9,019,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ffxdata View Post
I’m failing to see the question here.

There are well-rated schools across the region. For example, Woodson High School in Fairfax, a very middle class area. It has an 8. Robinson is a 7. Fairfax High School tends to be where the poorer kids are zoned and it’s a 6. One of the rubrics for GS is how well low income students perform on tests compared to non-low income. Many high schools in NoVa don’t perform well in this area. Ones like McLean and Great Falls that have no low income students at all inevitably do better.
Great Schools may have been created with the worthy goal of holding schools accountable. Over the years, it has changed its methodology frequently in response to criticism, but each new methodology has its own shortcomings.

Under its current GS methodology, the schools that get the highest ratings either have very few lower-income kids (like Langley HS, which is almost uniformly wealthy) or have a relatively small economic gap between the wealthiest and poorest students (like West Springfield HS). A school that has high average SAT scores or good scores on AP/IB exams can still get dinged on Great Schools if it has a not insignificant cohort of low-income kids and a larger gap between the wealthiest and poorest students (like Madison HS and Yorktown HS, which are both mostly wealthy but serve some lower-income neighborhoods, and are now only 6s on Great Schools). And the schools that have many low-income kids (like Annandale HS and Lee HS) fare worst of all on Great Schools. That can create a vicious cycle where people avoid certain schools with low ratings, when it has nothing to do with the quality of the instruction or with whether a particular student would have access to challenging classes.

That methodology tends to favor schools in newer, upper middle-class suburbs like Ashburn and work against most schools in Arlington or Fairfax, which have more diverse student bodies. US News follows a different methodology that assigns more weight to participation and performance on AP/IB exams and includes eight FCPS schools among the top 10 high schools in Virginia.

Bottom line is that each of these ratings follows a different methodology, and there's no point worrying much about any of them unless you really understand and agree with that particular methodology. Great Schools gets more attention because it assigns simple 1-10 scores that often end up on home listings on various commercial real estate sites.

Last edited by JD984; 07-07-2020 at 01:49 PM..
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Old 07-14-2020, 12:27 PM
 
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I have several children currently in elementary and middle school, up until now in FCPS. We have just finished up our 3rd full year of FCPS and, although I never thought we’d end up doing this, we’ve just pulled all of our children out of FCPS and are enrolling them in private school. This wasn’t an easy decision for us - it will require substantial financial sacrifice, and my spouse and I went to public schools and always believed that overall, the good outweighed the bad. But my children just aren’t receiving a good education at FCPS, and I can no longer turn a blind eye to it.

We spent a lot of time focusing on a neighborhood with “great” public schools. I’d rather not call out our specific schools by name, but suffice to say that as of today, our elementary-middle-high school pyramid has ratings of 8-8-8. Sadly, it seems FCPS is heading downhill fast. The quality of the education that my children have received over the last 3 three years has been subpar; the failure to carry out any meaningful distance learning from March-June 2020 was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
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Old 07-14-2020, 03:43 PM
 
5,103 posts, read 9,019,976 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lusitan View Post
I have several children currently in elementary and middle school, up until now in FCPS. We have just finished up our 3rd full year of FCPS and, although I never thought we’d end up doing this, we’ve just pulled all of our children out of FCPS and are enrolling them in private school. This wasn’t an easy decision for us - it will require substantial financial sacrifice, and my spouse and I went to public schools and always believed that overall, the good outweighed the bad. But my children just aren’t receiving a good education at FCPS, and I can no longer turn a blind eye to it.

We spent a lot of time focusing on a neighborhood with “great” public schools. I’d rather not call out our specific schools by name, but suffice to say that as of today, our elementary-middle-high school pyramid has ratings of 8-8-8. Sadly, it seems FCPS is heading downhill fast. The quality of the education that my children have received over the last 3 three years has been subpar; the failure to carry out any meaningful distance learning from March-June 2020 was just the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Distance learning has been a big challenge for every large public school system. Private schools don't have to address the equity issues that public school systems have to address to avoid getting slammed with lawsuits.

Sounds like you were at Woodson-Frost-Mantua. People in other pyramids may have had different experiences.
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Old 07-14-2020, 04:43 PM
 
1,547 posts, read 4,256,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JD984 View Post
Distance learning has been a big challenge for every large public school system. Private schools don't have to address the equity issues that public school systems have to address to avoid getting slammed with lawsuits.
Distance learning was just the final straw. Sadly, the education was subpar even while things were “normal.”

Without trying to blame any individual school, I think the problem is systemic — FCPS is just too big, too unwieldy, too spread out, and too disconnected from parents. FCPS is coasting on its reputation as a once “good” (or even “great”) school district, but it’s deteriorating rapidly. The rigor of the academics pales in comparison to even middling schools in the mid-Atlantic of which I’m familiar (PA and NJ in particular). One glaring difference is the enormous size of the FCPS school district as compared to those other districts. The result is a weird combination of relatively well-off leafy suburbs and a massive urban-sized school district.

Yes, others may have different experiences. But the problems and deficiencies we saw first hand don’t seem specific to the schools our children attended (e.g. decisions to abandon textbooks - even for complex subjects like math - was a FCPS district decision, not a local school decision).
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